This Monday was dubbed ‘Blue Monday;’ the most depressing day of the year.
Did you feel gloomier than normal? Perhaps you always feel gloomy at work?
Now, most career advisors would say “just find a new job” if you’re not happy.
But it’s not always that easy – is it? Choosing to pack in a stable job is no easy decision.
So this week, as the first line of defence against those blues, I’ve come up with 10 ways you can be happier at your current company – without having to hand your notice in.
1. Give yourself a bedtime.
Admit it; you’re not yourself when you’re tired.
(Do you really want to spend your life grumpy, sluggish and exhausted?)
So stop getting distracted by Netflix/Facebook/chores and actually get that early night you’ve been promising yourself for weeks.
Recruiter Pro Tip
If your lack of sleep is down to something a bit more sinister like stress, then try to come up with a personal relaxation schedule for when your bedtime draws near…
- Ban yourself from reading work emails after a certain time.
- Read a book or watch a light-hearted TV programme to distract your thoughts.
- You could even take up meditation (it’s easier than it sounds; click here for more info).
If stress is affecting you every day, then maybe it is time to reassess your career.
Life’s too short (and stress will only shorten it).
It may take a few days to settle into your new routine, but you’ll feel so much fresher, more proactive and happier when you do.
2. Eat well.
Do NOT use food as a crutch when you’re having a bad day.
I know, it’s really appealing to chow down on some greasy, unhealthy (and outrageously) tasty food when you feel a bit crappy – but does it actually make you feel any better?
Often after gorging, we’re left with nothing but a guilty, lethargic and bloated feeling.
Look, I’m not saying you should be MEGA healthy, but when you’re already feeling down, why make yourself feel worse, for the sake of a few minutes of pleasure?
Click here to check out some healthy superfoods that could help you feel happier.
3. Dress to impress.
In the same vein, dressing to impress could really boost your self-confidence and spur you on at work!
Why do you think they’re called ‘power suits?’
It’s not vanity, it’s pride; looking great on the outside can make you feel great on the inside.
(Plus, the more compliments you get, the more confident you’ll start to feel.)
Sounds silly, right? Try it. You’ll be surprised how happy a fab new outfit can make you feel.
4. Take breaks.
Everyone needs a break from time to time.
Powering through the entire day, without so much as a bite to eat is terrible for your mental and physical health. Seriously, check out this post if you don’t believe me…
And another thing, it won’t make your boss love you more.
What do you think your boss will prefer? Good work or sloppy work? A burnt-out employee who brings down the team or a happy one?
5. Reward yourself.
It’s OK to give yourself a little pat on the back sometimes you know…
In fact, rewards will give you something to aim towards and will spur you on.
When you’ve completed a task, you could give yourself a mini-break (to check your phone), have a chat with a colleague, grab yourself a cup of tea… tiny little things that will increase your happiness.
6. Listen to (the right) music.
Music can absolutely affect your mood – in a good or a bad way.
So (if it’s allowed at your office) whack on some earphones, pick an upbeat playlist and watch your mood (and productivity) soar!
Warning: make sure your music choices are sensible. Lyrics could distract you (especially if you know the words), fast-paced songs could make you frantic and slow, sad anthems could make you feel even more emotional!
Spotify Web Player is perfect for the workplace; discover some new tunes or listen to the classics and importantly, build a playlist that’s right for you.
7. Decorate your ‘zone.’
A dull, plain and boring workspace can cause your mood to decline – why not shake things up a little bit?
Photographs of loved ones will always put a smile on your face – but you can add all sorts of other things too, from funny ornaments and colourful stationery to comedy calendars and plants.
Make yourself feel more at home (and happier)!
If you’re hot desking at work, then this one won’t really be suitable but the constant changes in environment should be enough to jar the senses and keep you on your toes anyway.
8. Give yourself something to look forward to.
The best way to get through the day is to have something to look forward to…
Whether it’s an upcoming holiday, evening class or party at the weekend – make sure you always have something fun on the horizon.
If you have something (a bit like a reward) to work towards, you’ll feel excited and so much happier.
9. Make friends with your colleagues.
Are you the unsociable one in the office? Do you always make excuses to avoid social events? Prefer to eat lunch alone?
Human beings are sociable creatures (whether you believe you are or not) and you’d be surprised by how much a little bit of interaction will cheer you up.
Sit with people at lunch time. Attend the social events. Make friends with your colleagues.
You just might like it.
10. Talk to your boss.
If you’re really unhappy at work, you must speak to your boss about it.
Management really don’t want their employees to be unhappy (how would this benefit them?) and will therefore at least try to rectify the situation…
- Perhaps you need some new opportunities to sink your teeth into? Don’t be afraid to say so.
- Perhaps you’re feeling ignored and undervalued? Let them know.
- Perhaps your work load is just ridiculous? Ask for help.
A good manager will work with you to resolve these problems.
Only a bad manager will ignore you and if you’ve got one of those, then perhaps it really is time to get out of there!
Click here to find out a little bit more about out to deal with bad bosses.
Still not happy?
If none of this helps, I hate to say it, but perhaps it is time to start looking for a new job…
Recruiter Pro Tip.
Don’t waste your entire life feeling crappy at work – it’s really not worth it!
I’ve met many, many candidates who admit (and regret) that they’ve left it far too long to start looking for a new job, usually because it’s easier to hang around and hope for the best.
Life is too short.
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Good Luck.- Mark Wilkinson