Professional Rut Motivation

Beating Cabin Fever: How to Stay Professionally Active and Avoid the Winter Rut

If you’re lucky enough to live in the right climate, the first snowfall of the season can be a magical, heartwarming experience. The countless other days of snow, sleet and slush that follow? Not so much.

No matter where you spend the winter months, this time of year has a special way of making us feel like we’re stuck in a rut. Between the stress of the holidays, altered work schedules and unpredictable weather, it’s no wonder cabin fever can strike at any moment.

Here are a few tips for busting out of the cabin this winter and continuing to make professional strides:

Keep Moving

Depending on that day’s weather, the world outside of your office door could either be a winter wonderland or terrifying tundra. Resist the urge to let those nasty outdoor conditions keep you glued to your seat! Working few minutes of light exercise into your work day, such as walking, can have numerous positive effects. In fact, recent studies have shown that a lunchtime stroll can even improve mood and stress levels day-to-day. Try thinking outside of the box if your favorite break time places are frozen over; stairwell hikes and cross-office visits are great options for getting moving!

Social = Sanity

The soft glow of a computer screen can feel as cold and lonely as an endless field of snow. If you’re simply moving from your phone screen on a short commute, to a computer screen at your desk and back to a TV screen at home, this sense of isolation can drag you down and cause your work to suffer. Instead, take opportunities to ditch email and connect with others in a variety of ways. Face-to-face interactions, phone calls and even video chatting can help you feel more connected to coworkers.

A Little of This, A Little of That

This winter, mix it up! No, not the dreaded winter mix of rain, ice and snow; switch up your daily routines. The cold weather months have a knack for draining your energy for dealing with the daily grind. One great solution is to pepper in moments of change throughout the workweek. For example, try taking on a project you would not normally consider or propose lunch with a fellow employee you haven’t had the chance to connect with. You’d be amazed what a little variety can do for your spirits!

Your productivity doesn’t need to drop when the temperature does! If you find yourself coming down with cabin fever this winter, try taking these few steps to warm up your professional edge. Have any tips for staying professional active at the end of the year? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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