Except for the lucky few (those who have won the lottery or star in Made in Chelsea) the majority of us have to work for a living. Whether that be for a giant corporation, a small family-run business or for ourselves – most of us have to feel that daily grind day in, day out and it can be tough on our mental health and well-being.
Even those amongst us who have their dream jobs can still have days where they feel dissatisfied or in a slump. So here are a few little tips to try and help keep you happy in the workplace.
To Do Lists
Writing lists might not seem like an obvious pathway to happiness but hear me out. When you are organised with your workload, you are more likely to reach your targets and deadlines and achieve better results. Achieving better results makes you feel good about your work which in turn makes you feel happy! Voila!
Without lists your brain is effectively juggling. It’s trying to remember all of those different things you have to do whilst trying to concentrate on any single task it needs to get through. Not easy. By writing it all down, it’s like placing all of those balls down on the table. You know they are there, and you’ll get to them but for now you can ignore them and concentrate on one thing at a time.
Taking Regular Breaks
Such an important one yet I think I speak for most of us when I raise my hand and admit I am guilty of not doing this always! I’m not just talking lunch breaks here either – I’m talking regular breaks to refuel and step back. You are only human! As well as fuelling your body you also need to fuel your mind.
That might be as simple as stepping away from your computer and taking 5 minutes to make a cup of tea and sit and start drinking it in the kitchen. Sure, breaks aren’t always possible. If you work in a busy restaurant and have lots of customers waiting then this advice isn’t very sensible – but if the only thing holding you back from breaks is you – then you have the choice to take control.
Breaks give your mind room to breathe and you are more likely to go back to your work feeling refreshed and more creative. Breaks are also essential for your eyes and for your body helping to keep headaches and other aches and pains at bay that can lead to you feeling unhappy.
Praising Yourself for a Job Well Done
How many of us beat ourselves up if we ever even slightly mess up? How many of us lie in bed at night worrying that we missed something in a really important email we sent out? Quite a few I imagine. But if I asked the question how many people give themselves a pat on the back when they’ve done a really good job I bet only a few would say they have.
Praise is so important for our morale – there is nothing better than someone telling you “Hey great job!” “Oh wow, that article you wrote was excellent….” “Brilliant work on landing that new client!” and there is no reason why that can’t include you. You are a smart, intelligent person – you know when you’ve done well, so why don’t you tell yourself so? Rather than simply jumping onto the next task – take some time to bask in your own glory and feel good about it. Some people find writing these down also helps, especially when things aren’t going so well it can be good to look back and remind yourself how awesome you can be.
Chances are (unless you are incredibly lazy) that if your job is too easy you’ll get bored, frustrated and quickly become unhappy. Being challenged in a job is a really easy way to feel good about your work. So don’t wait until your next review, be proactive. Ask if there are any new projects you can work on, identify a need in your organisation and try and think of ways you can help address it. You don’t need to wait around until someone else decides to push you, you can push yourself.
Accept it’s ok to have off days
No matter how hard we try, no matter how many smiles we throw round the office or how many cupcakes we bake to bring in and share – we all have off days. Some days, you can try every trick in the book but you just feel unhappy. On days like this, try not to force it and accept that it’s ok to have days where you don’t feel so great. It’ doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck like it forever – it’s just a bad day. By accepting it – chances are your black cloud will lift much quicker.
What advice do you follow to help yourself keep smiling in the workplace?
Join our tribe
We promise to pop a whole host of good stuff into your inbox every Wednesday to brighten up your week. Can't say fairer than that now can we?