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How To Stay Motivated and Engaged Whilst Working From Home Over The Festive Season

By Natalie Wilson

December 15, 2020 - Christmas is just around the corner and, with so many people now working from home thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, the festive season certainly feels a little different to previous years. December is often a great time to be in the office, with Christmas party plans, after-work socialising and the general festive cheer in the office, making it a fun and friendly environment to get the last bits of work done before a well-deserved break. But, working from home over the festive season can have the opposite effect and many people are finding that they are struggling to stay motivated and engaged with their workloads.

Working from home in the winter months is more mentally taxing than working at home during the summer months - the days are shorter, it's colder and we're less likely to head out for a walk or exercise after work, meaning that many people find themselves staying inside for days on end. This can then have a negative effect on your work and you might find that you're struggling to focus and get work completed. If this sounds like you, then here are some ways that you can motivated and engaged over the festive season.

Let Light In

It's important to make the most of any natural light you get during the day in your office during the winter months. During December, there can be less than 8 hours of daylight per day, so look to rearrange your workspace and try to find a spot next to a window so that you can get as much natural daylight as possible. Many people find that their mood dips during the winter months, known as SAD, which can be attributed to a lack of vitamin D intake.

If this sounds familiar, then by moving your desk, you can benefit from natural light during the day, when the sun is at its strongest. You could also go for a walk during your lunch whilst there is still plenty of light, or consider taking vitamin D tablets if you feel as though you aren't getting enough natural light. You will soon find that

Eat Well

During December, it can be all to easy to slip into bad eating habits "because it's Christmas", but if you are regularly eating junk food or not drinking enough water, then you'll likely find yourself feeling tired, irritable and sluggish. Whilst you absolutely should be making the most of all the delicious festive food and drink, it's also important to make sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet and are including plenty of natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, oily fish and meat to keep you feeling fuller for longer and to ensure you are getting all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs to stay healthy over the winter.

If you find yourself feeling tired and grouchy in the middle of the day and are used to reaching for a cup of coffee and something sweet, this might be because you are actually dehydrated. Staying sat in a warm house and not drinking enough water can cause feelings of sluggishness and things such as headaches, eye strain and increased feelings of hunger, so next time you find yourself grabbing a coffee, try having a glass of water instead first, or having a glass of water or two with your coffee to keep your hydration levels up.

Add Some Christmas Cheer

If you're missing the usual Christmas cheer of the office, then why not add some festive touches to your work desk. Things such as fairy lights, poinsettias or even a small Christmas tree can make you feel much happier in the run up to Christmas and make your workspace more appealing, too. If you're missing out on the usual Christmas office vibes, then your co-workers are likely missing it too, so why not try and organise a fun Christmas Zoom quiz or a virtual Christmas cocktail making party?

Something that allows you all to switch off from the stress of work and enjoy some kind of Christmas celebration as a team. You could even still partake in the office Secret Santa, or send Christmas Cards with funny jokes or kind messages to your coworkers - we all need feelings of appreciation and laughter after this year!

Take Time To Organise

If you're feeling overwhelmed and stressed with the amount of work you still have left to complete before you finish for Christmas, then now is the time to get organised and stay on track. Working from home means it is all too easy to become sidetracked, with distractions from other family members or deciding to tackle a pile of washing rather than your ever-expanding inbox, but it is hugely important that you stay on track of your work to-do list so that you don't get overwhelmed in the last few days before you finish and risk ruining your Christmas break by deciding to just keep working instead.

Sit down and make a list of everything you still need to complete, in priority order, and tick them off one by one - doing this will give you a greater sense of satisfaction when these things are done and may spur you on to complete more tasks. If you can, try to say no to coworkers requests for help, especially if you are particularly overwhelmed yourself, as this can only set you back further. It can be hard to stay motivated and on track whilst working from home, as the usual motivators, such as pressing deadlines or managers looking over your shoulder, so it is important that you take control of your organisation and workload yourself.

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