Does feeling better at work sound like putting icing on a rotten cake? Does it seem like the least of your problems right now? Is your baseline so much of a mess that work doesn’t seem like the main priority.
I get it, after all there is always this talk about taking care of yourself outside of work, of having “balance”. Unfortunately, this “balance” can actually feel like an obligation to “give more” to our home lives, to our health, to our relationships. It can feel like an obligation that we are failing at.
Achieving balance feels like work, work that we don’t have energy for because our jobs are using up all of our energy reserves.
We can’t seem to muster up the energy for self care and balance.
We don’t want to put energy into feeling better at work because we have bigger fish to fry. If we are going to spend energy we feel like it should be on losing weight, or exercise, or connecting with loved ones. Maybe it feels like energy should be spent on getting more education or improving your health.
It’s this exact thinking that holds us back. We think feeling better at work will take energy away from the “important” things. Spending more energy at work seems counterintuitive.
But we don’t have that energy BECAUSE work is already taking it.
So rather than trying to muster up energy that has already been spent, let’s fix the expenditure.
No, I don’t mean to quit your job.
I mean let’s START by actively trying to support ourselves at work.
It makes a lot of sense when we take a minute to think about it. Let’s start with the problem, not with symptom management.
What’s the very first step? The first step is to choose to actively work on feeling better at work, just like we would intentionally pick a food plan if we were trying to lower our cholesterol or an exercise plan if we were recovering from a back injury.
It won’t happen magically (sorry). It won’t get better when____________ (fill in the blank). If you want to feel better at work, you have to dedicate some time to actually achieving that goal and come up with a gameplan.
What do you think is one thing that would make your day a little better?
You don’t know?
If you did know, what would you say?
Did you think of something? Let’s start there. Try to set an intention to just do that one thing for a week or two, like building a new habit.
When I started applying this at work, I started with just evaluating my thoughts about 1 “triggering” coworker. Why did I start there? Because that was my biggest complaint about work.
Side note- my thoughts about them were what was triggering me, the person wasn’t actually a trigger. I wrote down my thoughts about them EVERYDAY. Thoughts like, “they are toxic, or lazy, or mean.” I realized just how much time I spent dwelling on those thoughts. I evaluated how those thoughts made me feel and then intentionally picked thoughts that didn’t feel so terrible.
I decided to practice thinking that I could give amazing care no matter what the other people in the office were doing (I focused on the patient).
I practiced thinking that my coworker didn’t have the skills to act differently (I took away the story about malicious intent).
I decided that I worked hard because I actually LIKE to work hard, to be creative in my work, and take on responsibility (I brought the focus to me).
This may not be where you start, the important thing is to pick something to start with.
Then, like any other goal, evaluate and make changes as necessary. We have to BECOME the person who is feeling good at work, even when work is crazy, expectations are high and morale is low.
Becoming can take a little time, it doesn’t happen overnight.
You can become that person.
I have become that person so I know it’s possible. I have become the person who can be satisfied and fulfilled at work most of the time, and recover quickly when life throws me a curveball.
The best part? It gives me the energy to do the other things in my life (like run a business and spend time with my family and friends). It allows me to fall asleep without ruminating and stay asleep (most nights). It allows me to become lots of other things in my life.
You can too.
What do you want to become? Feeling better at work will move you toward your other goals.
It will give you so much energy.
Doesn’t that sound fun?
P.S. Can’t figure out where to start or see how it can actually change? This is exactly what I help my clients with. Click here to schedule your free discovery call and let’s finally get you unstuck and living toward all the amazing things that you want in your life.