Sometimes it seems there is more to accomplish than the hours in the day will allow! We spend many days running at a frantic pace in an effort to keep up in order to get everything done and in doing so, we don’t consider the impact on our own lives. We all have those days when you want to hop in your car and drive the next state over. Before you fill your gas tank I suggest taking a moment to read this list of suggestions that will help you take better care of yourself and ultimately be happier at work. Need proof? Let’s just say I am still in Virginia and am happier than ever!
1. Wake up early.
I can’t stress how this has completely changed my entire life. I was always feeling way behind before my work day even started. I was thinking about all the personal things I had to get done in addition to work – my dry cleaning, a full dishwasher, laundry needing to be folded, etc. Get up an hour before you need to and just enjoy the silence and solitude. The earlier you get up, the more ahead you will be of everyone else!
2. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast.
If you start your day off with an empty stomach, you will be distracted by thoughts of hunger as early as 9:01, which sets your day up to a slow start. There is a pay-off in taking the time to scramble a quick omelet, or pre-make a to-go breakfast to enjoy once you get to work! At my office we all get in a little early to catch up and bring breakfast to share. This gets your metabolism going and actually helps you think more clearly.
3. Press the middle of the day restart button.
No matter what is going on in my day, I take a few minutes to organize my desk, my thoughts and regroup. Take a deep breath or step outside to enjoy a sunny day. Maybe take a few minutes and call a loved one to brighten your day. Taking a mental break and regrouping is essential to staying positive, preventing mental fatigue, and getting a clean start to the remainder of your day.
4. Trust every move you make.
Don’t find yourself dwelling on a resident interaction or whether your tagline was catchy enough. Type and talk with power! One day I walked into the kitchen and I exclaimed, “I don’t know what I am doing wrong! Residents are complaining away today!” My bus driver gave me the best words of wisdom I will never forget. He said, “Who’s in control? YOU are in control.” He made me repeat it until I yelled “I am in control!” While you can’t control the things that happen around you, you CAN control how you respond – always make sure that is a positive response and it will have a positive effect on your happiness!
5. Be happy at home!
A year ago I found myself leaving the office to go home with plans to do more work. And then I planned on waking up early to draft some emails and conduct a few calls before sunrise. I slowly lost the pep in my step. Be sure to make a conscious effort to carve time out for yourself at home, where you can unplug and separate yourself from work in order to recharge your batteries so you’ll be fresh for the next day. My favorite things to do are to take my dogs to a soccer field to do wind sprints or try a new Pinterest recipe, and have my own wine tasting! A healthy work life balance is super important and this is the key to staying happy at work.
Work can be stressful and some days will try to get the best of you, but always remember that it is not the end of the world. Today becomes yesterday and if you use this list, you can be in control of some of your stress and you may even notice yourself breezing through work with a smile!