I’m writing this amidst the friendly patter of my colleagues’ voices … chatting, laughing and relaxing together. It’s not a special occasion—just an ordinary Thursday at Hallmark, where I work. We’re doing something we call “Breakfast With Friends.”
It’s an idea that was born out of a random conversation around someone’s desk. There was talk about how much we all love breakfast food. Someone volunteered to send out an e-mail inviting other co-workers. Next thing you know, a workday morning started with cinnamon rolls, bacon, cantaloupe, and lots of easygoing happiness.
Which brings me to my point. Happiness can be easy and readily available. It doesn’t require mountain-moving efforts. But, it definitely helps to make it intentional. Cultivate it, and allow serendipitous little moments to unfold, with the awareness that they add up to make a big difference.
At my office, we like to have fun. We celebrate each other’s birthdays, life events and successes. Occasionally we hang out at lunch and play Scrabble or Bananagrams. Sometimes we declare a “Golden Retriever Day” or “Nostalgia Snacks Day.”
Whether we do something up big (like a noon-hour, themed and decorated baby shower complete with games) or whether we just grab a few friends and serenade someone on her birthday, it softens the edges of our little workplace world. And that makes us very happy.
Here are some of my tips for staying happy at work:
I have a word of the year. By the time I’ve selected it, I’ve spent months watching for it, listening for it, living with it and letting it roll around in my consciousness. Once I’ve settled on my word for the year, I take a Sharpie, write it in flowing script and tack it on my pin board right in front of me. I buy it in letter blocks or paint it and frame it. As my eyes and thoughts drift around, I can be sure they will see and absorb my word over and over. It’s quite powerful. My word for this year is “Flourish.”
I’m a writer, and, well, creative types get bored easily. We have curious, wide-open brains, and we’ve got to give them adventures. Last summer, I chopped off my waist-length blonde hair for a super-short pixie cut. I got new purple glasses and some funky, fun jewelry. A fresh look, which reflects “me, now” began to emerge. This outer evolution both reflects and encourages my inner evolution. I feel fearless and bold, and that energy carries over into my writing.
Do something nice for somebody
It’s kind of like magic, so don’t hold back. Loan someone a novel or movie they’ll like. Bring in flowers (or a yummy tomato) from your garden. Leave a note complimenting someone on that thing theydid really well. Offer to share the load on a project your teammate is struggling with. These are simple things that will put a happy glow over your whole day.
Once in a while, blow your own mind!
I take this motto to heart. Whether I decide to kick butt on a particular project, to dazzle at a presentation, or to lead a writing exploration—the person I’ve got to impress is me. If I can do that a few times a year, I’m super happy.
How do you have fun in your workplace? Let us know in the comments section, below!
Jeannie Hund, author of gift books, children’s books and greeting cards, works for Hallmark Cards, Inc. She loves dancing in her kitchen, playing tug of war with Lucas, her wild Cairn Terrier, and hosting taco night with her extended family.
To read more about happiness at work, see our special feature section in the June 2015 issue of Live Happy magazine.