Finding yourself back at work after the Christmas break can be disheartening, no matter how much you love your job. It’s cold, it’s dark, and everyone is feeling pretty miserable. It’s times like this when tempers can become fractured, and discussions become unnecessarily heated. Our experts in conflict resolution training have some tips for tackling the blues.

One of the most important things to remember when January has you feeling grim and short tempered is that nearly everyone is feeling similar. It’s not just you, and it’s not just them. Often it can be just a simple idea to accept and maybe embrace the January blues, knowing that it’s not going to last for ever. This too shall pass.

While that might not be suitable for everyone, there are many ways to combat winter depression, whether it’s just having to drag yourself out of a warm bed in to the cold in the morning, or you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

You might already have resolved to get to the gym in the new year, but even if you haven’t, getting exercise is the simplest way of beating depression at any time of year. Forcing yourself to stay active, and get outside, even when it’s cold and dark will reap benefits.

Just a 15 minute walk in the middle of the day is enough to increase crucial neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which help energise the brain and regulate circadian rhythms. Getting out earlier and getting some natural daylight in the first few hours of waking up will be even more beneficial.

Scandinavian countries such as Denmark have some of the longest, coldest, and bleakest winters on the planet. Embracing the often discussed concept of hygge is to get yourself in the right mindset to cope with the cold and the dark. It’s an ethos of embracing winter, using it as a time to slow down, spend time inside with friends and family. Let yourself enjoy and look forward to wrapping up with hot food and soothing drinks.

Diet can play a big part in improving your mood. While treats such as pizza give short term pleasure, the refined carbohydrates will make you feel more sluggish in the winter months. Eat more complex carbohydrates such as broccoli, spinach, courgettes and lentils. They take longer to digest, meaning the energy from them is released slower, avoiding the spikes in blood sugar which can play havoc with your mood.

We get our main source of vitamin D from sunlight, and of course with the much shorter days in winter, we can become deficient in this vital vitamin. It helps regulate our blood sugar levels, as well as boosting our immune systems. Taking vitamin D supplements, will help boost your mood.

Iceland is one of the northernmost countries, but has one of the lowest rates of winter blues. It’s thought that this is because of their high consumption of fish, especially salmon and cod, which is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3s are thought to have an antidepressant effect by improving the functioning cells in the brain and the blood.

Hopefully, your own mood can be lifted with some of these tips and some gentle meditation. For workplace conflict resolution courses in the UK, get in contact today.