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Enduring the cold winter months can be a drag, but we should remember to stay productive and motivated during this season because we’re setting the tone (and pace) for the rest of the year. Just like in a race, if you go too slowly, you’ll never get into a winning rhythm.

Staying indoors more during the shorter days also drains us of energy, causing an increase in mood swings; however, things don’t have to be so grim!

Here are seven tips to help you stay energized, engaged, and productive until spring arrives.

  1. Get physical. Whether exercising, going for a walk, or taking the stairs at work, physical activity will keep your mind, body, and spirit lively.
  2. Get outside. Enjoy some fresh air, daylight, sunshine, or even the grey skies, and nature will revitalize you with the reward of something beautiful. Going outside to step away from your work also gives your brain a break to reenergize.
  3. Get enough sleep. Use the cozy weather to your advantage. Since winter is cold and flu season, make sure you do one of the best things to stay healthy and prevent illness—sleep!
  4. Set exciting goals. If your resolution list is either already broken or it’s staring at you like an unfriendly math teacher, rip it up and start fresh. Write down a handful of goals that you actually want to do—things that make you excited for the weeks ahead. From creating a new presentation to having coffee with someone new each week to taking an art class, give yourself some goals that you can root for.
  5. Eat healthily. We’re tempted to slip the most during the winter months, but this is when healthy eating matters most. If you eat a lot of rich, sugary foods when you’re already feeling sluggish, you’ll be lucky to even answer an email. Eating healthily doesn’t mean you can’t have anything fun to eat; just make sure you’re getting a well-balanced meal and eating foods that give you energy. Eventually, you’ll value how great you feel after eating real food over the cupcake you’re giving up.
  6. Make fun plans. While the temptation to become a hermit is strong this time of year, don’t fall into an antisocial slump, hoarding all of your fun for summer. Take a long weekend or a tropical vacation. Make a point to see people you care about and to plan activities you’re interested in. Winter is a great time to be inside taking in cultural events that can fill your mental and emotional reserves as well. What we do outside of our working hours immeasurably affects our jobs.
  7. Set yourself up for a fun summer. Imagine being able to leave at 4 p.m. most days this summer because of the groundwork laid this winter. One extra hour at the end of the day when it’s still dark out might add up to a lot of productivity in your pocket come June. This incentive could motivate you to be strategic and productive.

How do you get through the cold dark of winter? Let us know in the comments!

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