Daily Habits for Happiness and Wellbeing to Embrace

This post was written for Wekudo. View the original post here.

Like most working adults, no matter how content I am, I can’t resist always looking for ways to find more balance, health, and happiness in my life. But despite the fact that I’m always looking for ways to improve, I’ve had a tendency to ignore commonplace advice to do things like take the stairs, drink more water, and dress for success. For the past couple of months, I’ve decided to make small changes in my day to day life to see just how much of an impact they can have. The results have been surprisingly encouraging. Here are the daily habits I’m finally embracing with open arms (and think you should too):

Drinking more water. Hydration is critical to our health and wellbeing, and there are several benefits of drinking water.  After struggling with occasional headaches and dizziness at the office, I realized I needed to be more mindful of staying hydrated. Each morning I fill a travel mug with ice water and carry it with me all day, filling up whenever I need to. I have my water in my car on the commute, carry it into meetings, and keep it at my desk throughout the day. It’s much easier to drink plenty of water when you make it accessible and convenient for yourself.

Staying active at work. I made a realization a couple months ago that my desk job had suddenly made me more sedentary than I’d ever been. In the workplace, it becomes really easy to go for 8 or 9 hours with barely any physical activity. Fortunately, there are many small steps we can take to be more active at work. There are also some simple stretches we can do that are good for those who sit most of the day. Personally, I’ve started taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking a few laps during my lunch break, and doing calf raises while I scan documents. These small, daily rituals have helped me to feel more energized and active at work and give me a great mental boost of accomplishment when I need it.

Dressing for success. We’ve all heard the saying: “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” Well, if I did that, I’d probably have to settle for wearing a Snuggie to work every day. For me, comfort is always a top priority. Style–not so much. Which, in the office, is probably not a good thing. Like it or not, people judge each other on appearances, and that can hold especially true in the workplace. I decided to take this advice to heart, and updated my wardrobe to include pencil skirts, dress slacks, and black pumps. What I’ve learned is that it feels good to look good. And the compliments I get on my updated appearance aren’t half bad either.

Taking a break–literally. Taking short breaks during the workday can be a wonderful way to recharge. I’ve always been a little uptight about productivity and focus at the workplace. Meaning, when I’d see my coworkers taking breaks to walk around the office, scroll through their social media feeds, or read the newspaper, I’d get irritated. “We’re here to work, not frolic around,” I’d think bitterly to myself. But I’ve since come to my senses. A few brief breaks during the day aren’t necessarily detrimental to your productivity–they can actually be great opportunities to clear your mind and recharge for the tasks ahead. I’ve found that occasionally taking short breaks to make a cup of tea, stretch my muscles, or catch up with coworkers results in a great mental boost.

Finding balance and wellness in the workplace can seem like a never ending challenge, but there are many small steps we can take each day to feel better and happier.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned these past few months is that your health and happiness should be a priority, even in the workplace. Whether that means taking a couple extra minutes to take the stairs instead of the elevator, to take a short break in the afternoon to catch up with a coworker, or spend a couple extra dollars on a tailored pair of slacks, happiness, healthiness, and productivity often walk hand in hand.

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Little Tips to Improve Your Work Life

I’ve been doing the corporate thing for 2.5 years now. What I’ve learned? That the littlest things can make a huge impact on your daily life.

Here are a few quick tips to make your time at the office (and those moments before and after) a little more enjoyable:

Drink water. If you’re anything like me, staring at a computer screen for hours on end will give you a killer headache. After months of popping ibuprofen constantly, I finally learned that filling up my water bottle 5+ times a day keeps my headache away. The more water I drink, the better I feel, AND drinking lots of water forces me to get up and walk around, which gives my brain muscles a little break.

Your office is like your room. Treat it as such. You spend the majority of your waking hours in your cubicle, make it feel comfortable. I don’t mean you need to bring in photos of your family, or purchase cute office decor… I simply mean that it helps to have comforts in your cube. A box of tissues, a hand mirror, a hairbrush, a coffee mug, deodorant, utensils, a blanket (I’m serious), etcetcetc…. All of these things will come in handy at some point.

Take a break when you need it. It can be hard to pull yourself away from your desk, but don’t underestimate the necessity of breaks. I bring an anthology to work with me everyday, and read a poem from it once or twice a day. It only takes a couple of minutes, but it allows me to focus on something I’m passionate about, pull myself away from my work, refresh my mind, then dive back in. You can benefit similarly by doing a crossword, having a casual chat with a coworker, or going on a walk.

Over the years, practicing these few little things have truly made me much more comfortable at work and have had a large positive impact on my attitude.

For some (much better) writing on similar topics, check out my articles on GenTwenty by clicking below:

 

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