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Top 5 Tasks to Add to Your Routine to Improve Your Mood At Work

Conflict can arise quite easily in the workplace since you become forced to interact with people who have different personalities, upbringings, and roles for their positions on the job.

Let’s be honest, we aren’t always enthused to clock into work.  However, for some people, it is more than just you not feeling like going into the office, today.  Conflict can arise quite easily in the workplace since you become forced to interact with people who have different personalities, upbringings, and roles for their positions on the job.  Over time, the continuous thoughts of having to face undermining colleagues or continually critical supervisors can cause stress for even your strongest individual.  To help improve your mindset when working in an unaccommodating work environment, include these tasks in your daily routine.

1.Establish A Quality Sleep Routine

By making sure we head to bed and wake up around the same time each day (even on weekends), it enables the body to associate sleep with certain hours of the day, thereby, increasing the chance of us engaging in quality sleep.  The more quality sleep we receive enhances our ability to cope with stressful situations, which increases our productivity at work and decreases our chance of bringing work home to complete (which can also interfere with how much sleep we get a night).

2. Reduce Sugar Intake

One study from the UK showed that lower quality sleep and increased time necessary to fall asleep was due to high sugar intake.  High levels of sugar intake often lead to reduced alertness, tiredness, and focus, which are all necessary when working in less than desirable workspaces.  To make the best decisions possible in high stress or challenging positions, make the effort to reduce your sugar intake.  How much should you decrease your sugar intake?  Decrease your sugar intake by half and then work your way down from there.  And don’t forget to increase your hydration in the process.

3. Establish A Regular Workout Routine  

A mass amount of evidence has surfaced over the years indicating that regular physical activity directly enhances our mental capacity.  Instead of thinking of exercise as a luxury that certain people acquire who have more time in their schedules, we need to associate physical activity as a means to improve our interpersonal communication skills.  Cognitive benefits associated with exercise, include improved concentration, enhanced mood, lower stress, and better creativity; which all improve our ability to get along with our colleagues.  How do you start to create a consistent workout routine?  Find out an activity or two that you like.  On Sunday, asses your schedule for the next 7 days and create a time when you can perform the activity for at least 20 to 30 minutes (even if the days and times vary from week to week) and make sure you stick to the day and time.  Often, some sort of accountability (i.e. friend, group, social media, personal trainer) can be helpful to keep you regularly engaged along your fitness journey.

4. Detachment From The Job Once You Leave  

The ability to disengage from work thoughts and actions during non-work hours frees up the mind to relax and your body the opportunity to receive restful sleep, which improves your ability to handle stressful work situations.  Making the effort to leave the office at a certain time and disconnecting from work emails after a certain time each day are some “hard stops” that we should put in place to allow us to recover from the work day, and make sure to alert colleagues of those stops as well.

5. Recovery Techniques To Engage In Outside of The Office 

While it may be difficult to adequately establish work/life balance each week, it goes without saying we need to make “working just to work more” a has-been.  Working in a stressful environment, followed by ruminating over work conflicts outside of work hours, just to perform that same scenario each day amounts to living in some sort of insanity.  Active ways to recover from the work day could include taking the focus off of self by volunteering for a nonprofit organization/charity; engaging in meditation weekly before hitting the sheets; planning and taking a small vacation and a larger vacation each year, and spending time with friends in person, as opposed to just via a group chat.  Lastly, seeing a therapist could help to improve the negative thoughts that arise from your work environment as well as open up your ability to communicate with colleagues about the workplace and how it is affecting your ability to become as productive as you were in the past are some or all techniques that could be used to improve your well-being while functioning in the workplace.

Since we spend a significant part of our lives at work, we are bound to come in conflict with people who don’t operate in the same fashion as we do.  As such, consistent tension at work could potentially lead to harmful effects on our mental health.  We need to be vigilant in our efforts to take care of ourselves outside of the office so that we can handle the effects that come with working in a less than desirable work environment.  Getting adequate sleep, exercise, and a diet unladen with sugar helps to build a physically strong foundation to assist us when faced with work conflicts.  Likewise, engaging in therapy and finding activities outside of work to allow you physically and virtually detach during non-working hours, can help you to communicate better and manage work-related stress once you get back to the office.

Tasha Turnbull (@t2-tasha) is an award-winning fitness entrepreneur and owner of T2 Fitness Studios, a fitness training facility in Virginia Beach, Va.  She’s been in the fitness industry for 10 years ago and has successfully lost 100lbs, naturally, while maintaining that weight loss for the past 15 years. 

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