I saw a post a couple of weeks ago on Instagram stories from another blogger (MichelleFitRobinson) and was so inspired. She had posted a picture from a daily devotional reading. The post talked about being overwhelmed and stressed. It was a unique approach to solve the problem – add playfulness to a stressful situation. The reading went on to explain by injecting a sense of play into a stressful situation at work we can take away the level of tension and add a new perspective to a situation.

Work has been very stressful lately.  It is just par for the course with the middle to late part of the semester. I found that I have once again taken on too much and of course, I also have projects piled on me that I have little to no interest in completing. But yesterday I had a student who mentioned in an interviewing training session that she always makes sure to step back and evaluate how she is adding to a problem. In other words, to make sure she is accountable for her own actions.

I realized in the middle of my stress with a few things at work, I had not been evaluating my own actions. How was I making my situation worse?  Empowering thought. I can change the things I do.  And one action is playfulness.

I am sure I am not the only one who needs a creative solution on how to handle the feelings of stress at work.  So here is my brainstorming list. I would love to hear your ideas as well!

Find ways to make meetings fun!  I am lucky enough to work on a campus with a Starbucks so any time I am in charge of a small group meeting, we head to Starbucks. Just getting out of the office and heading to a more social environment lightens up the mood. I also think the environment helps people better connect.  And when you have a connected team, you have a happier work place.

Make your office decor fun!  Mine is blah right now. I have a few elements that are fun but the outdated, gigantic brown desk I have always discourages me from making my space cute.  Not this summer. I am determined to add some elements that make my space pretty.  We spend so much time in our office space that it needs to be an inviting reflection of who we are as professionals and people!

Take breaks.  It is amazing to me how a 15 minute walk can clear my head and give me new ideas.

Listen to music.  Music helps me relax and be happy.  Find a station that fits the mood you want for the day!

Toys are not just for children. My husband always keeps a football in his office. When he is brainstorming with his team on particularly difficult projects, he says throwing a football around helps people.  Other companies boast a playful culture helps their work productivity.  So add some novel toys to your work space.

Talk to colleagues who inspire you. I truly believe we are a sum of the energy we surround ourselves with so make sure the people you talk to on a daily basis are positive.  These inspirational people can motivate you with new goals and perspective.

What do you do to add playfulness to your work life?  Why can’t work be fun?

Want more ideas?  Check 7 Stressors to Say No To When You are Overwhelmed


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