Many of my clients and students seem to have unhappy or stressful work environments. Sometimes they don’t like the work they do, but more often it is that they find their colleagues or management difficult. As they spend the majority of the day at work this is clearly going to have an effect on their health and well-being.
If you find yourself in this kind of situation you might feel that you have no choice but to put up with the status quo, but of course we always have choices in life. It’s just that for most of us the idea of change is just as uncomfortable as staying in a difficult situation.
You could quit your job, but them you are faced with the uncertainty of what to do instead and the possible instability of your financial security. But what price can you put on your health- mental, emotional and physical?
So you can either accept the situation- and that means not moaning, feeling resentful or being miserable, but truly accepting, or you could make some changes.
Acceptance can be very difficult, but you can make it easier by employing the principles of mindfulness. Take each moment as it comes and do the best you can in that moment. Stop focusing on the past or the future and be fully aware of what you are doing at any given moment. This means stop multi-tasking! This will actually increase your productivity and you will get jobs finished rather than having many jobs in progress, with none being done properly. This will increase your feelings of self-worth.
Making changes might mean speaking to your boss, HR or your colleagues- it’s likely you are not the only one feeling unhappy, but no one wants to speak up. Or you might want to get help outside your workplace from a coach, mentor, friend, counsellor or therapist. Sometimes an outside view can help us to see things in a different way or suggest some changes we may not have considered.
Simple things you could try straight away include:
- Take regular breaks from your desk, at least every 90 minutes
- Don’t eat lunch at your desk- find an empty meeting room, go out to a cafe/park bench, suggest your employer sets aside a room or corner of a room for breaks. Practice eating mindfully-putting your full attention to eating without distractions.
- Try a meditation or just sit in silence and stillness for 5 minutes on a break. I have one on YouTube here
- Before going to a stressful meeting, try a meditation or some breathing exercises
- Get some flower essences, from a practitioner or ‘over -the- counter’. Rescue Remedy is readily available, even in the chemist near your office!