Archives for posts with tag: happy

Every so often, my company does something for its employees to give us a bit of a break in our hectic schedules. Today was ice cream day; a local ice cream shop brings a cart by and we all get free ice cream and time to hang out and enjoy it. As I was waiting in line to get my delectable cup of salted chocolate ice cream, I stood talking to my coworker and friend. We talked a little bit about work, but we quickly moved on to talking about what’s going on in both of our lives. I felt (and still feel, hours later) calm and capable after that mid-day break.

I’m sure I’ve said this before in some way, but I really appreciate this company. They go out of their way to organize events like ice cream day which may seem small to some people, but it is a nice thing for employees. The company doesn’t have to go and spend money on ice cream or a party (2 a year in fact–a Christmas party and a Spring picnic), but they do. Sometimes, those seemingly small gestures go a long way, in my estimation, to creating a comfortable work environment. I forgot all about ice cream day today until the little reminder popped up in my Outlook. I forced myself to look away from article proofs, stretch my arms and legs, and get up and go downstairs to stand around, eat, and talk.

My friend and I had a lovely afternoon conversation and I got to enjoy some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had (honestly). I’ll take that over an hour of answering email correspondence any day :).

Do any of your employers or schools go out of their way to do things for their employees/students?

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Last week I was so sick, starting Monday night. I came home, ate dinner, and then while I was relaxing afterward I felt a little twinge in my throat. I thought it was strange, but I didn’t really think anything else of it until I was getting ready for bed. Wow, I thought. I do not feel well at all. I decided that I must be exhausted (as is usually the case on Monday nights!), so I promptly went to sleep. I woke up Tuesday morning and I felt like I had been hit by a truck–I was hot and cold, my throat was killing me, my head hurt. I took my temperature and it was 101 degrees–blah. I called in sick to work and spent the rest of the day sleeping, reading, and drinking tea.

Now, a week later, I’m just starting to get over my sickness (which turned into a sinus infection) and I am so thankful for my returning health! I was thinking this past week about how I was able to remain stress-free throughout the day last Tuesday (the only day I took off from work), which is a complete difference from how I usually am when I take a sick day. I’m a worrier–I think about emails I’m missing, questions I should be answering, and work I should be doing rather than concentrating on getting better. I thought about why I feel so differently now than I used to and I think it’s because this new job is right for me. I don’t feel overly stressed because I don’t feel that I need to be; I feel confident in my abilities and I feel supported by my department.

I think it’s so important that people search and ultimately accept a job in a company where they feel comfortable, confident, and appreciated. I know that not everyone can be so choosy (I know I couldn’t be when I accepted my last position–I was just so grateful that I finally had a job!), but I think eventually you can be; you can build up your skills and experience and eventually get to choose where you want to work. It’s important for your health and well-being to think about where you are in your career right now: are you happy? Healthy? Do you feel like you accomplish something everyday? Are you in the right field? These questions are worth asking every so often, as a way to “check in” with yourself.

I think my thoughts wandered a bit during my sick day (and in the week since), but I believe that taking inventory of your emotions and physical health is important, especially as it relates to your job or career. Listen to yourself and follow your instincts–you may not realize you’re trying to tell yourself something until you pay attention!

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Finding ways to be remain bright when things around you seem dark.

Finding ways to be remain bright when things around you seem dark.

Heidi:

I’m trying to take my own advice from my last blog (i.e. if it’s not working, redesign it. to read the full blog, click here).  Like so many pieces of advice, it’s easier said than done.

When I come home, I am not as happy as I am as I am at school.  This is for a variety of reasons, some of which I have identified but others remain unexplored.  To deal with the strange school-to-real-life transition I am going through, I’ve been adapting using some different methods, two of which I’ll share with you today.

When I’m particularly anxious about the future, I use the five senses approach.  It’s the practice of using your senses to stay in the moment.  When I first heard of this, I watched someone demonstrate it out loud and even that had a profound calming effect on me.  To use this method, you pick a sense and name three things according to the sense.  For example, I feel the softness of the inside of my sweatshirt, I feel the smoothness of the kitchen counter, and I feel the cold of the kitchen floor.  I usually do about three senses—sight, touch, and hearing.  By the time I’m done I feel calm, aware, and almost ready to write a poem.

Another method I use is my phone.  By this I mean I simply call my friends.  If possible, I set up a meeting.  Yesterday I met a friend for coffee and I left feeling rejuvenated and happy. This helps because it can take you out of your own bubble.  Everyone has their own issues. Listening to other people’s problems and offering empathy makes you feel connected.  Feeling connected to other people can give meaning and purpose to your life.  Once you talk about your own problems/anxieties/shame, etc., it gives them less power over you.  Plus you’d be surprised at the wise and helpful suggestions you might receive from your friend.

If any of these work for you, great!  But don’t be afraid to throw them out the window if they don’t—what works for me might not work you.  To find more techniques, check out this website. If you’d like, let us know in the comments what works and what doesn’t–we’d love to learn from you!

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