Winter is the time when many people experience Seasonable Affective Disorder (SAD). Whilst there’s often jesting about this concept it is a real phenomenon, and it could be playing out in your workplace. 

One of my clients has an intentional program at this time of year to offset the impact of SAD.  After observing the pattern for a couple of years they identified the link and now intentionally address it. 

According to Psychologist, Chris Harley, some of the common signs of SAD that you should be aware of include:

  1. Frequent, sometimes poorly-explained absences.
  2. Difficulty concentrating in meetings or on projects.
  3. A general lack of energy in work and conversations.
  4. Sudden changes in diet (for example, comfort eating).
  5. A palpably bad mood that seems to have come on with the winter.

I’m definitely owning up to number 4 on that list and the occasional burst of the number 5’s – generally in response to the alarm going off – and gee do those cold grey days impact on my mood (just rain or be sunny mother nature, stop being so darn indecisive)!

So what can you do to address this?

Personally, if this hits you hard consider treatments such as light therapy. There’s a lot of compelling literature on that and clinics that offer this treatment. See http://Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) | healthdirect for more on this and other tips.

In the workplace, ensuring work environments are bright, uncramped and uncluttered can help.  Rearranging furniture, removing partitions, tying back drapes or keeping blinds up to let in more light can all assist.  Read the full article by Chris Harley in Mindtools here.

Tanya Heaney-Voogt

Director & Principal Consultant
MBA, ICFACC, MAHRI, Dip Mgt, Dip Coaching, Prosci® Certified Change Practitioner
E: tanya@tanyaheaneyvoogt.com

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