Fictional Miranda Hobbes from Sex and the City isn't the only person suffering from "work sucks the fun outta me" syndrome. It's an all-too-real problem for more than 75 percent of SavvySugar readers who say they are so focused on the work aspect of work it's challenging to let their hair down. If you are feeling stressed, and need a fun-infusion during your long workday, take a breath and bust a planned move in the name of fun.
- Make a Work Friend - Workers with friends at the office are more satisfied and productive than those who play too cool. Put added effort into fostering work friendships to make every day a little more pleasant.
- Start the Day Off Right With a Breakfast Date - A breakfast date with your BFF, main squeeze, or co-worker can help set the tone for the day and make you have a more productive and happy morning in the office. Wake up early and grab a filling meal at your favorite weekend brunch spot. You'll waltz into work in a Sunday-like state of bliss.
- Reward Yourself - This one is tricky if you are on a tight spending or calorie budget, but set up a reward system for yourself that celebrates your successes (big and small) and helps lift your mood. When I have a particularly arduous task I set a time frame to finish it and then treat myself to a cup of tea or walk around the block to enjoy the sunshine when it is finished. I go from stressed to smiley with every step or sip.
- Inspire Friendly Competition - Competition can be fun and energizing, you just have to embrace it. If you work at a goal-oriented office make the challenge a little more enjoyable by suggesting or upping the stakes. Make a progress board and talk to your boss about incentives (like a sunny afternoon off or pizza delivery from the favorite spot) that might inspire the crew. And don't just initiate it - participate to reap the happiness benefits.
- Add an Hour to Your Workday and an Activity - Come in early or leave late but add an activity to the middle of the day or afternoon to improve your mood. Schedule a yoga class or trip to the gym with co-workers (or on your lonesome) for a daily mental and physical health pick-me-up. Be sure to let your boss know why you are changing (or adding) hours and invite her along.
- Phone a Friend - Instead of spending your lunch hour grubbing phone a dear friend to vent and giggle with. Bonus points if it's your mom - recent studies show mom's voice can soothe as much as a hug. Happiness abounds!
- Ask HR About Summer Activities or Summer Fridays - As the weather outside heats up it can be harder and harder to stay focused and happy being stuck inside. Talk to your manager or HR about Summer activities - like brainstorm sessions and meetings at the park or beach - or even a Summer Fridays plan.
- Bring a Treat - Showing appreciation for co-workers and your boss makes your life more cheery and nothing is sweeter than a baked treat. If you are a baker, show extra gratitude by whipping up a homemade good, leaving it in the office kitchen and sending an email out to the office. Explain you made the treat as a token of your gratefulness. Sugar equals fun.
- Take a Mental Break in the Name of Fun - Feeling a little down hiding behind the computer? Celebrate the day or a job well done by doing a little jig, read your favorite blog, or make a joke to your co-worker. There's no reason to stay bogged down in seriousness all day - even at the most serious of institutions. There's a reason cheerleaders are so cheery: they make the effort.
- How Do You Turn Your Office Frown Upside Down? - Share your tips for making the workday more fun here.
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