Unless you’re one of the lucky few, you probably don’t wake up every day super enthusiastic about going to work. That’s why they call it “work,” after all. If they didn’t pay you, you wouldn’t show up. That said, some jobs are more soul-destroying than others, and sooner or later, we all find ourselves in situations we truly dread. If your morning begins with a stomachache — or actually, a night of bad sleep — you know what this is all about.
In an insightful post for the Seattle Times, Karen Burns has outlined a series of tips for coping with terrible work situations. Her dozen suggestions just might save your sanity, so read on.
1. Start Your Day Right — Before you go to work, Burns advises, make some quiet time to meditate, read, pray, or simply contemplate your situation.
2. Eat Right and Exercise — Truly bad jobs can affect your health and well-being, so when the stress levels rise, be sure to take care of your body.
3. Volunteer — If you’ve got extra time, do something for your fellow man. It’ll make you feel good, and you just might make some good connections.
4. Spend Time With the Right People — You know those people in your life who are nurturing and supportive? Hang out with them more.
5. Reassess Your Boss(es) — Does that taskmaster boss actually have something to teach you? Maybe.
6. Also, Forgive Your Boss(es) — “It requires real effort,” Burns writes, “but forgiveness can be tremendously freeing and empowering.” Life’s too short to carry around all that anger and resentment.
7. Laugh — When you’re not at the office, rent funny movies and spend time with amusing buddies. You can’t focus on work all the time.
8. Step Outside the Situation — Imagine a friend was in your situation and asking you for advice. What would you tell him or her? Taking a step back can be extremely useful.
9. Analyze Your Work Habits — It’s possible your disdain for work is linked to your work habits. For example, you might be so fearful of messing up that you’re messing up more. As Burns writes, you should be willing to look at your habits and change them.
10. Allow Yourself to Mess Up — To err is human, and in business, it’s also valuable. Successful people don’t stand on the sidelines. They take chances, and they sometimes fail.
11. Allow Yourself to Complain — You may have a legitimate gripe against your employer, so by all means, vent. But don’t overdo it. “Limit your wallowing to, say, 10 minutes at 8 p.m. every day,” Burns writes.
12. Make Goals — One way to not fixate on the present: think about the future. “Goals give you a reason to get up in the morning and remind you that your current situation is not going to last forever,” Burns writes.