As the air grows crisper and the days with sunlight start to get shorter, our mental health may need some consideration. The summer holidays were a time to take breaks and recharge, but they are now officially over. The holidays are just around the corner, making this transition season one that can be busier than ever.
As this new season rolls in, it might affect your mood, amongst other things. Symptoms of autumn anxiety include:
- Depression and declining mood
- Lack of interest in activities
Waiting for another three-day weekend or vacation can be taxing. Recharging should be the focus to restore balance just as nature is doing during the cooler months.
We are social creatures and most times, even the most introverted team members need a sense of belonging. Being in the office should be a chance to connect and collaborate with colleagues. Our brains tend to light up when we are in a group, but we need firm boundaries in the office to ensure there’s a proper balance of productivity and comradery. Meeting times should be clear and meetings should be a place to create, brainstorm and discuss.
In-person meetings can be enjoyed with a little fall treat as team members launch initiatives, track progress, celebrate milestones and achievements and chat. Encourage team members to build a rapport with their coworkers by awarding points for walking over to a team member’s desk instead of emailing or Slacking.
Block time for interactions
Unscripted interactions are the spice of office life, but sometimes small talk equals big rewards when moving toward mutual understanding. As we learn more about others, the opportunity presents itself to interact and understand what your team values as a whole. This knowledge can make motivation and personal connections easier. Sharing personal information can build trust. Try starting meetings with a quick icebreaker or fun fact, as a fun interaction before meetings can make them run smoother.
Be clear in all expectations
Hybrid or remote work can make it hard to read the room. Setting clear expectations can help separate the what from the where. Everyone should be informed of all their tasks and be able to define the quality that is needed. After expectations are clear, the work can begin.
Setting and respecting boundaries is necessary in an office setting. These boundaries can help speed review and response times. Make a list of all spoken and unspoken boundaries. What is the criteria for delineating urgent tasks and important tasks? How are tasks prioritized?
As much as possible, boundaries should be the same for office and remote workers. Hybrid and remote workers may need gentle reminders of start times and the best ways to start the day. Managers can schedule good morning emails and end-of-day thank you emails to cue people in to start and end times.
Make problem solving collaborative
Team work makes the dream work. Team members should not feel the weight of the world alone at their desk as everyone goes about their day. Having other perspectives and strengths can make answers to problems appear easier and faster. When the mood improves so does our innovation and collaboration is one way to boost our mood. Ask for help when needed and respect what others contribute to lay a foundation of trust.
Watching others helps us learn. Subconsciously, we observe and model the behavior of others. Teams feed off collective energy to grow. Fulfillment should be felt at a group level as you thrive energetically and experience the same triumphs. Each member should feel their singular strengths and talents are being recognized. Everyone should help their team members to shine for a more positive culture.
Remember why your work matters
With so many questions in life, why might just be the most important one. You need to find meaning in the tasks you spend the majority of your day performing. Start a team conversation concerning this why. Where is the most connection happening? When does the team feel purposeful? Gather around shared activities. Acknowledge shared energy and give even the smallest task, project or win a spotlight.
Celebrate every win
The small wins always matter, even though they may be overlooked for the big wins. Acknowledge every team member’s win so they can feel supported. When the team feels supported, they will want to continue sharing. Gratitude is powerful team fuel and an instant mood booster.
In your personal life, here are some ways to beat fall anxiety in your personal life:
Moving releases endorphins and boosts moods. Go for a walk to change your environment, get fresh air and hear the leaves crunch. As the days grow shorter, spend more time exercising outdoors and basking in the sunlight. Even 20 minutes can act as a catalyst for a better mood. If you can’t get outside, try to move your body with stretches and low-impact exercises throughout the day.
Explore new activities
Fall is a great time to spice up daily activities. Try out new hobbies, like rowing or gardening. Start your morning off with a good stretch or discover the benefits of meditation. Make a list of new activities that can only be done at night or in the fall to try to make the time change adjustment easier.
Stop doom scrolling
Screens are highly addictive and they allow us to disassociate. People who participated in a doom scrolling study reported that they felt more negative emotions like anxiety and agitation after a scrolling session.
Overall, fall is a season of transition and full of opportunities to refresh your perception of your personal environment, your professional workplace, and even the world.