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Quick Ways to Find Your Zen When Your Workday is Just Too Much

If your job is anything like mine, Monday – Friday is one big blur with swift passing moments of clarity in the form of emails, conference calls and whatever 15 minutes you can steal away for lunch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad life, but it’s also not one for the weary, thin-skinned or those who thrive off of routine.

A little background on me. By day I work in marketing at a brand strategies firm. My days, and sometimes nights, consist of emails, teleconferences, presentations (we like to refer to them as “decks”), project managing, a good amount of travel, event production and tending to the needs of clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to public entities, celebs and everything in between. It’s not a bad gig, by any means, I actually really enjoy it. It is however, a stressful gig. A busy gig. A gig where seemingly small mistakes can have 6-figure impacts (in the worst of ways). A gig where emails can quickly turn into shade of the most epic proportions because “per my last email” I’ve already answered whatever you’re asking and now I must re-forward. Ugh. It’s a gig where, if you’re not careful, it can easily consume you and your emotions, pimp slapping your #MondayMotivation to the curb at 10:00 AM and replacing it with anxiety, frustration and the weight of the world.

Yes, all jobs have stressful moments, but those moments shouldn’t drastically shift our moods for the worst, disrupting our demeanor for the day. The good news is, with a little intentionality and routine, countering a stressful day is easier than it seems — because in the midst of craziness, who’s really concerned with finding their chakra. Here’s a few simple tricks and daily practices to get you the ultimate work/wellness balance.

Phone a Friend

We all (hopefully) have that one friend or co-worker whose sole purpose in our lives is to talk us off the ledge, or better yet distract us from realizing we’re even on a ledge. Keep their number handy. Have a close confidant, mentor or friend you can reach out to in moments of chaos, stress and self-doubt. They’ll cheer you up, make you laugh, invite you to happy hour, and most importantly remind you that you are indeed awesome, despite the remnants of your day.

Think Rationally, Not Emotionally

This is not your personal love story, it’s your job. When you start making decisions based on emotion and frustration as opposed to logic and rationale you’re asking for disaster to ensue. One of the best pieces of professional advice I ever received was to operate off of facts, not feelings. Unless your job is to rescue puppies, seldom will operating on emotion in the workplace yield a good result. Made a mistake? Operating against a short deadline? Got 100 things to do and only time to accomplish 10? Stop, assess, prioritize, outline a tangible, results-driven solution, then act.

Breathe

Easy enough however, surprisingly we often overlook this simple, cathartic exercise. Not only do a few inhales and exhales decrease your anxiety, deep breathing has long been recognized as a stress reliever and mood booster. Oh, and don’t sleep on the Apple Watch breathing app. The quick 1-minute breathing routines are lifesavers on busy days.

Step Away

You’re no good to anyone, most importantly yourself, at your worst. In moments of high-stress and frustration, give yourself a change of scenery and remove yourself from the situation, particularly if it’s impacting your work performance. I’m sure you’re not the most pleasant person when you overwhelmed or unhappy, and your work will definitely reflect as such as the day goes on. You also don’t want your toxic mood and stressors to impact others, so do everyone a favor and step away. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel after a lunch run, quick 15-minute break or a walk around the building. In extreme cases, it’s perfectly okay to take a mental health day and try again tomorrow. Believe it or not, many bosses and office leaders are becoming increasingly sensitive to the importance of mental wellness in the workplace. As much as your boss or coworker may ride you, they want (and need) you at your best.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

Whether it’s your wall calendar, notebook or desk décor infused with inspirational messages, be intentional about spreading good vibes throughout your work space. Also consider affirmation apps designed to chill you out on the go. Here’s a few of our favorites.  

Find a Brightside

Remember, it could always be worse. You’re alive. You have a job. The building didn’t burn down. No children or animals were harmed (hopefully) in the making of whatever transpired to turn your smile upside down. If your bad days outweigh the good at your job, readjust and align yourself with a profession that fuels your passion (and even then, everyday won’t be great). It’s that simple. If something doesn’t make you happy, be intentional and change it…for the better.    

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