Frederika Roberts is a vibrant, energetic speaker with expertise in Positive Psychology, Positive Education and Character Education.
Frederika Roberts is the Founder and Managing Director of Educate to Flourish CIC, a not-for-profit organisation with the purpose of helping children flourish inside and outside of school while they’re in education, and providing them with the tools and skills to flourish in life beyond their education years.
When it comes to your happiness, the “10 Keys for Happier Living” by Action for Happiness are a great place to start. The initials for each of the “10 Keys” spell out “Great Dream”; below are some of Frederika’s brief suggestions for implementing these into your work life.
Does your organisation offer charitable giving via your salary, or the opportunity to volunteer for charities during working hours? Is one of your colleagues struggling to meet a deadline? Can you help? Giving your time, or a listening ear, can be just as powerful (sometimes more so!) than giving money!
Human connection is one of our most fundamental needs. Could you walk over to a colleague’s desk or make a quick call instead of sending an e-mail? Do you have five minutes to catch up with a colleague over coffee? Are there any work social events you can take part in (or why not organise one yourself)? These can be a great way of meeting colleagues from other teams/departments who share similar interests.
Can you fit in a brisk walk before work or in your lunch break? A lunchtime walk with a colleague would help you “relate”, too! If your workplace offers discounted or free gym membership, make use of it if you can, but remember that exercise is not limited to going to the gym … even taking the stairs at work instead of the lift, or getting up at the end of one task before starting another, to stretch your legs, will help you move more and boost your emotional and physical wellbeing.
Try taking a moment a few times a day (just 30 seconds or so) to focus on what you can hear, see, feel, smell… or simply focus on your breathing. Be fully present when speaking to colleagues and in meetings, turn off devices or “pop-ups” that may distract you while you’re trying to focus on a task.
Can you learn a new skill at work? Be curious and open to learning new things; it doesn’t have to be through formal courses. Are there opportunities for secondments or shadowing in a different department, for example?
Plan for the future – what are your career plans? What do you need to do to get there? Make sure you discuss these plans, and any relevant training needs, with your line manager. On a daily basis, make small plans to help your day / week run smoothly and give your working days a sense of direction.
When you’re struggling with a problem, or a work situation is getting you down, take a moment to think about a time when you have struggled before – either at work or in your personal life. What steps did you take to overcome the situation? What strengths do you possess that helped you through? How can you apply these to your current situation?
There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotions – all emotions are valid. But emotions that make you feel good – positive emotions – can support your wellbeing. Plan to do something you enjoy every day, even if it is just for a few minutes. If you are feeling low and struggling to concentrate, take a break and do something enjoyable. And at the end of each day, reflect on three good things about the day, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
Do you negatively compare yourself to your colleagues? Do you beat yourself up when you make mistakes? Next time something goes wrong, consider what someone who loves you would say to you – not just the words, but the tone of voice, too – and practise self-compassion when assessing / reviewing the situation.
For your work to have a sense of meaning, this doesn’t mean your work has to transform lives or change the world. Think, instead, of how something you’ve done today at work might have made one person’s life easier: Perhaps you took some workload off a colleague, or you may have been the only human contact a customer had all week and your friendly voice made their day! Think about all the little ways in which your work – your commute, your daily interactions, the tasks you undertake – help you connect with others and make a small difference.
This blog post is intended as a brief overview – a starting point. Find out more about each of the “10 Keys for Happier Living” on the Action for Happiness website, along with the research behind them and lots more ways to implement them into your daily life. Why not take a moment to expand the above suggestions by making a list of your own ideas for each of the “10 Keys”?