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Winter can present more difficulties for people who struggle with depression. For me, these months are some of the hardest of the year. Depression severely affects my motivation, and this can impact both my home and work life. Recognizing this is the first step and has helped me to be more aware and prepare for this time.

Below, I outline 4 strategies that I’ve found help me to stay focused and productive while struggling with depression at work:

Small goals and organization

  • Setting small goals can help keep you on track when you’re feeling the effects of your depression pulling you away from your focus.
  • I tend to keep multiple to-do lists...One longer term, and one shorter term for the day.
  • I feel better and more positive when I’m getting things done, even when my depression is pulling me the other way.

Light therapy

  • Get a full spectrum light or lightbox for your desk
  • Provides the spectrum of natural daylight, which can help to elevate mood

Go for a walk outside

  • Take your breaks outside! Even if it’s cold, bundle up and go for a short walk. Getting outside and leaving your desk can be super helpful to maintain your focus and stamina throughout the day.

Plants, plants, plants!

  • Research shows that plants can reduce stress and boost mood

As always, if you are feeling your symptoms worsening, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist or other mental health professional.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to reading some of your strategies for maintaining motivation at work!

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Comment by Jennifer Mundl on December 4, 2018 at 11:28am

I really enjoyed and learned from your materials. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. I find it extremely interesting when you make a connection with a good consumer. It seems like an uphill and downhill item which cannot be controlled. I find frustrating for the consumer to have to keep living this lifestyle.

Comment by Sammy Abeje on November 29, 2018 at 7:57pm

I definitely notice a difference in my energy level during the winter.  Thanks for sharing these are very useful tips.

Comment by Janet - Great Lakes ADA Center on November 28, 2018 at 11:08am

Thanks for sharing Katie.  I'm especially interested in the light therapy, winter is hard on me as well.  

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