Are you happy — really, truly happy in all aspects of your life? Chances are you aren’t quite sure how to answer the question. The truth is that most of us are just pretending to be happy, especially at work and at home. Take a few minutes to evaluate your personal state. You might just find that there’s room for something new.
If you don’t like the path you’re traveling, there’s nothing that says you have to keep going in that direction. Take your job, for example. It’s never too late to change careers if you feel boxed into a dead end. Even if you’ve been at your job for many years, it may not be your perfect profession. Your career should match your personality. If you’re a Helper, which the Enneagram Institute says is a personality type that is “most genuinely helpful to other people,” you might thrive as a social worker. This specific career is something you can work toward online, even if you don’t currently hold a degree in social work. Earning your master’s online means you can continue to take in an income while you learn skills that will allow you to pursue a profession that truly fits who you are.
If you’re not quite ready to commit to a career change, picking up a hobby is a great way to add interest to your life. The Hobsess blog explains that participating in outdoor hobbies is an effective way to boost your mood. It also pulls double duty as exercise. Fishing, hiking, and other activities that let you soak up the sun can also oust anxiety and give you a chance to spend some quality time with your family.
Time for fitness
Exercise has many physical benefits, but it’s a great stress reliever as well. What many don’t realize is that you don’t have to get in all your exercise at the gym. For instance, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator at work or go for a 30-minute walk as part of your lunch hour. To keep yourself motivated, pick up a smartwatch or fitness tracker so you can monitor the extra exercise you’re getting; you may be surprised at how many additional calories you’re burning. Today’s smartwatch models have many exciting features; the latest Apple watches come with an altimeter, heart rate monitoring, and SOS options. If you’re looking to spend a little less, the Huawei Band 3 Pro can track your activity and has long battery life.
Take care of your gut
You may be surprised at how much the state of your gut can affect your physical health and overall mood. A healthy gut can promote heart and brain health and help prevent weight gain. Your gut also produces serotonin which can affect mood levels. To keep your gut in good shape, you should avoid antibiotics (unless you absolutely need to take them) and eat food with live cultures, such as kefir and yogurt. It’s also a good idea to take a probiotic every day.
One of the quickest ways to get burned out on life is to shut yourself off from the rest of the world. Becoming involved with local charitable organizations is an excellent way to fill the void, and can also boost morale at work. No matter how big or small your company is, you are part of a group of people who can work together to make your community a better place. Talk to your coworkers about organizing a charity drive. Entrepreneur explains that you don’t have to make it a continual effort, and should be realistic with time and financial constraints. Start small, but try to target a cause that means something to you. You don’t have to limit your altruistic endeavors to the work day, either. Get your entire family involved. You can use your vocational skills to give back while teaching your children about social stewardship. Scholastic offers a few great suggestions on how to make giving a family affair.
If you don’t want to change careers and your passion projects don’t help your overall mood, talk to your boss. The problem may be in your workplace, not with you. Keep in mind that professional burnout ends up costing companies a significant amount of money each year. Stress is the number one culprit, and together, you and your supervisors may be able to come up with a plan that improves working conditions for everyone. This may be something as simple as a monthly team lunch to a full restructuring of your organization.
Achieving professional success and personal satisfaction is a choice. You can choose to maintain the mundane, or you can shake things up and watch all the aspects of your life fall into place.