How to Help Employees Cope with Seasonal Depression

Young woman looking out at snowy landscape

While seasonal depression is recurring around the winter season, it may seem worse this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have not seen family members in months. From missing social gatherings with friends and visiting favorite hangouts, the longing for the old “normal” can make this winter season more emotionally difficult. Here are some activities that can help you and your employees stay proactive and protect your mental health.

Guided Meditations

Guided meditations are a great way to manage depression and stress. There are several free guided meditations available on Youtube that help decompress stress and anxiety. Guided meditations can also be used to target sleeplessness, manifestation, and self-love. Guided meditations are versatile, easy to find, and accessible by anyone. Along with Youtube, there are also many health collaborations that offer free guided meditation sessions, such as YMCA. Be sure to check out the health collaborations in your area.

Daily Mindfulness Sessions

How often do you take time to listen to your body and what it’s asking for? Often, employees push themselves with “one more hour of work” even though they can barely focus, or “one more report” then they will take a break, even though a break was needed two hours ago. Sometimes employees put productivity over individual needs, and results in subpar work. Engage in a mindfulness session where you take at least 10 minutes for yourself twice daily. Mindfulness session activities may include playing or listening to music, exercising (i.e., light cardio), progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises. Find what works for you and remember to listen to your body. To help employees, try implementing a mindfulness session initiative. Check back in with employees after a couple of weeks to unveil the results.

Explore New Hobbies

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it has been that now is the time to invest in yourself. Whether it be fitness goals, career goals, or exploring new skills, sketch out a plan and invest in that interest. Think of a hobby you always thought was interesting but never took the time to explore. Hobbies provide opportunities to develop a new skill, boost self-worth, and an outlet to decompress at the end of the day. Explore what makes you happy.

2020 has been a difficult year for most everyone, but seasonal depression and other mental health issues do not need to follow you into the new year. Mental health is something that impacts all aspects of business. Protect your business by selecting Human Capital as your partner PEO to provide access to HR best practices, developing an employee assistance program to better support employees, and revisiting employee benefits packages that offer better mental health service coverage. Contact Human Capital to speak to one of our HR specialists to learn more.

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