7 Steps to a Happy Mind and a Happier Workday!
We’ve all been there. It’s eleven AM on a Wednesday. The walls of your cubicle seem to be closing in on you. Your eyes are glued to the clock. You want to bolt for the door. But of course, if you did, you would find yourself searching for another job. So, with a pained look on your face, you slump in your chair and proceed with the usual routine. Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes in and outside of the office will ensure a happier workday. The things you surround yourself with throughout the day have a greater impact than you may think. Even the most dull and dreary jobs can be remedied. A happy workday begins with a happy mind!
1. Wake up just a little earlier
I know what you’re thinking—NO WAY! Who wants to give up those last precious moments of rest before starting the workday? But, your morning determines your day. So, get to bed at a decent time. Resist that Netflix urge. Set your alarm thirty to forty minutes earlier than your usual routine requires. Bolting out of bed, skipping breakfast, or bypassing your morning hygienic routine leaves your body with insufficient time to wake up. Waking up a little earlier will leave you with the necessary wiggle room to relax and prepare for the day with minimal stress. Plan to prepare yourself a hearty breakfast as an extra incentive to get out of bed.
2. Be Nice to your Body
Make sure you’re feeling nourished at work. If your stomach is rumbling you are more likely to feel irritable or unfocused. It is never productive to make important decisions while your body is hungry or dehydrated. Keep a water bottle filled throughout the day and drink more than you think you should. You’d be surprised what some cold water can do for your mood and overall productivity. Have a mid-afternoon snack to hold you over after lunch and before dinner. Healthy choices are always the best decision. Snack on fruit, yogurt, or wholesome bars. A satisfied stomach fuels a happy and sharper mind.
3. Sticky notes, sticky notes, sticky notes!
The world’s most versatile invention—the sticky note. The possibilities are endless. Think of them as colorful little reminders to maintain a positive energy and mindset throughout the workday. Jot down inspiring quotes or funny sayings that just make you feel good. Who’s your ultimate role model? Capture his/her voice and wisdom on a sticky note. Share this insight with others. Leave colleagues little reminders saying, “don’t forget, meeting at 11!,” or friendly notes reading, “stop by my cubicle later to chat!” This is an effective way to stay organized, get up on your feet a bit, and maintain a more personal relationship with your colleagues. Who doesn’t love personalized notes (not to mention on fun, colorful paper)?
4. Make Someone’s Day
Studies have shown that smiling more actually makes you feel happier throughout the day. Friendliness breeds positive energy. Bring this energy into the workplace. Be social with your colleagues. Set aside petty rivalries. Remember, you’re all on the same team. Be nice. People don’t forget it. Not only will this attitude create a more enjoyable and comfortable working environment, but also, will potentially open doors for you down the road professionally.
5. Create a Minimal-Stress Schedule
Plan ahead. Construct a list of objectives for the day and make sure you achieve them. Go at your own pace. Don’t be a slacker, but be realistic. You know yourself and your work habits. Prioritize important projects and avoid lingering on small tasks and trivial details. If you get stuck, move on. When you fulfill all your goals for the day, go back and perfect them. Always stash your cellphone and other distractions in your desk drawer. Aim to be your most productive self!
6. Take Breaks
Working diligently throughout the day takes a major toll on your mind and body. Leave room in your schedule for a mental break. Rise from your chair regularly. Find excuses to walk around. Refill your water bottle, break up your printing and copying tasks to retrieve your work sporadically throughout the day, or simply take a quick lap. Find a quiet room to be alone for a few minutes. Clear your mind. Get outside and stretch your legs. Enjoy a short walk in the fresh air. Absorb the sunshine. Briefly close your eyes and breathe. Listen to a soothing tune or calm ocean sounds—whatever transports you to your happy place.
7. Ask for Help/Lend a Hand
We all run into obstacles at work. It’s okay to ask for help. Rather than a sign of weakness, asking thoughtful questions is actually a chance to better yourself (and yet another opportunity to be social with colleagues). Be open- minded. Accept constructive criticism. Try to see things another way, and schedule regular brainstorming exercises. Conversely, always be willing to offer guidance and helpful advice to others. This back and forth process of sharing and swapping ideas will fuel creativity and teamwork in the office.