It’s that time of the year again. The time when the sun sets before 4:00 pm, the weather becomes dreary and cold, and the remnants of an aesthetic autumn fade into a dark and unmotivating winter. For many, the departure of fall is an unwelcome one. People tend to experience a dip in productivity, mood, and energy, making it difficult to complete necessary tasks and stay on top of workloads. Though this time of year may seem daunting, there are some ways to combat the seasonal blues and stay productive and energized.
- Keep your workspace inviting and bright
Working in dark and gloomy spaces is demotivating and tiring. Studies have found that workers exposed to brighter environments during the day lowered levels of daytime tiredness and reported improved moods compared to those working in dimly lit areas. Make sure your space is full of as much natural or artificial light as possible – keep your lights on, open your blinds, or work near windows to help maximize these effects.
- Get outside as much as possible
While it may be hard to be motivated to leave your room in frigid temperatures and less-than-ideal weather conditions, spending at least a little bit of time outdoors is an essential step we can take to improve our mental health and energy levels. Research has shown that being outside can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve focus. Come up with tasks that involve stepping out and walking around even for a few minutes, whether walking down Thayer to grab a quick Starbucks or going to a library to study.
- Romanticize the mundane
While the winter can be dark and cold, there are also fun aspects of the season that can be incorporated into a study routine to boost moods. Play some fun classical holiday tunes, like this playlist from Spotify, while studying, sip on a warm holiday drink like hot chocolate or peppermint tea, or wear a fun and festive outfit (like cozy socks or holiday-themed pajamas) while studying to evoke feelings of festiveness and coziness. Adding small features like these to your study routine can make completing tasks less arduous and daunting and boost your mood.