Oh yes, waking up wrapped around in your cozy blanket, three hours later than your normal wake-up time, staying in bed to finish your favourite web-series instead of doing laundry and deal with the dirty dishes, skipping showers on weekends, wait what? Just me then… hmm.
Do you feel that your productivity during the winters goes way down as compared to warmer days? Well, you are not the only one. In fact, research shows that January is the least productive month of the year.
But why is it that we feel exhausted or out of energy during the winters? Is it all in our head or do physical factors actually affect us in ways that make us in this season?
Turns out there is one thing and one thing alone (outside of our psyche) that is to be blamed for not letting us go to the gym like we used to in summers and that is: the sun.
According to physician Dr. Jennifer Ashton, the smaller days and lack of sunlight that the winters bring along with them have a direct impact on a person’s mood and the ability to make things happen. Dr. Ashton says that sunlight affects your circadian rhythm or your internal clock. This changes the serotonin levels in your brain.
The National Institute of Mental Health (USA) states that the changes in the serotonin levels in your brain leads to various symptoms such as lethargy, losing interest in activities you normally loved to do and yes, the temptation to crawl under a bulky blanket.
While productivity goes down for everyone, it is found that people working from 9-5 get affected the most. When they leave for work in the morning, the sun isn’t out yet and on their way back, it has already set. So they are missing out on all the goodness of serotonin that the sun has to offer.
And hence as the time passes, and your serotonin levels continue to go down and your become less and less productive.
This seasonal lapse in productivity is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
“We have a tendency to want to blame everything on psychological causes,” Dr. Norman Rosenthal, one of the experts who named the condition, told The New York Times. “We overlook the obvious, which is that it’s dark as pea soup outside. That’s why I think [SAD] goes unrecognized — it’s right in front of our noses.”
Thankfully, there are some simple yet effective ways to overcome SAD. All you need to do consciously take care of yourself. The reason behind such laziness simply comes from not getting enough sunlight. Head out for a brief walk after lunch or stand next to the window for five minutes.
The Independent also suggests maintaining a good sleep cycle and trying to stick to the one that you have during summers. This helps maintain that internal clock we were talking about before.
It is normal to feel a bit more lazy during the winters as compared to the months of May, June and July. All you need to do is keep reminding yourself of why it is that you started doing something. Self-realisation is the biggest motivation factor that you need to skyrocket your productivity right up.