How to be happier at work
Don't let work pressures and stress get you down. Founder of The Mind Tribe, Anji McGrandles, shares some tools and tips for keeping your wellbeing in check during the 9-5.
Feeling that post-holiday January slump? We hear ya! Getting back in to the swing of things after a couple of weeks off can feel like a slog, particularly if you’re not feeling as happy or motivated in your workplace as you could be. We spend around a third of our lives at work, so paying a little attention to your workplace wellbeing can have a huge impact on how positive, motivated and productive you are.
Former PR Director, Anji McGrandles, founded her company, The Mind Tribe for that exact reason – to help people transform their working lives through tailored wellness programmes, covering everything from fitness and nutrition to meditation. And businesses who invest in improving workplace wellbeing find their staff are more engaged, take fewer sick days and are more likely to stick around for longer, so it’s a win for employers, too. Anji explains how to carry out your own workplace MOT and feel happier in your 9-5:
It’s important to recognise that we all go through periods of pressure and there’ll be times when we are just not feeling motivated at work. These periods can pass and are not always permanent, however if you are feeling unhappy or anxious about work and it’s not going away, I would ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this feeling just a phase and do I believe things are going to improve?
- Have I got a good balance?
- How much of how I’m feeling right now is down to my mindset and perception?
Don’t make any knee jerk decisions. Chat through things with your manager as they may have some solutions that will support your wellbeing. Identify what changes you want to see and what small steps you can make to help you move forward.
For example, you might be doing well when it comes to diet and fitness, but your mindset or coping strategies could need some work. Once you’ve figured out where you would like to make positive changes, ask yourself ‘what does good look like?’, consider how to get there and whether you need any external support to do it. By setting small goals within a big goal you stand a better chance of successfully making changes. The key is to take action – don’t put it off or overthink it.
The workplace can at times be a pressured environment, so here are some practical ways to manage your mindset at work:
- Plan and prioritise: One of the biggest challenges we face at work is time pressure which leads to us feeling stressed and juggling workloads. By planning out your time and tasks you will feel more in control of your working day. Write down everything you need to do, then prioritise tasks that are going to have the biggest impact and plan to do them when you are most effective at your job. So, if you are more productive in the morning do the important stuff then. Chunk out your time in one-hour slots – this will stop you procrastinating and spending too long on one task.
- Take regular ‘mind breaks’: Build time to take breaks into your working day. When we are busy and under pressure it’s easy to motor on without pausing. This leads to mind overload. Taking regular breaks keeps you fresh, helps you reset and recharge and disrupts the body’s stress cycle. It could just be making a cuppa, taking a brisk walk around the block or practising a couple of deep breaths away from your desk..
- Keep perspective: It’s easy to lose perspective when we are in a workplace bubble. We can overthink and situations can often feel bigger than they actually are. Check in and ask yourself how much of this stress is in your head and whether it is actually as bad as you think. A good test is to ask yourself ‘what advice would I give my best friend if the shoe was on the other foot?’.