Did you know that the average person spends about one third of their life at work? It’s no wonder that our office hours can play a big role in our overall happiness and daily experience.
Even if you love your job, it’s near impossible to never have a bad day at work. You get bad news, a project gets behind schedule, or you have a conflict with a colleague. Even small aggravations can add up, making you feel bummed out, and just ready to go home. A bad day at work is different than a bad day off, since you’re still expected to perform, attend meetings, and contribute.
With that in mind, here are five easy ways to turn things around on a bad day at the office.
How to Turn Things Around on a Bad Day at Work Video
If you’d rather watch this in video form, here’s my video about being happy at work, even on a bad day.
Onto the tips!
Take a breather.
The first thing I recommend is taking a time out to get some space from the issue and reset your mind.
I find it helps to take a walk just to get away from your desk. Go for a walk around the block, get some fresh air, or grab a coffee. And just allow yourself to slow down.
It’s also helpful to take a few deep breaths to immediately relax and begin letting go of tension you’re experiencing. This is a quick fix that can be used in place of a walk if you’re short on time.
Tackle a nagging task.
Next, I suggest tackling something that’s been on your to do list. This can be incredibly rewarding, especially if it’s something that’s been on your list for a while, but that you keep putting off.
This will give you a great sense of accomplishment, and will provide you with something concrete to be proud of. As a bonus, doing this will also make your life easier and improve your frame of mind at work because you’ll have one less nagging item on your place.
For more tips on getting more done at work, check out my post How to Work More Efficiently Every Day.
Focus on the positives and positive feedback.
At every company I’ve worked at, I’ve created a “Happy Emails” folder. Every time that I get an email that makes me smile, I file it away in this folder. Here are some examples to get you started:
- A funny email exchange with your colleagues.
- Positive feedback from someone.
- An organizational announcement about a project you worked on.
- Positive results shared on a task or assignment you played a role in.
When you’re having a bad day or a down moment, open this folder and reflect on the positives.
Show kindness to someone.
This is a great strategy to try regardless of the reason why you’re having a bad day. It can really shift your perspective and it’s a concrete and proactive that you can do to turn around your mood.
This can be as simple as sending a helpful email, reaching out to someone offering to help with something, or expressing thanks. In fact, recognizing others and saying thank you brings ME so much joy, that I try to do it as often as I can!
Talk it out.
My last piece of advice, is to talk to someone, whether it be a colleague of yours, a friend, your partner, or a family member. This should be someone you can comfortably talk to about work issues, so your manager is likely not the best person.
I’d recommend sharing what’s on your mind and framing it in terms of asking them for advice. So asking if they’ve been in a similar situation before, how they handled it, and what advice they have for you. This is more productive (and professional!) than just venting.
Looking for tips specifically on how to beat the winter blues? Check out my post How to Beat the Blues this Winter: 10 Simple Tricks.
Let me know in the comments below: did any of these tips resonate with you? How do you typically react to a bad day at work?
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