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Finding Your Happy Place

October 4, 2013

I came from work to find all the curtains pulled, air conditioning running, the fireplace lit and my wife sipping a pumpkin spice latte.  She had a rough week and decided to create her comforting environment despite the 85 degree weather outside.  The wastefulness of the situation was irking me, but a happy wife is priceless.

Upon reflection, I recognized the importance of finding your “happy place.”  Often we have no control over the pressure of work and we cannot afford time for a lunch break, let alone a vacation.  So why not adapt our environment to mimic the times we feel at peace?  Don’t worry! I am not suggesting you listen to Christmas music in June or wear your swim trunks home on your commute.  (Although, that may not be a bad idea.)  Give your work-space a makeover!

  • Ice-Cubical?  Bring the light throw blanket that is frequently used on the couch for a cozier day.
  • Fifty Shades of Gray?  Liven up your monochromatic work-space with enlarged vacation photos that evoke a sense of calm that would make the producers of Corona commercials proud.
  • Not-so-happy feet?  Sneak your slippers under your desk for a Sunday morning vibe.
  • Lean Cuisine Routine?  Break the routine of thoughtless lunch and eat things you actually enjoy.  Splurge a little during times of high stress, especially if this means you leave the office.
  • Solitary Confinement?  Don’t underestimate the power of human interaction.   Plan a “smoke break” with a friend even if neither of you smoke.  Use the five minutes to stretch, laugh, hydrate, run up a flight of stairs, etc.

Bringing tokens of comfort will only be as effective as the time you take to enjoy it.  Take Breaks!  There are going to be some days that require you to eat your lunch at your desk to prevent staying later than the cleaning crew.  Even on these days, take several minutes to stroll outside and use mental exercises to clear your mind of all things work.

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