Many of us have jobs that require us to frequent the same location five days a week and sit a computer for 40+ hours Monday-Friday. This ritual seems dry upon first encounter and over time may wear down the spirit–but it doesn’t have to. With the proper amount of self-care and creativity, you can embrace the work day and still feel like you are living your best life. I, too, have one of these jobs, and I have made an effort to continue to bring freshness and new experiences to my life, despite the constraints on free time and free motion. Below is a list of tips that you may choose to adopt in your own life. I hope it helps, and if you have your own strategies and ideas, please comment!
7 Tips for a Joyful Workday
1. Walk during your lunch break! To break the monotony of going to the same location every day, every week, use your lunch break to take a 20-minute walk to somewhere else. In an urban center, you may end up in an entirely new culture (yesterday I walked to China Town). In a suburb, you may find a new shop. In a rural space, you may find some beautiful nature. You’d be surprised at how much you can see in an hour! A walk may help you view your location from a new angle, and hey, fresh air never hurt anyone right?
2. Add websites that reflect your personal passions to your favorites bar–this may require the use of a different browser, depending on where you work. If you feel uninspired, or in a rut at any point in the day, check one of them and remind yourself of all of the wonderful things you love. Examples of sites that I have a click away:
3. Bring your favorite tea to work or request your employer to stock the kitchen with it. As a tea lover, I find a lot of pleasure in drinking good tea. Sometimes I bring Kava Tea (for relaxation), or Hibiscus Tea (anti-inflammatory and full of minerals), or organic Peppermint Tea (for good, old-fashioned energy). It feels good to have something I love from my house at work. And while you’re at it, bring your own mug, too. I have a beautiful one from Japan and a hand-painted floral one.
4. Make personal appointments during your lunch break. Because you spend so much time at work, it is important to do things for yourself a few times a week, if not every day, to navigate stress and pressure. Quick pick-me-ups for a one-hour lunch break: lunch with a friend, a manicure, go shopping for something you need, get a 25-minute massage, or try a new place that serves chai.
5. Keep a vision board at your desk. Add images, quotes, or prose that remind you of what you love in this world and what you would like to accomplish. Mine: Quotes by Aeschylus and Oscar Wilde, an image of Jane Goodall, pictures of the ocean, a list of things I am grateful for, yoga pictures, a paragraph from Moby Dick that I like. What would go on yours?
6. Make it a personal goal/challenge to try something, anything new every day for a week. This could include talking to a stranger, trying a new café, walking a new way to the office, rearranging your desk, striking a conversation with someone in your office that you don’t know well. Setting small, attainable personal goals is a great way to make the work week more interesting!
7. Whatever your passion is, take 20 minutes out of your day to do it. Draw, write, read fiction, do Sudoku. This is your life, so be sure you are enjoying it!
What are your favorite ways to make the most of your workdays?
Also by Anastasia: A Poem for Every Need
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