We all have those days (and weeks) when it just seems that work is totally overwhelming. Stacks of paperwork, ringing phones, endless emails, and continuous complications. Days when nothing you touch is simple.
Those are the times when it’s a relief to admit it – work sucks! It’s confusing and frustrating, tedious and monotonous, and takes up every minute of your day. Days when you sit in your little cubicle making phone calls and correcting mistakes and never even see the sun.
It’s good to admit that work isn’t always the “love your job and your career” utopia that some people enjoy. It can be a grind. It’s a headache making, tiring whirlwind of forms, deadlines, and overflowing in-baskets. Weeks when it’s seems your to-do list has been hit by a growth-ray of evil scientist proportions!
Luckily, a little venting goes a long ways. Just knowing you’re not alone, that other people feel the same way can help. Grumbling with your coworkers, as long as stays within reason, can help you feel like someone else appreciates the pressure you’re under.
A good old fashioned listing of your blessings never hurt either. All the reasons why you have this job in the first place. Some of mine include:
- It’s close to the house – within 5 miles.
- It has great vacation time and a flexible schedule
- The pay is good and so is the healthcare
- It’s helping to finance my passions – music, drawing, movies, books, etc.
- I get a steady set paycheck each week which helps me set a budget
- I get satisfaction from helping other people by getting them what they’re entitled to
Your list doesn’t have to be spectacular – especially in this economy. Everyone is different. It just helps to know that there is some good in your job, even when it’s so taxing that you think about work in your off time.
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by Greg Easton Photography
Today is International Fun at Work Day!!! Take time to celebrate. Check out PlayFair’s great ideas to have fun at work. If you missed out on the party today – just tell them tomorrow that it’s your make-up day. There are some more great ideas here and here. There’s lots of ideas – wear a funny shirt, have a dance competition, brighten up your desk with a funny poster, figure out nicknames for your team, or bring your pet to work (in pictures if pets aren’t allowed in the building.)
Of course most of us already know that today is April Fools Day. Today is also the start of National Humor month. April 1st is a great day to spring back into humor. Revitalize your laugh box, warm up your humor muscles.
If you have a serious case of Adultitis, you might want to visit Kim and Jason’s Escape Adulthood. If you don’t know what Adultitis is, it’s possible the disease has progressed to terminal seriousness. Be sure to check out the article “The Office Guide to Adultitis.” Visit your favorites like Michael, Dwight and Stanley to see how they rate on the Adultitis meter.
Many of us plod through our days, busily trying to complete ever-higher piles of paperwork while keeping on blinders on to the sunshine and laughter of the “outside world.” The problem is that this behavior robs us of joy, fun and creativity during half of our life! One can’t survive long in a no-fun zone. If the stress doesn’t kill you, you’ll could become a mindless zombie who is as good as dead anyway.
Instead try to incorporate some joy and entertainment in your day. Work hard AND play hard. Make sure to take your break time. Turn lunch time into recess. Visit Recess at Work to find great ideas to celebrate Recess at Work Day on June 17th. Try to do something fun everyday. If you have benches outside near a tree, consider putting up a bird feeder. Buy ice cream bars for a cool afternoon snack. Bring in fresh flowers or simply dress in all orange for the day. (Or you could dress in all blue so that whenever anyone asks how you are you can respond “I’m feeling a little blue today.”)
Check out this article to see How Zombies Can Learn to Have Fun. Look at funny pictures at Cute Overload and Awkward Family Photos. Use today to help keep that unspoken New Year’s resolution to “have more fun this year.” That’s one resolution that you’ll want to keep.
For a few more ideas try these spots:
Stress less at work.
Pranks for the workplace.
101 Ways to create humor at work.
Note: So many people find work miserable and unpleasant. If you can have fun there, you can have fun anywhere! Good luck!
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Post It! by Let Them Eat Celebration Cakes
Making time for yourself is always important, but it’s even more urgent when you are feeling stressed-out, tired, irritated or sad. Many of us are reeling with the overload of bad news. With high job loss, financial concerns and the pressure of doing more with less, we need to re-learn how to take a break.
When you make yourself the priority it helps you complete things accurately the first time so you don’t have to waste time following up on something you’ve already done. Recently in the news was information on how a power nap in the afternoon can help you feel more alert and energized, and improve memory as well. We all know getting enough sleep makes a big difference, but having the experts back you up doesn’t hurt.
We need to know that it’s okay to slow down and say no to things. Whether projects or people, we just don’t have time for everyone and everything. Stop feeling guilty about it. Just say “I have an appointment with myself that I have to keep.” Remember that old line “You can’t please every body all of the time.” It’s true.
A recent article on Web MD shows that more happiness helps your heart. When we are motivated, passionate and excited about things we feel happy. Try to limit those activities that you hate. Swap chores with your spouse or the kids. Say no to parties with people you hardly know. Take a walk by yourself – without the headphones. You’ll be amazed at all the things you pass by and miss; birds in flight, the multiple shades of green and shape of every leaf, or your neighbor’s cute and cuddly dog.
