I was reading an article recently about mood boosters, and one of the suggestions–familiar to all my stop burnout buddies–is to practice gratitude. But when the dog pees on the floor, you have a problem paying a bill, your children act up, work piles on more work, how can you be grateful? How can you get yourself out of a really bad mood?
This made me realize that each of us has a happiness recipe–something or some things that lift our spirits, make us laugh, give us perspective. One friend of mine uses humor, and her laughter muscle is so well developed, that she can laugh at almost everything. I find that being outside, taking a walk or zipping around on my bike, makes me feel better. Not 100% better, but less likely to snap. For others it’s giving back, and for still others it might be writing in a journal or painting a picture or taking some amazing photos.
Challenge: take five minutes today, no matter how busy the day is, to think about your happiness recipe. When you look at all the burnout busters, we know the things that help, whether it’s exercise, wine, time with grandchildren, giving back. The trick is to give yourself the time, the gift of turning yourself around. Ready for the challenge? Can you take a swim after work, or go the park for a picnic with your kids? Have a clear image of what works for you. Here’s mine–floating in the water with my twin grandsons!