Jess Stuart of Tiny Buddha writes:

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” ~Jim Rohn

We spend so much of our days at work, it makes sense that we should enjoy it, but many of us are not that lucky.

Too many people work in jobs they dislike or for people who make them unhappy.

Perhaps we don’t get the meaning of our jobs or are caught up in the corporate rat race. So quit, our friends say, but it’s not that easy. I have bills to pay, kids to feed, or things I need the money for. So how do we strike the balance? What’s the secret to thriving at work?

I learned the hard way. Working long hours, if I wasn’t in meetings I was in the car driving. I’d grab fast food because it was quick and I could eat in on the run. After getting in late I was so exhausted that exercise was the last thing I felt like doing, so I’d crash on the sofa and then get my laptop to catch up on emails.

I spent my weekends sleeping in and catching up on all the housework I’d let slide during the week, and I was usually sick during my vacations, as my body struggled to cope with the constant demands.

I knew it wasn’t healthy, but wasn’t sure how to change it, how to find balance. When I looked around, I realized everyone else seemed to be doing the same. Eventually, I hit a wall and burned out. This ultimately led to a fork in the road where everything changed.

I quit the corporate world to follow my dreams and became a writer and yoga teacher. It’s something I love, but it doesn’t pay well, so I found myself having to pick up contract work to put food on my table and a roof above my head.

I still write and do what I love, but I also have to have a day job back in the office to pay the bills. The difference now is that I’ve learned the art of balance. Here’s how I thrive at work, and how you can too.

1. Adopt a healthy routine.

I found that adopting a healthy routine made things easier. I get up early so I can meditate and do a bit of yoga. This sets me up for the day and makes me feel good before I even get to work.

Getting up early means I have time for breakfast and to walk to my office. It’s a challenge at first, and the snooze button is always tempting, but once we feel the benefits, it’s a no brainer. And after a few weeks of doing this, it becomes a habit.

2. Take care of your body.

Work can be stressful, which is why paying attention to the basics of good health and prioritizing this makes our workdays better.

What we eat, how much water we drink, how much we move, the lighting, ventilation, how we sit—it all adds up. It may seem simple, but it’s also important.

The meals we chose fuel us throughout the day; we know we can feel lethargic and short of energy if we’re not eating right. We are what we eat, so it’s critical we’re putting the right things in to help us thrive both at work and at home. It has a direct impact on our mood and how we concentrate, and therefore, how much better we’re likely to deal with stress and colleagues.

Exercise is also key, especially for those of us who are deskbound. I ensure I get up and move around regularly, either to get water, talk to a colleague, or when I’m on the phone. I also make sure I get outside every lunchtime for a walk and some fresh air, and head to the gym some evenings to counteract all the sitting my job requires.

3. Make it a priority to have fun with your coworkers.

Human beings are social animals, and our colleagues can be the source of great company (or sometimes irritation!) Taking time out to ask people how they’re doing over the water cooler, chatting about your plans for the weekend, or asking about their latest trip is a pleasant addition to the workday.

Read more HERE.