We all get the Monday blues from time to time, but there are ways to improve your working life and be happy at work. If you're going through a rough patch at work or are lacking job satisfaction, check out these ways to boost your mood and have a happier work day.
Organise your working life
If your work day often leaves you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it is time to calm things down by getting more organised. Firstly, make sure you arrive a few minutes early for work to give you time to organise your tasks for the day and get mentally prepared. Secondly, organise your space by clearing away any clutter and streamlining your workspace (this includes clearing your desk and deleting old emails). Finally, make a list of everything that you need to do that day in order of priority. If you can, try taking care of the more difficult things first to help take a weight off your mind.
Brighten up your desk
Research has shown that workers who have input into the design of their workspace are up to 40% happier than those who do not. While you may not have the authority (or inclination) to decorate or rearrange your whole office or work place, try brightening up your individual area by purchasing some nice stationery, putting up a photo of a happy occasion, a funny calendar or small piece of artwork, or getting a nice plant for your desk. A happy environment makes a happy worker!
Wear a mood-boosting outfit
While many of us are required to wear a uniform or adhere to a dress code for work, if you do have more freedom to dress as you wish, try opting for clothes or accessories that boost your mood. Whether you opt for a piece of jewellery that reminds you of a special memory, a colourful bag to brighten up your day, that confidence-boosting outfit, or even your favourite underwear beneath it all, adding something special to your worn-in work attire can really brighten your day and make you feel happy within yourself.
Add some variety to your working day
They say variety is the spice of life, and this is never truer than when it comes to your working day. Following the same routine day in, day out can quickly cause boredom and dissatisfaction to set in, so try making every day a little different in any way you can. Try doing routine tasks in a different order, talking to someone new or taking a different route to work (perhaps even using a different mode of transport, such as cycling, if you can). If you really can’t shake up your work day itself, instead try organising something fun and different to do on your lunch break every so often.
Get active in your lunch break
If your working day is getting you down, try giving yourself an instant happiness boost by squeezing some exercise into your lunch break. Exercise is good for boosting self-esteem and letting off stress, and it also releases chemicals in the brain such as endorphins and anandamide which can boost your mood and leave you feeling great. If you have shower facilities at work you could go for a lunchtime run. Alternatively, a brisk walk around the shops will get your heart rate up without working up a sweat.
Snack on ‘happy foods’
Got a tough day ahead? Then make sure you pack some healthy snacks for work to keep your spirits up and boost your mood. Certain nutrients in food can affect how we feel, so try stocking up on well-known happiness-inducing foods such as walnuts (for Omega-3 fatty acids), bananas (for serotonin-producing tryptophan and relaxing magnesium) and wholegrains (for mood-boosting B vitamins). Also, stick to low-GI foods for slow-release energy, as low blood sugar levels can lead to depression and fatigue.
Be positive and friendly towards your colleagues
Regardless of how you feel, try to adopt a positive and friendly attitude when talking to colleagues – yes, even the ones who get on your nerves! Try to resolve any conflicts, avoid office gossip, and treat everyone as you would like to be treated, and you may find that you get the same in return. Furthermore, research shows that the act of smiling can actually make you feel happier, so try to paste on a smile however you really feel – it may just boost your mood and your workplace happiness.
Appreciate the fact that you have a job
If you know that your job isn't the one for you but are stuck with it for now, try to make the best of what you've got. The job may not be permanent, but going to it every day with no sense of purpose (other than to get through to the end of the day) will quickly get you down. Try to identify a sense of purpose or positives of doing the job, whether it is noting that the position is getting you nearer to your dream job, helping others in some way, or giving you an opportunity to build on certain skills. If you think positive then your mood will naturally improve.