5 Daily Rituals for a Happy Work Day —

In an ideal world, every one of us would be happy and inspired, looking forward to being at work every day. Unfortunately that is not reality. By nature we have both good and bad days and happiness can be elusive. I knew there must be a way to create more days of joy, but I needed a fresh perspective on my routine. I was in a rut that felt dull and boring. What we can cultivate over time is a foundation of satisfaction so that each day we are able to show up and face whatever happens in present moment awareness, responding rather than reacting to our circumstances.

Why is it important?

Happiness or for the purposes of this writing, “joy” is a feeling of well-being, feeling grounded and present. It is important to do what we can to allow and cultivate a sense of levity while we are at work so that we can show up for ourselves, our work and our co-workers. If I have this overall mindset, I am ready for both easy breezy days and for the tough challenging days where nothing goes right, but how do we achieve this goal?

It can be fairly obvious why we want to be happy at work. We want to feel good. But a deeper meaning may lay below the surface in the deep calm and satisfaction we feel that comes along with self-care. The key is daily self-care which can deepen the relationship with the self and allow us to experience more joy each day.  

How do I get started and make this happen more consistently?

I discovered through trial and error, it’s all about a basic routine here. You can start by doing one step at a time until it becomes ingrained in your thought process, then add the next one until you reach all five.

  1. Be okay with everyone at work: If you have a challenge with anyone at work it can really throw any chance for happiness out the window. First step… and this is a big one. Forgive them. You don’t have to make friends, but if you work with someone you have a problem with the fastest way to recover – forgive them.
  2. Wake up on the right side of the bed: When you wake up immediately and without fail – go to gratitude. Get thankful. Find 5 things (people, places, things) to be truly grateful for. This habit will serve you well on your road to daily joy during the work day.
  3. Leave work at work – Reminder: Years ago I really struggled with leaving work at the office and when I got home it was still stuck in my head. I wasn’t present for my family. Then the next morning I was right back at it — work. This went on for far too long until a dear friend shared this tip – when you get home immediately wash your hands and face and change your clothes. You will be amazed how good it feels when you physically wash that “happy/stress” work day away and transition to home life.
  4. Just say NO: You can say no to activities that don’t serve you or your values. And when you do, you free up time to focus on what really fulfills your soul, which in turn, makes you happy. A good solid NO can put a great deal of ease in your day. Be a strict editor of your schedule!  
  5. Take a break to move your body: If you spend most of your time sitting or standing you may find that you become stagnant in your body and this can put a hold on any happiness. I recommend moving as much as you can throughout the day. Take a bathroom break, stretch, walk a lap around the office, replenish yourself with another glass of water – make your body physically happy!

Once I put all 5 of these steps into my daily repertoire, and I could do them automatically, things changed for me and those around me. My kids started sharing more of their day at dinnertime and I could respond to them with full attention. Colleagues at work noticed I wasn’t as frenzied and stressed out about deadlines. Our workflow had a measured rhythm that felt positive. Now that I have developed these habits, I will definitely kick-off 2019 with a sense of joy and I hope you will try it as well!