https://civilservicelocal.blog.gov.uk/2019/01/09/banish-the-winter-blues/

Banish the winter blues!

 

15 minutes of wellbeing is 1% of your day written over sandTeam Chaffinch from our ESEL 2017 Junior Leaders Academy  share some wellbeing tips to help banish the winter blues.

If you want some more ideas have a look at their A-Z to better wellbeing toolkit.

Wellbeing doesn’t have to be costly and take time – 15 minutes of wellbeing is 1% of your day.

  • Keep calm and bake! Try making a new recipe every week. The Charity for Civil Servants has some great recipes you can try.
  • Consider volunteering for a local group or charity. Look out for opportunities through CS Local. The Charity for Civil Servants or CSSC often want volunteers, or have a look for more opportunities in your area at do-it.org
  • Take a break from social media and try reading a book – check out your local library or join a book club if you want inspiration.
  • Get out and take a walk – whether it’s on your own or with a friend, a walk will help to blow away the cobwebs. Check your local intranets or noticeboards to see if your office does weekly walks and if they don’t start one! CSSC has details of local walks and how to organise a local group.
  • Prioritise using ‘power hours’ – for one hour (preferably in the morning) focus on a particular task.

What are your top tips?

11 comments

  1. Comment by CT posted on

    Mindfulness is also very helpful for many people.

    Reply
  2. Comment by Louisa Radice posted on

    Re: Employee Engagement – “Encourage Friendships.”

    I would like to have a “best friend” at work (or indeed out of it). However I’m not sure how. Quite apart from the fact that I have Asperger syndrome and am in a team that is split across four different sites (the majority being in Manchester while I’m in Coventry), the ways that I have made acquaintances in other workplaces don’t apply here. Viz.:
    • Induction workshops – all done entirely by computer, so didn’t meet anyone
    • Daily commute – the overwhelming majority at Earlsdon Park drive to work, so I rarely meet anyone I know on the train
    • Tea / coffee breaks – no-one has them here
    • Pub lunches – once in a blue moon (then again, I’ve more or less given up eating out due to my straitened financial circumstances)
    • Newsgroups – don’t have them
    • Yammer - no-one's replied to my posts
    • Lunch – most people eat at their desk
    • Lunchtime activities – there haven't been any since members of the Earlsdon Park Wellbeing Committee moved to Cheylesmore House last summer
    • Sports day – I turned up, was assigned to teams with people I didn’t know from Adam and that was it
    • Gym – there isn’t one on the premises

    Reply
    • Replies to Louisa Radice>

      Comment by CT posted on

      That sounds concerning. There needs to be a community feel to the workplace and it should not feel like a workhouse! We all have jobs to do but an unhappy workforce is not a motivated one. Teams should be getting together for a tea break each day, even for just 15 mins. The work will still get done and it is about outputs not time spent at desk! You need to raise those issues with people higher up in the organisation.

      Reply
      • Replies to CT>

        Comment by Louisa Radice posted on

        CT: how can we have a daily tea break when we're split across four different sites?

        Reply
        • Replies to Louisa Radice>

          Comment by CT posted on

          Apologies, I see what you mean. Are there not other people in the office there you can get together with? Your management should address this as you are split across different sites.

          Reply
          • Replies to CT>

            Comment by Lynsey Murray posted on

            Hi Louisa

            Is there any way that someone else can set up a Wellbeing Committee in your office? Sometimes it takes one person to start a movement.

            Or I would encourage you to get in touch with CS Local, they can help you to connect with people who work in your local area.

            I am a volunteer with CSSC and it has helped me to meet people from other Departments based near-by.

        • Replies to Louisa Radice>

          Comment by Team Chaffinch posted on

          Following on from the comment about working remotely and the issues that brings we asked our colleagues for some advice /guidance on how to take care of your wellbeing if you and your team mainly work remotely and this is the collated feedback;
          1. Keep the conversation going. Create virtual spaces for wellbeing to be discussed, and allow pressure free time to engage. Look for wellbeing webinars that everyone can join in with, encourage the team to share their own tips with each other, build opportunities to come together.
          2. It depends on what they find challenging. I used to miss chatting with colleagues, so I volunteered in a charity shop near my home in my lunch break to get some human contact.
          3. I was lucky enough to visit 18f in San Francisco last year. Here’s their best practices for making distributed teams work: “we all think of ourselves as remote employees, even if we’re in an office” the link is here https://18f.gsa.gov/2015/10/15/best-practices-for-distributed-teams/
          Hopefully this helps, if anyone else had any suggestions please keep sharing them here
          Thank you

          Reply
  3. Comment by Ross Pendrey posted on

    I'm not sure the maths on this issue has been presented properly. We all need to sleep every day of the year. Sleep accounts, in most cases, for between 25% and 33.33% of a day's span. Therefore, whilst still admittedly minimal, the time available for 'well-being' is rather more than 1% of the time available to anyone. It is helpful to be accurate when presenting statistical-based claims such as this.

    Reply
  4. Comment by Jan posted on

    Hi Louisa,

    That sounds a difficult situation and disappointing for you. There has been some good publicity this week regading the benefits of having a work place choir / singing group. I don't suppose it even has to be with colleagues, maybe workers in the same building? Personally I think that volunteering is one of the best ways to make friends. If you have time to give an hour or two occassionally it might be worth speaking to Voluntary Action Coventry?
    Best of luck x

    Reply
  5. Comment by Team Chaffinch posted on

    Hi everyone
    Thank you for sharing your comments with us. One thing that we have learnt throughout this process is that wellbeing is not a "one size fits all approach" and it has been really interesting for us to read your views on what you think works and doesn’t work. The point about wellbeing and the link to remote working is a really interesting one and one which we would like to conduct some further research on.
    In the meantime, if you have any suggestions about activities that have worked in your area please keep sharing them with us here.
    Thank you

    Reply
  6. Comment by Team Chaffinch posted on

    Hi everyone
    Following on from the comment about working remotely and the issues this can often bring, we asked our colleagues for some advice /guidance on how to take care of your wellbeing if you and your team mainly work remotely and this is the collated feedback;
    1. Keep the conversation going. Create virtual spaces for wellbeing to be discussed, and allow pressure free time to engage. Look for wellbeing webinars that everyone can join in with, encourage the team to share their own tips with each other, build opportunities to come together.
    2. It depends on what they find challenging. I used to miss chatting with colleagues, so I volunteered in a charity shop near my home in my lunch break to get some human contact.
    3. I was lucky enough to visit 18f in San Francisco last year. Here’s their best practices for making distributed teams work: “we all think of ourselves as remote employees, even if we’re in an office” the link is here https://18f.gsa.gov/2015/10/15/best-practices-for-distributed-teams/
    Hopefully this helps, if anyone else had any suggestions please keep sharing them here
    Thank you

    Reply

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