Do you spend Sunday nights dreading Monday morning? Do you find yourself watching the clock as soon as you clock in? Are your lunch breaks spent daydreaming about life with a better job? If you answered yes to one or all of these, you may be stuck in a work rut.
The good news is, getting unstuck may be more simple than you thing. Before you start updating your resume, see if you’re guilty of any of these seven habits:
1. Comparing yourself to others.
Getting wrapped up in the comparison game helps no one. If you’re spending hours scrolling through Instagram to check out who’s traveling the world or attending lavish parties, then you’re sabotaging yourself. Instead of thinking about what everyone else is up to, focus on what you need to do to ensure your own personal growth.
2. Failing to prioritize your health.
When you’re not feeling well, everything becomes more difficult, including work. Take sick days when you need them, and keep up with doctor's appointments. If you aren't, you're destined to be unhappy.
3. Getting caught in a negativity cycle.
Everyone complains sometimes—it’s practically necessary to let off steam. But if you find yourself constantly complaining about things you either can’t control or won’t fix, it can make everyday seem worse. Rather than continuously bringing what bothers you to the forefront, try to focus on implementing the positive changes that you can make. If your coworkers are constantly ragging on the job, try holding back and see if that changes the way you feel.
4. Pretending to be overly happy.
On the other hand, burying all of your feelings will also make you hate your current career situation. Studies have shown that stifling your feelings can cause built up resentment. You don’t have to lie about how you’re feeling, but you don’t have to go over the top pretending that nothing bothers you.
5. Saving all of your fun for the weekend.
If you spend every week waiting for the weekend because that’s when you’ve planned all of your fun activities, you’re naturally going to wish Monday through Thursday away. Plan little treats throughout your work week, like indulging in a nice meal or meeting up with a friend for happy hour.
6. Not dressing like yourself.
When you don’t look like yourself, it’s hard to feel like yourself. Most offices have some sort of dress code in place, or at the very least some form of general guidelines, but within that framework, express you personal style by accessorizing and wearing what you feel confident in. If you’re spending the day dressed in clothes that don’t feel like ‘you,’ it can be much harder to feel truly comfortable.
7. Focusing on how things used to be.
If you used to have a really awesome boss or worked for a company that had a great vibe, you can end up spending a lot of time and energy playing the ‘remember when’ game instead of focusing on what you’re accomplishing now. Just as you can get caught up with comparing yourself to other people, you can get caught up comparing yourself to the past version of yourself. Just don't. Focus on present you. She's pretty great.
Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. She is a contributing writer for Color My Bubble. Her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets anthology.