How many times have you dragged yourself to work and walked through the door only to be greeted by a wall of silence, save for the tap-tapping of keyboards? During my 22 years working in PR, my worst fear wasn’t being barked at by my boss, but coming into a silent office without so much as a cheery ‘hi’ from anyone.
Having a quick natter with your colleagues about anything and everything before opening your emails and tackling your to-do list is, in my view, one of the nicest ways to get your day off to the right start. We spend so much of our lives with our colleagues that it’s essential that we’re happy in our workplace and feel valued and fulfilled.
Now that I’m a health coach, I listen far, far more than I talk and understand that there are so many factors that contribute to someone’s contentment and motivation. Whether it’s sleeping habits, food choices or simply making time to socialise, here are my tips for staying happy at work.
Its good to talk
We all have an innate need to connect with other humans and to be listened to. But, in our 24/7 world, where one hand is constantly stretching towards our iPhone, real listening is a vanishing resource. Why not make a point of getting away from your screen at lunchtime or mid-morning? Pop the kettle on and have a chat with someone you haven’t caught up with in a while.
Getting away from your computer for only 10 minutes will not only give you a little headspace, but having a giggle with your team will definitely give you a quick pick-me-up.
Feed your brain
I find so many people have a mind-boggling blind-spot when it comes to eating at work. They often simply don’t make the connection between what goes in their mouth and their productivity, ability to think clearly, energy levels, positivity, creativity and mood – all of which are make-or-break keys to success at work… no matter what field you’re in. A reduced fat cup-a-soup or mass-produced supermarket sandwich simply won’t hit the mark.
Instead, make sure you’re getting a portion of high quality protein with your lunch and add in lots of good fats such as nuts to ensure your brain’s boosted for the afternoon and you can sail through your tasks without that niggly hunger pang setting in. My go-to ‘executive packed lunch’ includes salmon and avocado with salad and a big dollop of my favourite dip, tahini, topped with pumpkin seeds for crunch and extra good fats.
Sleep well, work well
We all know what lack of sleep can do to us – whether we have a shorter fuse than normal or we find ourselves reaching for the biscuit tin to pump up our energy, not getting enough shut-eye has a host of negative consequences.
To be your best at work and feel positive, a good night’s sleep is essential. Be serious about getting your eight hours’ shut-eye: work backwards from when you know you need to get up and prioritise going to bed on time. Try a 10-minute meditation or breathing practice before bed to switch your mind off ‘doing’ mode and get it ready for sleep. Make sure your room is completely dark as well as cool and clutter-free and get your ‘phone or ipad out of your bedroom as they’ll interfere with you getting quality sleep.