As we’ve evolved from work/life balance to an era of work/life integration, the structured 8 to 5 workday of an administrative assistant is no longer the norm for most. Rather, the workday has extended to all hours because of the global reach of businesses. I’ve met plenty of administrative professionals who are answering overseas emails at 5 a.m. from home. The upside? This allows them to then take time to get the kids off to school.
While you may feel like you have no control over the direction of your day, you can still create moments to pause and enjoy a mental and emotional respite from the hectic pace. Consider implementing these five tips to reset your mindset:
1. Feel the flow. When washing your hands, notice the way the water feels on your skin, the way the soap smells and the sounds as you rub your hands together. Engage all your senses so you’re truly present in the moment.
2. Stop and slow. A difficult part of the day for many is the commute. Take the opportunity provided by red lights or stopped traffic to breathe deeply and notice your posture, your grip on the steering wheel, the set of your jaw. In other words, let go of the tension and extend your exhalations.
3. Put it in park. A recent Harvard study shows that working through lunch leads to lower productivity, yet another reason to get away from your desk for a midday break. Go outside for 20 minutes, ideally talking a walk or sitting under a tree and enjoying your lunch. I’m also an advocate of simply resting in your car and allowing yourself to enjoy the quiet.
4. Drop the drama. If you find yourself getting anxious and worked-up about something, be honest with yourself and consider whether you’re overdramatizing the situation. Rather than create needless worry, empower yourself with a plan. Consider the options and possibilities and develop a strategy for next steps.
5. Seek gratitude. Want to boost the feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine? Ask yourself, “What am I grateful for?”