From S.A.D to Fab…

Posted: April 8, 2011 in Opinion
Tags: ,

by Cerys Palmer, Senior Account Manager

Workers enjoying lunch in Soho, London 8th April

After suffering such a harsh winter, I wasn’t surprised to hear many people complain that they are suffering from S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder). A thin-veiled excuse to be miserable maybe? Or a reason to justify post Christmas-blues? For some people perhaps, but it has been scientifically and medically proven that the weather can and does affect our moods and motivation.

I must admit, as much as I love my job, I found it hard to drag myself to the office in the cold and the snow. I also resented going back out in it to go home. I don’t believe I suffered with S.A.D, the weather just made me miserable. My motivation levels dropped as I stared bleakly out of the office windows whilst writing client reports.

I found that I was not alone with my wintery woes, especially when we faced further misery in south Wales with extremely cold snaps and constant rain. It had to end soon, surely… I needed my mojo back.

Alas, what was this bright yellow ball I could see in the sky as I drew the curtains this week? Not only did it pour light, it radiated heat that made me smile and want to get up and do things! Windows were opened, washing hung on the line, and one bemused four year old daughter (who is not used to seeing her mother so sprightly in the morning), was placed in the garden to play.  I had a spring in my step and felt motivated. This week, I have genuinely achieved a lot more at work through sheer motivation. I haven’t won the lottery, so I can only out it down to the change in the weather. It makes me happy!

“Get out – for at least 30 minutes. The positive impact warm, sunny weather can have on mental health and mood are real” University of Michigan research 2004

This research may be dated, but the findings are reflected in today’s society. Other research also suggests that if our mood is upbeat, we are more likely to be productive in the workplace as well as happier in life generally.  For example a study conducted by careers.com found that more people are productive in good weather, than those who aren’t. On the flip side, the findings also showed that some people are less productive in the work environment in sunny weather, because they want to be outside enjoying the day (some people are never happy are they!). 

We can’t change the weather, but we can embrace it and take advantage of the effect that it has on us. We have to go to work – end of. So for those of you sat at your desk being miserable because you want to be outside, stop it! Walk to work, if you can, to catch the morning sun. Sit in the park, or even in the street on your lunch break! Don’t go home straight from work and turn on Hollyoaks, go for a walk in the park or sit in the garden.

In the words of Bob Marley, ‘Sun is Shining, the weather is sweet…’  So let’s enjoy!

It’ll be time to dig out the big coats and wellies again before we know it…

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