It’s easier to feel good in the summer than in other seasons. There are holidays to look forward to, and rain-soaked Vancouverites finally see stretches of warm sunshine. Co-workers may seem happier and the mood in the office even a bit brighter. Staff may snatch a Monday or a Friday off to create an impromptu long weekend. And there’s always the company barbecue!
It might seem counter-intuitive to take a relaxed attitude at work in the summer when people are away and it seems difficult to get things done. However, working with the lazy, hazy days of summer instead of trying to fight them may be the best way to keep a sense of momentum.
Happy workers are known to be more creative, productive and team oriented.
Here are 11 ways staff can maintain and even increase their happiness – and keep morale buoyant this summer.
1. Share Your Enthusiasm
Notice when you feel excited about a project at work and share that enthusiasm with others. Your enthusiasm spreads and can impart a good feeling through the office, not to mention increasing interest in the project. We sometimes keep our enthusiasm to ourselves, thinking that being keen might seem foolish. But feeling good at work means letting ourselves be passionate about things once in awhile.
2. Notice Your Own Effort
It’s easy to be unaware of how much effort tasks take instead of giving ourselves a pat on the back. Take a second to observe how much time you put into even the simplest of tasks and appreciate yourself.
3. Tip Well
When you go for a coffee or for lunch—something recommended in the summer, especially if it means getting out of the office for quick walk, think about tipping a bit extra. Put a smile on the server’s face and you’ll feel good too.
4. Celebrate A Win
Even the smallest gain can be cause for celebration in the summer. Make a big deal out of something that is going particularly well. Bring in a cake to share or take the team out for lunch (see #3). Either way, mark the occasion. Remember it doesn’t have to be a major coup to warrant attention, celebrate the little things too.
It doesn’t take much, but laughing (even if something’s not that funny) is good medicine all year round and even better in the summer. We can be quite miserly with our laughter. Seeing and sharing the funny side of life is good for us. Let yourself laugh out loud rather than stifling a chuckle. Humour is contagious.
6. Yield More
This doesn’t just mean letting people in when they are stuck behind a parked car in heavy traffic. It means giving up the need to control outcomes. Summer’s too hot to sweat the small stuff so go with the flow and let things take their course and add to your summer happiness.
7. Live Happily Daily
By immersing yourself completely in a task you will find happiness in the moment. Skip the urge to multi-task, and let yourself focus on one thing for a while. It’s refreshing to let yourself sink into something. Many people notice how much happier they are when they give themselves permission to have a distraction-free block of time in the day.
8. Spend Some Time Alone
Enjoy some time by yourself. Go for a walk, meditate, take a nap or listen to music. Find a quiet space and avoid the television, radio, newspaper or internet for a span of time. It can be tempting to try to escape solitude by being busy or finding people to do things with. Watch the birds, the sunset or people passing by on the beach.
9. Loosen The Meeting Schedule
Summer is a great time to ensure time between meetings. Leave the back-to-back scheduling until fall. Have no fixed plan, leave room for nothing and create some room for spontaneity.
10. Accept The Summer Schedule
Things seem to sit on people’s desks in summer due to holiday schedules. It is highly likely that the initiative you are working on will slow down for periods in the summer. Take the opportunity to get other things done if you find yourself temporarily becalmed. Catch up on correspondence, clear the decks or call people back while you bide your time.
Take time out to play. This could mean organized sports like running clubs or sports teams. It could also mean joining a beach volley ball game, throwing a Frisbee or sticks for a dog. Swing on a swing, play in the sand or throw rocks into the lake. Make sure you play at something that has no purpose other than to amuse you. You’ll be much happier that way.
Summer days pass quickly but the good feelings that come with them can linger. Take some time to prolong summer by concentrating on being happy and see how much lighter, happier and productive you feel.
Identifying information in cases cited has been changed to protect confidentiality.