Finding work satisfaction may sound like an impossible task on some days. However, before you grab the double espresso and the King-sized candy bar, remember that there are many simple adjustments that can boost your spirits, and perhaps even your productivity on the job. Try these 6 simple tips and go from stressed out to Zen master (or a bit more relaxed, at least):
1. Be a Grazer
It is easy in the hectic work world to get swept up in a task and totally forget to eat. Even if you can't squeeze out a 30 to 60 minute lunch break every day, you should eat at regular intervals. Keep easy snacks like pre-cut fruits and vegetables on hand. Make a batch of trail mix (e.g., peanuts, raisins and chocolate chips) and keep it in your desk for hungry moments. Store some muffins in your freezer and pop one in the microwave for a satisfying break. Just don't let your stomach get empty--low blood sugar sends most people into a cranky and ineffective state.
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
It's OK if you are a person who needs that morning cup of coffee to jump start your day. Just remember to diversify your beverages. Like hot cocoa? Bring some packets to your work station. Green or herbal tea? Good flavor and even some antioxidants, too. Keep a sports bottle handy and sip from it regularly. Dehydration or over-caffeinating yourself will make you feel lousy and you won't get much done on the work front.
3. Take a Walk
Even the busiest people need to stretch their legs now and again. It is not healthy to be sitting all day long. Take a walk up and down the stairs a few times and get the blood moving. Better yet, instead of a sedentary coffee break, walk around the block or in your neighborhood as a 15-minute recharger of your batteries. You'll gain energy and burn some calories along the way.
4. Make Your Work Area Appealing
Whether you have a tiny workstation or a full home office, you should make that environment inviting. Put a photo or two of friends or family where you can see them. Keep a couple of cinnamon sticks or a few fresh flowers from the farmers' market on your desk. You won't break the bank, but you will enjoy the hours when you are working more than before.
5. Talk to Someone
Being productive does not mean being isolated. We all need to talk to people to feel connected. When you get a chance, call a friend for ten minutes or send your hubby an email or text. If you have a coworker you like, ask him or her to come on a walk or lunch break now and then.
6. Reward Yourself
At the end of a long day or week, do something nice for yourself. A night at the movies, a soak in the tub and a glass of Cabernet, or even a manicure--just be sure to enjoy the treat! You've earned it after all.
About the author: Alicia Klepeis is a freelance writer living in upstate New York. A former middle school geography teacher, she has written for the National Geographic Society, as well as magazines including The Dollar Stretcher, Fun For Kidz, Kiki and Sprinkles. She also writes for Suite 101. Her website is www.aliciaklepeis.com.