Depression at work can be related to many factors, from clinical depression to the inability to resolve genuine problems posed by a toxic corporate culture.

Depression can also be caused by seasonal-affective syndrome (S.A.D.) and other environmental factors. S.A.D. is related to a lack of natural light; winter conditions, such as short, cloudy days; and people spending more time indoors. www.luxerose.com

Employees, managers, and team leaders should all take steps to ensure employee well being. Well-tested techniques can blast the winter blues and stimulate happiness at work.

The rewards include better health, more energy, and higher productivity at work. Companies also gain because motivation and teamwork improve. Employee absenteeism and healthcare costs decrease. Many employee retention issues vanish.

Many employees must attempt to solve S.A.D. without the support of management. If this is true for you, you have at least four options. One alternative is home treatment. This means using a light box that delivers 10,000 lux at eye level (with your eyes open and unshielded but not directly staring at the light) for 30-60 minutes. An alternative is to purchase a device like Sphere One Daylight 10,000 to take to work. Light visors are also available for employees who cannot sit for 30 minutes straight and still do their jobs. People who use a Dawn Simulator and program the device to come on before they arise in the morning enjoy a gentle awakening somewhat like sleeping outside and viewing a sunrise.

If you have a stationary work area, you can get permission to have full-spectrum bulbs placed above your space. A third option is to plug in a lamp with a full-spectrum bulb. Full-spectrum bulbs are easy to find on the Internet. (I purchased my own lighting the first time I worked in an inadequately-lit work place and noticed negative effects on my productivity and mood.) I was a little uneasy at first, but soon other employees did the same thing and management realized the benefits were worth the minimal expense.

This brings up option four. Arm yourself with data about the productivity and profit advantages of directly addressing SAD. Present facts to management or the occupational health department where you work because you deserve to be happy at work. The references at the bottom of this article will help you prepare your proposal.

Studies show you can also blast winter blahs by using essential oils.
Quality essential oils can produce profound positive effects. Researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia discovered that specific fragrances can ward off fatigue and reduce anxiety while increasing alertness.

Some Japanese companies routinely waft certain scents, such as lemon, through air vents to increase motivation and productivity.

Peppermint and cinnamon enhance mental ability and performance. Peppermint can even mend a bad mood, especially if the emotional state is related to fatigue. Bergamot and rose also lift gloomy spirits.

Cautions:

__ Nurturing fragrances are no substitute for deep sleep.

__ The results you gain from using essential oils will be related to the quality of the products you use.

Take charge of your own well-being. The side benefits of happiness at work are enormous. Studies show that your productivity, income, and health will be improved. Reports also show that your relationships, both on the joy and at home, will also improve.

In addition to this article, the following will help you get started.

__ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder

__ Rosenthal, Norman (1993). Winter Blues, New York: Guilford Press.

__ Rosenthal, N. & Blehar, Mary (1989). Seasonal Affective Disorders and Phototherapy. New York: Guilford Press.

__ “Seasonal affective disorder,” National Alliance on Mental Illness, reviewed by Michael Terman, Ph.D., Director, Winter Depression Program, New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Medical Center, New York City, February, 2004.

__ Arnot, Robert, M.D., (2000). The Biology of Success. New York: Little, Brown & Co., pp 134-135.

__ Barker S. & Raudenbush B., et al., “Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with administration of peppermint odor,” Perceptual Motor Skills, (2003) Dec; 97(3 Pt 1):1007-10.

__ Helge, Doris, (2007). Joy on the Job. Bellingham: Shimoda Publishing.

By yanam49

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