Never mind Monday morning -- does every day at work get you down? Most of us can't just quit our jobs...but we can do little things to make work better.
Don't knock these tips until you try them! You never know what could result from putting these babies into action...
1. Take your lava lamps and green plants to work. Both are scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve health on the job. The motion of the lava lamp is visually relaxing, and green plants increase job satisfaction by providing a sense of rest. Research shows that having plants in your office is more beneficial than having a window!
2. Develop strategies for coping with workplace bullying and office conflicts. The better equipped you are to cope with conflict at work -- such as dealing with office politics -- the less mental stress and strain you'll feel. Achieving your career goals is more about empowerment than getting a job promotion. Take classes or read books about dealing with difficult coworkers. Go to workshops or "brown bag sessions" on workplace communication, job success, or employee interactions. Take an evening course on succeeding on the job, or creating a better work environment .
3. Schedule "mental health" days. Don't reserve time off for when you or your family is physically ill, or you're on vacation! Schedule one workday every couple of months just for relaxing, pursuing your favorite leisure activity, or catching up on stuff at home. This may be a lot to ask your employer -- and it's often difficult to leave work for "no reason" -- but it's worth the effort.
4. Deal with your health problems immediately. If you're flirting with depression, stomachaches, stress headaches, or chronic fatigue, go to a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important if you've recently won a job promotion ! Research on job promotions shows that after advancing at work, employees are 20% less likely to visit their doctors for routine physicals or specific health complaints. Promoted workers have more time constraints that, coupled with increased mental strain and stress, leads to fewer doctors' visits and poorer health.
5. Know thyself -- get comfortable with your own personality. For example, people with introverted personality traits may feel socially inept, weird, or antisocial. Introverts don't always realize that they're simply drained by groups of people and that they process their thoughts differently than extroverts. The more you know about your personality - and the more comfortable you are with yourself - the easier it'll be to like your job. And, dealing with workplace stress is easier when you have a little self-awareness and insight into how you tick. If you're an introvert, you might find career tips for introverts helpful.
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen is a full-time writer and blogger who created and maintains five "Quips and Tips" blogs: