The alarm goes off: 6:30am.
“Do I really have to go to work again today?” You mutter as you hit snooze for the second time.
Sometimes it can feel as if we are just getting through our day in order to enjoy the parts life our work affords, such as our after work dinners with friends, organic groceries and vacations. This pessimistic attitude about being in your cube-cage for eight hours accumulates day after day , inducing more stress on the body and mind.
What if we could break this cycle by turning work into something we enjoy to arrive at each day, without changing jobs?
Though your work place may not be in the ideal vision of how you would like to earn your keep, I.E, Owning a yoga studio, dying your hair blue, writing novels in the forest...the cold hard reality is your job is where you will spend 40 plus hours this week. The good news is there are ways to make your work space sacred as you would any other place you love, creating routines so your body and mind can adjust when entering, and exit fully upon leaving the building.
Here are the 8 best ways to remain mindful and happy in your work place, from beginning to end.
1.Start your day off right
It’s ideal to be awake an hour before you arrive at work to be at an optimal mental state, you’re awake fully, your body has moved around and your brain has begun to fully function. I find it best to wake up, go on a walk or practice a sequence of yoga prior to making a healthy smoothie for breakfast. It’s incredible what waking up thirty minutes before it’s time to get ready will do for your morning mood and mental productivity.
2.Check for urgent items, then eat the frog
Once arriving at work, resist the urge to hang out in the kitchen while others grab their morning cup of joe. Mosey into your office, scan your email and phone for urgent items that may have occurred the night prior, and get to work on the toughest thing you’ll do today. If you wait until later in the day, you’re likely to procrastinate, and this way it’s all downhill from here
3.Mid-morning breakfast (Sans coffee)
After you’ve tackled your spreadsheet or PowerPoint and turned it in way before noon (bonus points), it’s time to head to the kitchen and indulge in a protein rich mid-morning snack, this will keep your blood sugars level, stabilizing your mood to better handle stress and keep you full until lunch. Great ideas include peanut butter toast, Boca sausage patties, or a hardboiled egg.
4.Lunch break adventures
You’ve made it- it’s 12pm- Utilize your lunch break! Almost 70% of Americans do not take a proper one, why not be a part of the 30% who reap the benefits of a lunch time workout class, a walk around your building or meeting a friend for a picnic?
5. Mid-afternoon slump super heroes
Once your endorphins wear off from leaving the office for a bit, it’s easy to feel sluggish and ready to hop in the car and drive home. In order to beat the traditional 2:30 lull, pop a piece of dark chocolate, walk around and visit with a co-worker, take a quick walk up and down the stairs or go refill your water bottle
6. Tidy up your space and write your to do list for the following day
About 30 minutes before you traditionally leave for work, begin to wrap up what you’re working on. Seriously, put it down. Next, create a to do list for the following day, if you currently have a running list- transfer the remaining items onto a fresh sheet. Next, clean up your desk area and file your emails. It’s amazing what wonderful feelings you’ll have when you arrive at work tomorrow to an organized space and an accomplishable to do list. Bonus points for wiping your desk clean and leaving yourself a nice post it note: “Tuesdays going to be great!”
7. Limit phone usage upon leaving the building and when you arrive home
You’ve been plugged in for most of the past 8 hours, accessible by cellphone, desk phone and email, your brain has not had time to process many, if any internal thoughts. It’s ideal at this time to unplug, even if it’s just for the ride home- observe your body and notice how your stress begins to lessen as you deepen your breath and listen to your internal dialogue. It’s great to continue this practice once you arrive home, sitting outside is spectacular for absorbing Vitamin D and feeling the outside air after being in air conditioning
8.Write down all the thoughts in your head
Prior to turning into bed, take out your journal or a piece of paper and write down anything that’s worrying you about the upcoming work day, or life in general, this will help get the thoughts out of your head so you can sleep soundly, resist the urge to check your email tonight or in the morning- you have time to check for emergency emails when you arrive tomorrow.