I used to work in the Met Police and one of the rare employee benefits they offered was a relaxation area in the building where I worked - on the Mezzanine floor. It had recliner chairs, newspapers and reduced lighting. In the Autumn and Winter months, for those that suffered from SAD [Seasonal affective Disorder], the even offered Sun Lamps in tucked away alcoves so that people could bath in the artificial light for up to 30 minutes. [See the notes at the bottom of the page for more information on SAD form the NHS].
I do not suffer from SAD, but remember some people I worked with that did and you could see the change in the Autumn months. I have really enjoyed the time out in the winter sunshine, mostly taking the dogs for walks, so I have decided to make 2 small changes to my daily work routine.
. Most lunchtimes, I have to go from my place of work, past the entrance to the building, downstairs to the canteen to grab and go my lunchtime snack. Strangely enough, all 4 of the buildings I work in have a similar layout. So, I will pause on my way by just going outside and spend a couple of minutes in the sunshine [hopefully not raining or too cloudy]!
. I have added into my works diary, a reminder that at 12:30 every day, to take 2 minutes to do the quick mindfulness exercise of "Breath in for a count of 7, and breath out for a count of 11".
I've started today, as the first day in the office, so will monitor my progress and let you know at the end of the month.
From the NHS:
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern.
The episodes of depression tend to occur at the same time each year, usually during the winter.
As with other types of depression, the two main symptoms of SAD are a low mood and a lack of interest in life. You may also be less active than normal and sleep more.
Read more about the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder here: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Seasonal-affective-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx