How to Boost Motivation in the Winter


Some may be dreading the remaining winter months – when it is darker and colder in the UK. For many, the winter brings lower moods and lack of motivation as a result of colder weather and less light throughout the day. However, there are ways you can boost your motivation during the winter. Keep reading to find out TechRound’s top tips to boosting motivation in the winter. 

Why Do I Lose Motivation in the Winter? 

For many people, the winter months can be difficult. Experiencing low mood in the winter is not uncommon, with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affecting 2 million in the UK and more than 12 million across Northern Europe according to the NHS. Key symptoms of SAD are:

  • Depression
  • Lethargy 
  • Problems sleeping 
  • Feeling unsociable 
  • Problems with eating (typically overeating) 
  • Feelings of irritability 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, then it is advised you speak to a medical professional who may have available treatment options to help you. It is important to remember that you are not alone in these feelings, and that many people experience low mood during the winter months. 

The reason many people experience low mood during the winter months is due to less sunlight during the day, which, light has been proven to lift people’s moods. Exposure to sunshine has often been thought to release a “happy chemical” in the brain, also known as serotonin. Therefore, a lack of serotonin is why people experience low motivation during the cold winter months.

How Do You Stay Motivated in the Winter Months? 

You can find lots of small, simple and easy steps to take during the winter months to ensure your serotonin levels increase and your overall mood remains more positive. Exercising, socialising and eating well have all been proven to help one’s low mood during the winter. However, there are some other small steps you can take to better your productivity and positivity: 

1. Exercise More 

It is a scientific fact that exercise boosts serotonin levels, and as a result, will leave you feeling happier throughout the day. If you can’t get up in the morning, due to either time or lack of motivation, then why not schedule a small work-out in the evening? 

You don’t need to fork out a gym membership if you don’t currently have one, as you can find plenty of quick and easy work-out guides online on YouTube. If exercise is something you struggle with, why not plan to do 1 a week or however many you feel you could manage. Exercise will definitely help lift your mood, and will keep you fit while doing so – a win win.  

2. Get Up Earlier 

Getting up in the mornings can be tough, but if you struggle with low moods during the winter season then it is likely due to the lack of sunlight. By getting up a little earlier each day, you can take advantage of having more sunlight throughout your day. 

If you are currently struggling with getting up early, or have other responsibilities, then make sure to open up the curtains each day to allow as much light in as possible. You can even buy some lamps which act as artificial sunlight if this is something you really struggle with. While it might not be an overnight fix, it will certainly help you in the long-run. 

3. Manage Your Temperature

Have you ever felt so warm that you felt sluggish? During the winter months, many will have their heating on and will wrap up tight as the cold UK weather arrives. However, if your body is too warm it can often leave you feeling sluggish and unmotivated. 

So, why not take off a few layers while you’re working remotely at your desk? While the extra blanket or hoodie might comfort you, it could be what is stopping you from feeling that little bit more motivated throughout the day! 

4. Plan Socialising 

Whether you’re an introvert or not, socialising is key during all seasons. Humans, after all, rely on human interaction to lift their moods. For those experiencing low moods, socialising can often seem daunting to plan and do. However, why not take it a step at a time and plan a social event with you and a friend? 

Planning something social doesn’t need to be big, it could be as simple as meeting up for a coffee, popping round to a friend’s for a cup of tea or going on a short walk with a work friend. Likewise, planning bigger social events to look forward to can help motivate you get through the week! 

5. Go Outside 

Though the UK is never pleasant during the winter months, with possible snow, storms and lots of rain – getting outside where possible can really lift your mood! For those that work from home full or part-time, getting outside can help break the day up. 

Feeling low while having a large pile of work is not motivating at all, so take a few minutes off by simply stepping outside. If you’ve got a pet, even better, try to get outside and go for more walks which will help release more serotonin and lift your motivation. 

6. Schedule ‘You’ Time 

Having time to yourself is really important. When we say ‘you’ time, we simply mean set a time aside one evening a week, for instance, and plan something you’d love to do for YOU. 

Is there a recipe you’ve always wanted to try, or perhaps a book you’ve put off reading? Why not get creative and paint something? Or perhaps start a new Netflix series? Baking is always fun! Whatever you enjoy doing alone, it is really important to have time to help your wellbeing (introvert or not). 

7. Eat Well 

Those that experience low mood and lack of motivation during the winter often turn to food for comfort. However, not eating well and neglecting your diet and nutrition can lead to worsening your mood and motivation in the long-run. 

A well-balanced diet that includes all the things you need from carbohydrates to vegetables and fats will help you physically and mentally. That’s not to say you can’t indulge and eat some more comfort foods during the winter months. It’s all about moderation and making sure you pack in the necessary nutrients. 

8. Write To-Do Lists 

To-do lists are a great way to keep you motivated. Whether you get a weekly planner, or perhaps a monthly one (or both for the stationary lovers), it can really help break up your day and make the tasks seem easier to tackle. 

For those that lose motivation in the winter, it might be due to the lack of daily routine and things to do (thanks to the UK weather). However, writing down your work tasks as well as anything you need to do, such as house chores and shopping lists, can help make the day seem more manageable. 

9. Reward Yourself 

If the winter months are lonelier for you, and you often feel isolated or completely lacking in motivation – why not reward yourself? By that, we mean set aside a time where you do something you enjoy. Treat yourself to a takeaway one evening, or visit that restaurant you’ve kept meaning to try. 

The winter months can often leave people feeling lacking in confidence and down, but that’s not to say you can’t increase your motivation and mood through some small habits and tips. Rewarding yourself is a great way to get you motivated through the week. 

10. Prioritise Self-Care 

Likewise, self-care is just as important. By self-care, we mean setting time aside to look after yourself. You could take up journaling if you find that the winter months bring on mental health issues, or you could start some small activities like yoga or walking to help bring your mood up. Whatever suits your needs best, self-care is always important for your mental health and wellbeing.