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How to enjoy working from home in winter

January 5, 2021


1. Consider working from home in winter as a time for planting seeds

Plant growing on a hand, like you planting seeds while working from home in winterIn content marketing, there’s a piece of wisdom that says everything you do now will see it’s effects 3 months down the line. So embrace tucking up next to your laptop this winter, and see this as a fertile time for your year’s business goals. Put in focused, calm effort now when there’s less to distract you, so you can celebrate and take time off later when everything’s excitingly in motion!

Here’s one example: as a small business owner, you could start employing SEO best practices on your blog this winter (which should see its results on Google 3 months from now).

Another example is to go into major content creation mode. The energy of winter is perfect for focused, solitary projects, like batching your blog posts or filming a season’s worth of YouTube videos. Again, there are less distractions, so your mind can start focusing and implementing those ideas that were sparked in you last fall.

Trust me, your spring self will thank you!


2. Outdoor winter activities

Emma smiling while on skiis

It can be hard to recognize, but winter does bring with it some joy for most people. There are certain outdoor activities we only have access to at this time of year! It could be outdoor skating, tobogganing, making snow angels, building snow people, or ice fishing Embrace that childhood wonder over snow.
Bonus points if you have a kid or dog to play in the snow with you – they’ll make it easy to have fun!
Since sunlight is limited for these outdoor activities, see how you can maximize it in your working from home schedule. See if you can shift your online hours for a lunch break that allows you to go for a bundled up walk at midday (when it’s warmest too!) Or perhaps you can start early, and finish in time to dive into the snow at 3 or 4pm before it gets dark.
At least prioritize outdoor exposure on weekends.
Oh, and for those days that are just too damn cold to head outside, remember: snuggling up in a cozy blanket and sitting by the fire is something only the chill of winter air permits us!

3. Sunlight

The very reason for winter is that it’s the time when we’re most distant from the sun, yet sunlight is incredibly important for our physical health and mood! Research suggests that  UVB wavelengths hitting your skin and eyes triggers the creation of Vitamin D, which contributes to bone health and improved mood.
Research also suggests that when sunlight hits skin in particular, it triggers the generation of seratonin, a chemical related to our levels of contentment. In fact, many medical treatments for anxiety and depression are centred around helping our bodies increase the presence of serotonin in our brains (like Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs).

Sunlight streaming through the trees in a snow-covered forest.So, nothing matches the boost we get from real sunlight on our skin (just make sure you wear sunscreen, even in winter!), but in especially cold and dark locations, like close to the North Pole where there are days without any sun at all, sunlamps and Vitamin D supplements can be really life-changing.

They can also be an important supplement for those among us who do get daily sun exposure because most of our skin is bundled up from the cold and hidden away from the sun.

4. Protect your health

There’s little that makes winter worse than getting a cold or even worse, the flu. Yet there are so many ways we can proactively (and, if necessary, reactively) take care of our bodies.
  • Get your flu shot – and as soon as you can, your Covid-19 vaccine! They’ll save you from unpleasant illness, and literally save the lives of the elderly, and the immunocompromised.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Take breaks.
  • Check your blood work with your doctor, and augment your diet and/or add supplements to ensure you’re being properly nourished.
  • And if you do get sick, if it’s AT ALL possible, take those sick days! They’re your right, they help you recover faster, and they protect others from getting sick too.

5. Wear thermals. For real.

Woman sitting by an outdoor fire with hot chocolateAs a Canadian, I knew about thermals, of course. But no one my age ever actually wore them.

Well, ever since discovering Fashion Mumblr I’ve been convinced that genuinely thin, cute, and good quality thermals do exist. And they’re critical if you want to embrace winter! I now have 6 different long-sleeved thermal shirts from Marks & Spencer, and 4 pairs of thermal leggings from both that shop and Calzedonia which I’d thoroughly recommend.


6. Heat up your bones regularly

This is the MOST important way I’ve been able to embrace working from home in winter in Toronto.
In my case, pre-pandemic I’d go to hot yoga in the AM which thoroughly heated my body for 90 minutes. I felt so comfortable and relaxed physically because of the heat – yoga was a second thought. For the rest of the day, I just felt like the cold couldn’t grip me. Plus I felt so much happier after regularly heating my body up long-term!
But, of course, I’m writing this in winter 2021, so here are some ideas for how to achieve this true heating of your bones even from home:
  • Have a hot bath with your snuggly bathrobe and slippers prepared, especially a couple of hours before bed so you get the sleep-related benefits
  • Get your heart rate up and sweat while doing cardio exercise.
  • If you’re so lucky, enjoy your hot tub or sauna! Enjoying it is the least you can do for us folks without them.


7. Invest in outerwear, and WEAR A HAT

Invest in that good quality coat and boots!
“Saving” money by buying a $50 pair of boots every year (ones that let your toes freeze and get easily waterlogged) is NOT actually saving!
It’s much better to save up money all year and invest in a quality (not necessarily crazy expensive) pair of boots that’ll protect you from the elements for many years. Same goes for your coat! There are some very fashion forward options out there for both these days. (Just check out this post by Josie Fear for ample choices!)

Bring flowers inside when working from home in winter to liven up the place!And regardless of what the people around you do *ahem, Spaniards* – wear a hat, scarf and gloves! Protect your body heat, protect yourself.


8. Bring life indoors

Green plants and fresh flowers remind us that spring is just around the corner. Plus they provide us with mental and respiratory benefits when working from home in winter!

For example, I have a money plant situated right beside me here as I write, on my desk. There are plenty of shops that’ll deliver flowers and potted plants to your door too, even if you’re in lockdown. And afterward, your plant will give you a little living thing to nourish and focus on. (Just like those metaphorical seeds you planted in your business from Tip 1!)


9. Ask for help

Working from home in winter can truly be hardest because of Seasonal Affective Disorder (and the feelings are only exacerbated by long stints of loneliness like during the Covid-19 lockdowns.) It also has a major effects on the management of existing mental health issues.
Here’s what I would do (and have done): Ask for help from a friend, a family member, your work’s Employee Assistance Program, your university’s health department, or a mental health professional.
By far, the majority of people want to help, and it’s absolutely possible to feel better with the right tools. Embrace winter by embracing support. While it can feel like an isolating time of year, especially in 2021, you don’t have to experience winter alone.

Want another way to stay connected while working from home this winter? Join the Intrepid Emma newsletter (and get a freebie on repurposing content for your business too!)

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Emma Givens

The team at EG: Content & Copy are the world’s original, branded copywriting experts. We serve small and medium-sized businesses selling premium services and high-end goods. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter so you never miss a post!



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