So how do you plan time for yourself? Here are a few ideas:
- Make a list. Write down a Joy and Pain list. Add the things you really want to do but don’t have the time for; gardening, painting, going to a concert or getting tickets to a NBA game. On the other side add the items that you really don’t like, those things you procrastinate on because they bring down your energy. This will give you a starting point.
- Me weekend. Get out your calendar and schedule some time for you. Don’t limit it to a mere hour or two. That’s not enough time to fix months or even years of neglect. Give yourself a whole weekend. Unplug from the phone, TV, computer and cell phone. The quiet will give you the peace you’ve been craving, and you’ll be amazed how much you can done without all those distractions.
- Organize. Look at the list you made of your Pain activities, those things you just don’t like to do. Can you pay someone to do them? Can you trade your brother-in-law babysitting time for him to do your taxes? What can you get rid of? Can you set a monthly reminder to text you a reminder to pay bills? Use time management systems that work for you.
- Take breaks. Whether at work or at home, don’t work through break time. Taking 10-15 every two hours is mandatory to keep you sane. It helps keep your mind fresher so you can solve problems and get your to-do list done. Taking even 5 minutes every hour to walk around the building, close your eyes or listen to a favorite song is invigorating and relaxing. Even though it feels like it’s interrupting your concentration, you’ll find that stopping and focusing on something else for a few minutes improves your focus.
So this week, try setting aside more time for yourself. No one cares about your happiness more than you do. The funny thing is, when you’re happy, your spread joy wherever you go, making those around you happier too. It’s a great win-win situation. At the very least it will help diffuse those over reactions we’re all prone to if you feel taken care of and rested. Try it today and see how it feels.
For more ideas on taking time for you, check out this old article “Break Time: 10 great ideas to help you relax at work.”
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Posted in Happiness, Inspiration, Life Skills, Stress relief, Upbeat thinking, Work fun, tagged break, fun, relax, work on February 9, 2010|
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Picture by netwalker
Lately I’ve been getting stuck over-working. I don’t mean staying late and getting overtime. I mean missing break-time, or becoming so immersed in work that I don’t leave my chair for 2 straight hours.
While my boss may like this activity on the surface, it is not beneficial to either me or her. The simple fact is that most of us do better when we take breaks. You see this at any pre-school or kindergarten. Kids are told to take a break to play or rest, or simply to change from math and numbers to art and drawing.
This change of pace helps our mind learn better, and improves our concentration and focus. You’ll notice this whenever you say to yourself “I’m really stuck on this project, I’m going to wait until to tomorrow to do this to get a fresh perspective.” The next day, after a full night’s rest, you look at the problem again and suddenly see a solution where you thought there where none.
So how can you make the most of your mini-breaks? One way is to vary the type of activity to your mood and energy level. If you are feeling ill, you may want to skip the walk and just take a quiet 2 minutes to close your eyes and take a couple of refreshing deep breathes.
Here are a few mini-break ideas to get you started:
- Walk around the building. This is an often over-looked break. When you are stressed-out, frustrated or simply tired, this is a great way to loosen up and unwind. It helps un-kink your back, neck and shoulders. The physical activity your blood moving and the effects can help aid your concentration for the next 2 hours or more. And even if it’s cloudy the light is better outside than those harsh fluorescent lights. As an added benefit if it’s a sunny day you will even get some free vitamin D.
- Quiet time. This is harder to do than the others, but is highly effective. Some places to go for quiet are; the empty conference room, your car, an empty park bench outside, a vacant cubicle, and in a pinch, the bathroom stall. Quiet time is most effective if you can close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths without being disturbed. You don’t have to be long – even 2 minutes will help, the key is simply some kind of reminder to do it.
- Internet break. Many of us are blocked from various Internet sites, but even work-related sites can sometimes be fun. Look for jokes related to your industry, cartoons, pictures of babies, puppies or other cute animals, or a funny article about your coworkers. You can find stress-relief articles on health sites, or simply go to a science web site and read about the latest, greatest technical inventions for an interesting change of pace.
- Stretch. Raising your hands above your head and reaching your toes 5 times in a row is a wonderful release for tension and muscle pain. Often we don’t even realize we’re feeling achy until we get up. And believe me, even if you have to do this at your desk, your body, and most likely your friends will thank you. Even though you’ll feel exposed and vulnerable, wondering if people are noticing your belly, or your old shoes, you’ll be pleased to find they simply notice the pleasure you’re getting from stretching out your back, and soon enough they’ll be following suit.
- Music. Whether you like it loud or love to relax to quiet melodies, music is a great break. It can invigorate you, especially if you sing along while taking a walk or working out. You can use it to transport you to a tranquil oasis, where waterfalls quietly gurgle and birds sing in the trees. Use your MP3 player to its full potential. Listen at work, while in line, during a long car ride, or for 15 minutes after work. Look for thing songs that really inspire you.
- Humor. Laughter is a great tool for relieving stress. Keep a joke-a-day calendar, some funny one-liners, or a cartoon book like Peanuts or Dilbert. Send funny pictures or tell the story about your dog in the snow. Share your favorite silly commercial, your husband’s baby picture or whatever else strikes your fancy. The smiles and happy memories will make you feel good and improve your day.
15 quick ideas to help you relax.
Great ways to relax at work.
Relaxify your workspace.
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