No matter how much we love our jobs and our lives, each of us goes through a slump every now and then. The clouds roll in, our bodies feel heavy, our heads fog up, and everything around us starts to feel dull and difficult. We can slug through our daily routine, waiting for the feeling to pass – or we can choose to do something about it!
Here are six ways to refresh your outlook and brighten your week:
Create a “Happy Place”
I’m not talking about the “happy place” in your mind. I mean a physical spot where you can go to rest and recharge in a way that is meaningful to you. Buy some nice sheets and a fluffy comforter, and fill your bed with soft down pillows. Find a scented bubble bath that cheers you up and sink into the tub with a good book. Invest in a piece of artwork that makes you smile and place it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Burn a candle that smells like your childhood. Turn your home into a haven. You will be amazed at how quickly these small sensory treats will lift your mood and make your house feel more like a special retreat.
Be Selfish With Your Time
Time is our most harshly limited resource. Unfortunately, many of us don’t treat it that way due to social and career pressures. We feel pushed to give precious hours of our week to projects we don’t truly care about, which drain our energy and keep us from our real passions. Learn to say no to time commitments that are not aligned with your personal joys and goals. By saying no to overseeing the school bake sale, you are freeing yourself up to spend an afternoon with your daughter at the playground. By declining to take on an extra work project, you are gifting yourself an extra hour to spend perfecting a sales pitch that you truly believe in. Determine what your priorities are with honesty and clarity, and then invest your time in those passion projects. You will feel more energized and inspired, and the things you have a genuine interest in will blossom.
Wake Up Ten Minutes Earlier
I’m sure you’d rather skip this one, but hear me out – an extra ten minutes built into your morning routine can make all the difference. By starting off your day in a mad rush, like most of us do, you are programming your mind for stress and frustration. This mindset could follow you for your entire day, causing you to feel exhausted and resentful by the time your head hits the pillow. By building in a ten minute cushion, you are allowing your morning to unfold at a more natural and peaceful pace. You will feel more calm, energized, and prepared when you arrive at work, and your brain will be wired for success for the rest of the day.
Celebrate a Small Win
When I say celebrate, I mean truly celebrate. Have a special dinner out, go to a concert, bake your favorite cake, or even throw a party. The reason is secondary and can be something small, but it must be an accomplishment. Did you get to the gym twice this week? Hand in all of your weekly reports on time? Simply get out of bed every day? Then you deserve this! Indulge yourself – because chances are, you aren’t doing so often enough.
Picture Your Life in a Month
Or a week, or a year – just fast-forward to this chapter being over. Imagine your final exams are done, this project is completed, or your youngest child is in school. What do you see? Write it down, and don’t be afraid to embellish a little. You land the dream job. Your daughter goes to medical school. You earn a raise or promotion. You spend your holidays lounging on the beach with a good book and a fruity drink. You get to take a nap during the daytime. Visualization is a not only a powerful tool in achieving our long-term goals, but can brighten our mood in the moment as well. Imagining the life that we are working to have someday can make the journey to get there feel less tedious and more meaningful.
Bring Someone Joy
When you give someone else the gift of happiness, it is sure to come back tenfold. This doesn’t have to be a big gesture. Buy your wife a single flower or stop to get ice cream with your son when you pick him up from school. Making someone you care about smile can be tremendously effective in recharging your own mindset. You will reinforce the feeling of love and compassion in your relationship, and, by extension, your own connection to yourself and the world around you.
Take a moment today for yourself. Implement one of these strategies to boost your mood and brighten your outlook. You’ll be surprised at the positive effect it will have on your productivity, relationships, and overall happiness!