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Staying Happy at Work pt. 1: Start Your Day the Right Way

Posted by ICS Canada

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You love your job and you’re proud of what you do everyday, but sometimes there are days---and even weeks and months---when you struggle to be positive and enthusiastic at work. The coworkers you enjoy are grating on your nerves, the desk you love is too confining, the work has gotten boring. This can’t last forever, you think. But when you’re in a work funk, it can be hard to see the way through. So how can you actively work toward being enthusiastic again? What can you do so that one or two off days (or weeks) don’t hurt your career? Over the next few Fridays, we’re going to talk about some ways to be happier at your job even through the tough, stressful, boring days.

Start Your Day the Right Way

The most simple, yet hardest to accomplish, way to bring back the positivity to your work day is starting your day off on a good note. It’s simple because it seems common sense, but you often can’t control the things that may go wrong from the moment you wake up. If your car won’t start or you spill your coffee or you forgot an important document, it’s tough to get the rest of the day on track. Realistically, if your day begins by waking up on the wrong side of the bed, you’re unlikely to get back to a good place and the work funk will just continue. Here are three easy ways to start your day right, even when there are some things out of your control!

  • Have a morning routine. In a study published in Psychology Today, researchers found that how you feel in the morning before works affects how you feel the rest of the day. Participants in the study who were in a good mood ended up being more productive throughout the day and had better interactions with coworkers and clients. Having a morning routine can help you start the day off on a good note. For example, make it a point to grab a coffee or tea before you head into the office. When it becomes a habit to do this each morning, you’ll start to look forward to it. Then, if you wake up and aren’t looking forward to work, you have that coffee you’re anticipating and it can perk you up in more ways that one.
  • Take time for yourself. This doesn’t mean take a vacation (although, that can be the best way to recharge and get back on track provided you are able to take time off); it means taking at least five minutes where you do something you enjoy. If you grabbed that coffee, take a few minutes to drink it before heading to your desk. Or take a handful of minutes to listen to your favorite song. Whatever you do, the point is to get into the right mindset. Having a few minutes to gather your thoughts can make a huge difference, especially if you work in a fast-paced field!
  • Remember, there’s always tomorrow. The day was, maybe, never going to start right for you. Like we talked about earlier, some things will be out of your control. You’re late for work because of traffic or the car won’t start or you’re under the weather. The day starts off bad and it keeps getting worse. Instead of forcing yourself to be cheery with your coworkers and faking a good mood, accept that the bad day is what it is and that there’s always tomorrow to make it better. Think about how tomorrow, you’ll leave a bit early because of traffic and you won’t miss getting your coffee. It may sound counter intuitive, but by not forcing yourself to be positive, you’ll likely end up happier in the long run.

Slumps happen to all of us, no matter where we work. In the end, if you genuinely enjoy the work you do, the company you work for, and the people you work with, you’ll find your way back to happiness in the office.

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