Six Ways to Keep the Winter Blues at Bay | Jobs In MD

Six Ways to Keep the Winter Blues at Bay

The holiday gatherings are over. The decorations are tucked neatly away for another year. Friends, family members and colleagues are back to their routine schedules of work and school. Winter and the chill of February have set in. And you are still at home.

The job search that you were actively involved in before the holidays seems to have had its peaks and valleys. And with those valleys, the risk of slipping into the winter blues is not far away.

Conducting a job search, preparing for informational interviews and following up with leads requires positive energy and motivation. How do you keep the winter blues at bay and keep your spirits and positive energy up? These six strategies will assist you:

1. Create a Plan

A plan creates action. Action means forward motion. Forward motion can lead to positive results. Develop a plan for how you will spend your days. Mondays are a great time to review your job search results and determine whom you want to contact. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are great days for scheduling informational interviews. Fridays can be a day to review the results of the week.

2. Reach Out

Reach out to friends and reconnect with people you have not had time to spend with in the past. We often say, "Oh, I should connect with her." Then, the time just slips away from us. This is a great time to reach out and rekindle friendships, which may turn into leads!

3. Create a Support Group

Create a support group of friends or colleagues or find a coach to assist you. Sharing your goals with others who are willing to ask how you are doing can keep you on task.

4. Exercise and Eat Healthy

The holidays often bring not-so-healthy snacks and extras into the house. We may have put on a few extra pounds that do not make us feel good about ourselves. Start an exercise program even if it's just committing to walking the dog every day. And vow to eat healthy.

5. Learn Something New

Take a course. Learning something new - whether it is enhancing an existing skill or learning something entirely foreign - can help keep your self-esteem positive. Engage in the creative process. The creative process - which doesn't require you to be a creative person per se - can open your mind and help your spirits. Try painting, photography or another activity that you have never had time for while working a full-time job.

6. Volunteer Your Time

There are numerous places that need an extra pair of hands. Helping out at a local food pantry, shelter or cancer center can give you a good feeling about how you can help someone who has a greater need.

Longer days will be here soon and new opportunities will be just around the corner. Focusing on these six strategies will help you avoid the winter blues and get you ready for opportunities that will come your way.

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Diane L. Dunton M.S., president of Potential Released Consulting Services since 1996, has over 25 years of business and HR experience. Diane has received specialized training with National Training Labs, the Gestalt Institute, Center for Creative Leadership, the University of Michigan's Organizational Career Development and the Center for Reengineering Leadership programs. She has developed programs for over 25,000 employees and leads more than 20 workshops annually offering executive coaching, professional individual coaching and programs on leadership and strategic planning. She has appeared before conferences of up to 9,000 participants and her work has appeared in both U.K. and U.S. management publications, including the Society for Training and Development's Team and Organizational Development Sourcebooks (2003-2006).Learn more about Diane at