At this time of year, many people feel more tired than usual and struggle to get through the workday. We’ve got some tips that can help. Office fatigue can affect you throughout the year, but for many, it seems to get worse as we get closer to the winter season. Shorter days, darker mornings and colder weather can leave you feeling exhausted and fed up even before you get to the office or set yourself up for the day at your desk at home. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) causes many people to experience a persistent low mood and reduced energy throughout autumn and winter. SAD is a type of seasonal depression that is often linked to the reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days. When you combine SAD with being in the office for eight hours a day, it can make you feel even more tired, irritable and generally fatigued. Luckily, there are some steps you can take that may help to fight some of this seasonal or office fatigue so you can get through your workdays a bit easier. Whether you’re going into the office or working from home, give some of these tips a try to see if they can help lift your mood, make you feel less tired and help combat the symptoms of SAD. Proper lighting Not only can the right amount of lighting make a big difference to how tired you feel, but the type of lighting can also have an impact. Even before you get to work, using lighting that mimics daylight can help wake you up and ensure you’re ready to face the day. Specific SAD lights can be a good investment for use in the morning, as it’s thought that the lights help to reduce the production of melatonin and increase serotonin production. Alternatively, you can use daylight bulbs throughout your house to perk you up a bit. When it comes to the office, you want to make sure you have enough light that you aren’t straining your eyes, as this can cause headaches and drowsiness. If your desk isn’t properly lit, add a desk lamp. Just be sure to position it so the extra light also doesn’t cause eye strain. Don’t stay sat down It’s far too easy to stay sat down for long periods of time at your desk but this isn’t great for motivation or your health. Make sure you get up regularly and move around in order to get the blood flowing and give you a boost of natural energy. You might find that a height-adjustable desk is a good option, as you can go from sitting to standing while working at the press of a button. This can encourage you to change your position more throughout the day, which can have a big impact on energy levels. Get some desk snacks You might think that keeping snacks in your desk drawers is a bad idea but having something to eat can have a big impact on how awake and focused you feel. Feeling hungry can easily make you lose focus and leave you feeling tired. Keep your energy up with some regular small snacks throughout the day. Just be sure to opt for healthy, nutritious snacks rather than those that are high in sugar. Not only will this be better for your overall health, but it will also help you avoid the short bursts of energy that sugar provides, which ultimately leave you feeling more tired later on. Drink more water It’s all too easy to reach for the tea or coffee when you’re feeling fatigued, but this really isn’t the best option. While caffeine will help perk you up, the effects are temporary and could leave you feeling worse as the day goes on. Instead, you should be drinking water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated. This can help stop you feeling lethargic and is better for your overall health. If you don’t like the taste of water on its own, try drinking squash with no added sugar or low-calorie flavoured water instead. You should aim to avoid fizzy drinks as these often contain caffeine and a lot of sugar. Regular exercise While it probably isn’t practical to spend your lunchtime jogging around your office, making sure you get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day can really have an impact on office fatigue. Hitting the gym in the morning, taking a walk after work or heading to the pool a few times a week can help you feel more energised throughout the day. If you time it right, your exercise can also help you see a bit more sunshine too, which will have a big impact during autumn and winter. Get enough rest Rest and sleep are really important for fighting office fatigue. If you’re not feeling great, you should make sure you’re resting as this will ensure you feel better faster. Ensuring you get enough sleep every night will also keep you energised throughout the day – even if you find getting out of bed a struggle. Finding ways to incorporate rest into your day – such as after exercise or just before bed – can help you feel relaxed. This, in turn, can ensure you enjoy a better quality of sleep. It is also a good idea to do what you can to encourage a good night’s sleep, such as avoiding looking at screens before bed and keeping your bedroom organised. Improve your posture You might not think that your posture can have an impact on how tired you are, but maintaining a bad posture throughout the day can waste energy while also causing you pain. You need to set your desk and chair up correctly to encourage good posture so you can work in a relatively relaxed state that conserves energy. Improving your posture while working at your desk isn’t difficult. Simply avoiding sitting up straight, leaning forward and using your armrests can make a big difference. You want to sit with your back leaning back at an angle of 120 to 135 degrees with your lower back supported and your feet flat on the floor. All of these tips can help you fight office fatigue and feel better throughout the day if you are affected by SAD. Just be sure to keep up with the good habits and stop yourself falling back on caffeine and sugar to get you through the day.