They say that if you love what you do then you will never work a day in your life. No matter how much you love your job, there will always be times when you feel stressed, unmotivated, and/or overwhelmed. When you find yourself having one of these days, this is what you can do to make yourself feel happier.
- Start your day off positively
- Create a to-do list
- Eat and drink healthily
- Make sure you move
- Create a mood-boosting playlist
- Know your support system
- Create an office home
- Take your full lunch break
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
- Think about the positives
Start your day off positively
How you feel in the morning will set the tone for the rest of your day. If you start off your day with a positive morning routine, then you are more likely to enjoy the rest of your day. Your positive morning routine could include having 6-8 hours of sleep every night, doing a 30-minute workout or yoga session, practicing mindfulness, or making sure that you eat a healthy and balanced breakfast. Whatever your routine is, it should include activities that make you feel happy and ready to take on the day.
Create a to-do list
Creating a to-do list is scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety by allowing you to structure your day around what has to be achieved. If you find yourself overwhelmed with your workload, try separating your tasks into what needs to be completed as soon as possible, what needs to be completed within the week/month, and what can wait to be completed at a later date. This will help you to prioritise your tasks so that you can focus solely on what needs to be completed urgently. In addition, checking off each item on your list will give you a sense of accomplishment which will help spur you on to complete your next task.
Eat and drink healthily
Staying hydrated and eating a healthy and balanced diet can improve concentration, make you more alert, and boost your energy levels. The human brain is 75% water and requires a constant flow of it to carry out every conscious function. If you do not stay adequately hydrated, your brains cells can not function at the level they should, leading to a lower attention span. Similarly, the brain is fuelled by what we eat and it needs vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to function at its highest capacity. If you deprive your brain of the nutrients it needs this will lead to a lower mood, lowered concentration, and headaches.
Make sure you move
When you are concentrating on a task it can be easy to let time slip away from you. Before you know it, you’ve been hunched over your desk for hours without moving. Walking away from your workspace, if only for a few minutes, re-stimulates the brain and improves productivity. Throughout the day walk to another area of your office, to a colleagues desk, or even outside for a quick breath of fresh air. Being in a different environment or with another colleague can distract you from your work for a few minutes until you have reset your mood and you are back to feeling positive and ready to work.
Create a mood-boosting playlist
Studies have found that when you listen to upbeat music when you are feeling down your mood will lift. This is because the music triggers the release of dopamine, which is a chemical that makes us feel happy. If you are feeling particularly down or stressed at work, have a mood-boosting playlist on hand, filled with all of your favourite upbeat songs. Your mood will be lifted before the playlist has finished.
Know your support system
Work can be an incredibly stressful environment so it’s important to know what support systems there are in place. Most workplaces will have a HR team who you can talk to about your workload. Some workplaces also have additional support systems such as mental health officers, in-house therapists, or mental health days. Explore these options and discuss with your manager or HR team what might work best for you. Aside from this, it’s good to have a support network of colleagues who you can unwind and vent with. These friends will offer an escape in the middle of the work day when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Create an office home
Surrounding yourself with items that bring you comfort can lead you to feeling more relaxed and happy at work. It’s important to remember that your desk is a professional space, however, a couple of pictures, plants, and decorations that make you smile can bring you joy whilst you’re working.
Take your full lunch break
When you are focused on a task it can be easy to let time escape you. That being said, it is important that you take your full lunch break, regardless of how busy you are. Taking a rest in the middle of the day to step away from your work, eat a healthy meal, and rehydrate will reset your brain and allow you to focus for the rest of the day. If possible, try to get out of your office building and go for a walk. The fresh air and moving your muscles will ease any built up tension, relax your body, and improve your mood. What will make your lunch break even better is if you can share it with someone.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
It’s hard to not put pressure on yourself when it comes to work, but to stay happy it’s important to try and not pressure yourself too much. Putting too much pressure on yourself can lead to being unproductive and feeling disappointed in your abilities. Rather than pressuring yourself to complete an inconceivable amount of tasks in a day, set yourself reasonable goals and feel proud when you’ve achieved each of them. Even if you don’t achieve all of your goals each day, be proud of what you have accomplished rather than focusing on what you haven’t.
Think about the positives
Similarly to not putting too much pressure on yourself, it’s important to think about the positives of your work day rather than the negatives. At the end of each day, think about what you have achieved and the goals that you have accomplished. Alongside this, think about any positive things that have happened throughout your day that made you happy. This could include having lunch with a friend, a positive conversation with a manager, or even just a nice biscuit with your tea. Even the smallest positives can make you smile and feel happier about your day at work.
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