It’s nearing that time again. On the cusp of seasons changing, winter flurries are having me dreaming of spring, so start putting away those winter jackets and keeping an eye out for the hottest bathing suits. Think it’s a little premature to start considering springtime? Says who? It is never too early to start looking ahead, as it holds many benefits. Getting a mental escape from your surroundings is one way of taking a break. This should not be something that takes up hours, but every once in awhile, a pleasant thought of warmer weather is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Always always always have something to look forward to. People who deal with depression and even those who just suffer from a harsh commute or little sunlight in the colder seasons need something to look forward to in order to pull them out of their mind (speaking from personal experience). Something to look forward to can include a concert over the upcoming weekend, dinner with a friend at the end of the day, or even the promise of the next season approaching. Having something special (just like spring) to look forward to is a great way of staying positive and energized throughout the day.
Goals are the essence of looking forward. Goals mean that whatever is happening in your life now, there is going to be change and progress in the future. Goals can (and should) be long and short term. You can have daily goals, weekly goals, and monthly goals. Adopting this mindset will allow you to find what changes you want to make within yourself and create plans to achieve them. In retail, it is easy to feel the effects of repetition more than the effects of change, so it is important to set personal and group goals to prevent your team from getting in a rut. Brainstorm ways to put change into action:
- Create a goal board, where coworkers can put up their goals. Letting thoughts and ideas become known to others is a great first step in making progress and change.
- Take time to talk to those around you. Knowing a bit about coworkers outside of the job will not only create a positive work environment but will also allow you to follow up later and inquire how their personal journeys are going.
- Ask if there is anything you can do to help co workers achieve their goals. Even if they do not take up your offer, they will feel encouraged and supported, and will be more likely to pursue and succeed.
- Encourage positive feedback at work. Notice when someone is working hard and accomplishing his or her retail goals or exceeding your expectations. Positive commentary will boost self esteem, which will generate further desire to improve.
- Share your own goals. Sharing will allow those around you to feel comfortable with sharing their own feelings.
Welcome the seasons into the world of retail.
Allowing your workspace to reflect the world outside the workplace will generate more connections between inside and out, employee and customer, and even body and mind. Bringing the outdoors in and simulating the best aspects of every season is a great way to create positivity within your workplace and with your coworkers.
- Summertime: Decorate the windows accordingly with light colors and flowers. Make sure everyone has access to water to stay hydrated, healthy, and energized.
- Autumn: Make sure the heat is on indoors and find ways to bring the sensation of pumpkin pie and apple crisp in to spice up the day– literally bringing in such foods and sharing with coworkers will brighten everyone’s day and appetite and boost morale. If bringing in food is a challenge, spice up the place with cinnamon scents or warm fresheners.
- Winter: This season can be a drag, and I don’t have to remind you– we are in the depths of it right now. With little sun and shorter days, getting up and staying energized is a true challenge, especially those dealing with seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a type of depression that is affected by the changes of seasons and heightened by the onset of winter. 4 to 6 percent of people are affected by winter depression, and 10 to 20 percent have mild seasonal affective disorder. Be aware of the mood in your workspace. Are your employees and coworkers low on energy? Bringing in coffee can be a nice gesture that will create a pick-me-up. Another way to boost energy and mood is to bring in a Happy Light. Generating this artificial light in your place will bring that touch of summer that everyone is dreaming about.
- Spring: When my favorite season rolls around (counting down the days), fill your retail space with color, do a little spring cleaning, organize and shift the space to welcome the season of new beginnings and change. If your space allows, open windows and doors to filtrate fresh air, making everyone feel alive, well, and new once again.