A great opportunity follows a significant break from the workplace: a new perspective. Like the proverbial frog in warming water, we gradually tolerate and endure our work environment without recognizing damaging effects. Time away relieves the stress, breaks related habits, and allows a fresh look at how we make a living.
Begin by looking at what you wear to work. How does it compare to what you wear on break? How can you blend the two and still adhere to your workplace dress code? Is it time to re-style yourself? Comfort and style are important aspects of how you feel about yourself, and how other feel about you.
Examine your pre-work rituals. What can you do to save time and effort, and better prepare yourself for the work day? Try to eliminate distractions and make getting to work easier.
Once at work, evaluate your work environment: workstation ergonomics, clutter, and organization. Anything initially uncomfortable or annoying should be corrected or adapted. Don’t let yourself begin to tolerate an annoyance. It will affect your work.
It is a hard question, but do you actually like what you do at work? We so often just do what is required just to get through the day. Can you change your roles or duties to better align with what you like to do? Is it time to look for another situation? Be patient and persistent.
How is your job affecting your health? Is there a difference between your food choices at home and work? Are you finding yourself – again – “chained” to a computer, sitting for long periods of time, and feeling aches that you did not have on break? Try to change the negative aspects of work before they fade into the background of general work stress. If they cannot be changed, then perhaps it is time to move on.
How is your stress level at work? How do you cope with that stress? Remember that our innate reaction is “fight” or “flight.” Since even negative emotions are not tolerated at the workplace, and we cannot just turn and run, we must internalize stress. We need an outlet for stress relief or we will suffer ill effects. Identify your stressors.
It may be a while before your next significant break from work. Do what you can to make the most of that time.