3 Tips to Make Your 8-5 Office Job More Bearable

3 Tips to Make Your 8-5 Office Job More Bearable

The 8-5 office job can be a difficult thing to adjust to if you’ve recently graduated college. Your schedule that once involved an hour nap, a class or two and then a Netflix binge session is now narrowed down to the few hours you have when you get home from work.

I know for me personally, I struggle with the 8-5 office grind. I crave the freedom of leaving the building whenever I want or making an impromptu trip to the lake on a Tuesday. Especially if you’re an active person, sitting down all day is basically like torture. Even if you’re not an active person, as soon as you realize you’ve been sitting for five hour straight and it hasn’t involved a Game of Thrones marathon, your body is screaming at you to move.

Because I do have an office job that requires me to be at my desk most of the day, I’ve had to get creative and find ways to integrate a little more activity into my daily schedule.

Utilize Your Lunch Break
Now, I know this might not be possible every day because you get busy and have deadlines, but you’re given an hour break in the middle of the day for a reason. For me, that reason isn’t just to eat. It’s to give myself a moment to leave the building or think about something else that doesn’t have to do with my job.

If you can, I recommend going home over lunch. I think it increases the chance of eating healthier and will give your mind a much needed break. Plus, I like to give my kitty, Susan, a little mid-day visit too!

If you live too far from work or find that going home just makes you not want to go back, run your errands during lunch. You have plenty of time to fill a prescription, run to the grocery store or pick up the dry cleaning.

Finally, and this might seem obvious, but if you have a friend you haven’t seen in a while or a family member visiting from out of town, pick a cute place and go out for lunch. Trust me, that pile of paperwork on your desk will always be there when you get back. Plus, you might have a more positive attitude after some time away!

Go For A Walk
At one of my internships in college, the company was really big on its wellness program. It encouraged and incentivized people all the time to eat healthier and exercise. A major perk of working for a company that cares so much about wellness was getting to walk and stretch during the work day. I’m not kidding, at 9 a.m. every day we would all get into a big circle and stretch it out for about ten minutes. Weather permitting, we would also walk twice a day for about 15-20 minutes, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

When I first started working for this company I thought stretching in the office and taking time to walk for a total of 40 minutes every day was crazy. I had never heard of or seen any other company do that. As I graduated college and left my internship there, I realized quickly I would really miss being able to do this. I’ve learned though, if you communicate your need to get up from your desk and take a 15 minute break twice a day to your manager, they’re probably ok with it.

At my current job, walking outside in the middle of the day is very foreign (outside of doing it during your lunch break), but I communicated right away that it was something I felt was very important, and as it turns out, my boss is completely ok with it. I don’t do it twice a day, every day, but it’s nice to know that if I need to get up and get outside for a bit I’m not going to get evil eyes from my manager.

Have A Work Friend
Hopefully having someone in the office that you love to talk to doesn’t distract you too much or turn into an opportunity to gossip, but I really think it is crucial to have someone you trust. Having a work friend to chat with while you’re entering data or making copies can make you forget you’re at work sometimes. You’re still getting stuff done, but you have a friend to do it with, who doesn’t appreciate that?

Another bonus to work friends is maybe they can become a real life friend as well! If you think you’ve met someone who might also appreciate your love for dogs and wine, invite that person to a happy hour or the dog park to see if your friendship can grow outside the workplace!

If you dread that 8-5 grind, I hope these simple things can incorporate some joy into your day. Office jobs aren’t as easy and cushy as they sound sometimes, so make sure to take steps to insert moments of positivity whenever you can!


Image by Kelly Theye

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