There’s no getting away from it – you spend a great deal of your time at work. For some, they are fortunate enough to love what they do. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Even the most passionately engaged will have times when their focus goes off the boil, and the blues set in. Given your working life is such a huge part of who you are and your life in general, what changes can you make to become happier at work?
The good news is that even if you’re in a job you don’t love, there’s still room for improvement, with you in control. You just need to know how. Here are our suggestions for change:
1. Choose your mindset
It’s a slightly difficult concept to grasp, but your thoughts and feelings aren’t set in stone. You have the power to change them despite your environment. Therefore, even though each day may feel like drudgery, you can change how you feel about it. Focus on why you do what you do. Is it to provide for your family? To save for the future? As a step in your career? If you can reconnect with the why then you can reframe negative thoughts about your working life.
2. Become a creature of habit, but not too much
In our ever-connected world, a workday can be stressful with a myriad of demands on your time. It’s easy to find yourself losing time checking and responding to emails, or fire-fighting something which has come up since yesterday, thereby struggling to get to the main purpose of your role. Whilst some of this is inevitable, you can make some sense of it by creating a loose structure of routine to your day. By knowing you look at emails at certain times, make phone calls at others, and dedicate uninterrupted time at another point, you regain control.
3. Make a habit of mindfulness
If you’re not yet on the mindfulness bandwagon then you’re missing out on a route to a more relaxed and peaceful approach to work. Stress is a major cause of unhappiness at work. 52,600 workers were suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/7 equating to 12.5 million working days being lost. By practising mindfulness, and mindful habits, you can combat some of the stress. If you’re new to mindfulness a good place to start is the Headspace app. In just 5-10 minutes a day, you’ll be feeling more content.
We’ve also created an infographic on how to beat stress at work, which highlights the symptoms, causes and techniques to tackle stress at work.
It may seem odd, but exercising out of work, or perhaps in your lunch break, can help you to feel happier at work. Exercise releases endorphins – the happy chemical – and helps to break up the day and release any angst. Whether you head to the gym, the pool, do yoga, or go on a run, it doesn’t matter which you choose, but you should definitely factor exercise into your day and make it a priority.
5. Re-evaluate your goals
It’s very easy to get stuck in the humdrum. However, if you’re feeling the blues at work, are you on track with your bigger picture life goals? If no, what can you do to change this? Can you mentor another employee? Can you expand your training opportunities? Can you study alongside the day job? Can you set a deadline for when you want to have achieved something?
6. Get more stuck in
Often when we’re feeling dissatisfied with a situation it’s because we’ve not fully bought into it. Are you slightly detached from your working life? Can you get more stuck in by joining a working committee, by taking on a new project, or in some other way? Could you volunteer through a work-related scheme?
7. Take steps to the next level
Whatever you do it’s important to keep learning. Whether by signing up to training options at work, or looking at how you can broaden your skill set. By taking on education, training and learning it will bring dynamism to your workday and hopefully help you create stepping stones to the future, as well as giving your confidence a great boost.
By putting some of the above suggestions into practice you should be able to reinvigorate your work life and improve your overall wellbeing.