7 Ways to Beat the Crankiness Epidemic of Winter 2015!

The winter of 2015 will go down in history as one of the worst weather seasons! I live in Texas and while we’ve had a few bouts of nasty winter weather, it’s nothing compared to many other parts of the country.

Even so, just about everyone I talk to is ready for winter to end and spring to begin!Blizzard on the road The gray, gloomy and frigid temperatures seem to put most people in the dumps, which translates into a crankiness epidemic. So instead of wallowing in self-pity and commiserating with the cranky masses, I thought I’d offer up some ideas for bringing in some sunshine to boost your mood and give your outlook a lift at work and at home.

Here are some tips I’ve tried, (or am trying) to get me through these last weeks of winter:

  1. Try something new – We all get stuck in ruts, which leads to boredom and monotony. This is the perfect time to initiate or volunteer for a new project, get involved with new people on this new project or in social settings. Pick up a new hobby or simply change up your daily routine. Change forces us to be more engaged because we are experiencing something different and can no longer operate on auto-pilot.
  2. Clean/Declutter your space (home and/or work) – Get a jump on spring cleaning. It’s a great way to spend a day(s) when you’re trapped inside anyway. I love the immediate gratification of seeing what I’ve accomplished with a clear/decluttered office. Bring in some fresh flowers or a candle to help lift your spirits with a little aromatherapy as well.
  3. Plan your next trip – Part of the fun of a trip is the anticipation and looking forward to something exciting. When you start planning for it, the anticipation can begin! You may even want to pick some great vacation-spot images to set as your screen saver or just print and have displayed on your desk as a reminder … there is a light at the end of this winter tunnel!
  4. Spend time with the people you enjoy – Who are the people with whom you love spending time? Initiate a get together and make a point of laughing … it offers amazing healing powers for a worn-down soul.
  5. Do some team building at work – Whether it’s your direct reports or a group of peers and others who work together regularly, take advantage of some indoor activities, like bowling, to do a little team bonding. Good relationships lead to a fulfilling life (work and personal) so take time to build those relationships.
  6. Create an up-beat playlist – When you’re commuting, exercising or working at your desk, tune into some music that makes you happy! People can successfully improve their moods and boost their overall happiness in just two weeks, according to Ferguson’s research, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology.
  7. Get up and MOVE your body – Tons of research proves that physical exercise positively impacts your attitude and overall health. The endorphins released will make you feel better physically and emotionally. Take advantage of the winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating OR take it inside to a gym, for weight training, cardio equipment, even enjoy some hot yoga to warm those winter bones! A body in motion, stays in motion … and can stave off depression.

March 20, 2015, officially marks the first day of spring … just a couple of weeks away! I hope these tips can help you get through until you feel some warmth from the sun, see your first flower bud and walk on your sidewalk without having to shovel it!

Martha Duesterhoft is Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at mduesterhoft@people-results.com.