We’ve all had those days at work where we just want to head home and go back to bed. For some of us it’ll just be a case of the Monday blues, but for others it’ll be a regular occurrence day in, day out. It happens to the best of us, we’re all human after all. Whether you got soaked on the way into the office, had an argument with your partner, or your boss doesn’t seem to be giving you a break, the causes for us feeling miserable at work are endless. So how can we feel more positive in the workplace? Thankfully, there are a number of small steps you can take that will help you to improve your mood at work. Not only will they help you feel better, but your colleagues will also be thankful too!
1: Brighten Up Your Desk
According to this article, workers who are able to put their own input into the design of their work space reported being 40% happier than those who didn’t. So, with this in mind, it might be time to brighten up your desk. You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on any fancy accessories or decoration to do this – simply the act of decluttering your work space can suffice as a good mood booster. If you do feel like treating yourself to some extra features to put your own stamp on your desk, you can do so in the form of photo frames, pot plants, or even some stylish new stationery. This is where stores like Paperchase come in handy, because not only do they have stationery galore, but you’ll also find quirky accessories, frames and knick knacks to give your work space a colourful twist. You could even get yourself a new coffee mug to complete the look!
2: Do Something You Enjoy During Your Lunch Break
While you may be a bit restricted in terms of time, doing something fun during your lunch can help to boost your mood during the day. What you do is entirely up to you. Bring a book you’ve been wanting to find the time to read, watch an episode of something on Netflix, meet a friend for coffee. Try not to do ‘life admin’ during lunch either, such as appointments or errands. Of course for some of us, lunch may be the only free time we have to do these tasks, but ensure that you don’t get into the habit of doing it every day. Plus, there’s nothing worse than heading back to your desk feeling stressed about something you now have to leave until tomorrow. At the very least, make sure that you eat your lunch away from your desk so that you’re giving yourself a break.
3: Plan Things to Look Forward To
You don’t necessarily have to plan something extravagant like a lavish all inclusive holiday, but making plans for the weekend or after work can keep you feeling motivated and put you in a good mood. Making the most of your evenings and weekends will also help you feel as though you’ve taken more of a break too. Even if you simply organise when you’re taking your annual leave, it’s a goal to work towards and may help you feel more productive. Some even argue that taking a vacation is actually good for your career! According to this article, workers have reported feeling more positive about their jobs when they return from a vacation, and 34% felt more productive.
4: Eat & Drink to Boost Your Mood
While grabbing a coffee is one way to give yourself a boost, it’s also important to drink plenty of water during the day. If you’re dehydrated this can lead to fatigue and headaches, which of course won’t do your mood any good. Keep a water bottle at your desk and refill it when it’s empty – plus a trip to the water cooler will give you an excuse to stretch your legs and take a minute away from your desk. When it comes to food, we all know hunger can also make us feel a little cranky, so it’s equally important to keep yourself fed. Ensure you eat a healthy lunch to keep you feeling at your best, and snack on foods that are known to be mood boosters such as Brazil nuts, bananas and cereals. You could even treat yourself to a little dark chocolate which is known to release endorphins and boost your serotonin levels.
Mediation is becoming increasingly more popular, and for good reason too. There are numerous benefits to meditation, such as improved stress management, improved memory, and relief from anxiety. Even if you can only spare 5 minutes during your coffee break, apps such as Headspace have guided meditations starting from just 3 minutes and they have a whole library of exercises for you to do. So grab your headphones, close your office door, and take 5!
6: Make Use of Perks
While we’re not all lucky enough to have perks with our jobs, if you do have benefits such as flexi-time or the option to work from home, use it! It’s a great way to get a little more work-life balance and will help you come back to the office feeling refreshed. If you’re not sure what perks your company offers, it’s always worth speaking to your boss, or even another colleague to find out what you’re entitled to.
7: Chat to Your Colleagues
Getting to know your colleagues is a great way to boost positivity in the office, and it’s a great way to build some new friendships too. I’m sure we’ve all had that morning where we can’t think of anything worse than making tedious small talk with that colleague you don’t really know, but if you actually take the time to have a conversation with them, things will soon start to flow naturally. If you’ve already got some close workplace pals, organise some time to socialise outside of the office where you can relax a little more.
They don’t say laughter is the best medicine for nothing! It’s been known to boost our moods among other benefits including reduce your stress levels and to ease tension, among others. If you’re feeling a little cranky, take 5 minutes to have a look at a few memes, or watch a cat video or two on YouTube!
9: Look at Your Work Life Balance
We’re all guilty of letting our work stresses seep into our personal lives, and this will inevitably have an impact on our family and relationships. The simple solution? Leave work at work. Okay, so it’s not really that easy, but there’s plenty of things you can do to help you on your way. Things like making a to-do list before you leave, finding ways to make your commute more enjoyable, and switching off your work emails are just a selection of ways you can leave your work stress in the office.
10: Identify if There’s an Underlying Problem
If you find yourself continuously getting stressed out or down about your job, it’s worth considering if there’s an underlying issue that needs to be dealt with. Do you find the commute too long? Is there a specific person that’s making your job more difficult? Are you concerned about not progressing in your career? Whatever the issue, identifying it will mean that you can address it head on and start taking steps towards improving the situation.
Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.