Because of Valentine’s Day, the month of February seems to be synonymous with love – but the 14th is not the only day of the year when we should spread good cheer to others. This is especially important in our workplace.

Many of us are at work nearly as much time (if not more) as we are at home – which can make the workplace a home away from home. As such, our coworkers become like family which, naturally, makes it susceptible to all of the same trappings (dysfunctional relationships, favoritism, competitiveness).  For this reason, it might be worth investing the extra effort to improve the mood at your office. Here are some suggestions.

Be Kind to Yourself

You want to do your very best and that is commendable but, sometimes, we are so hard on ourselves that it can put us in a bad mood or leave us on edge. Be patient with yourself, only take on what you can reasonably accomplish and forgive yourself for any shortcomings.

Smile

Who doesn’t like to see a smiling face in the middle of a rough day? The saddest part is that so many of us walk around as though we are invisible. Make it a point to make eye contact and smile at your co-workers.

Organize Walks

Encourage everyone to get some fresh air on their lunch break and go for a walk together. Not only will it feel good to socialize outside of the office but exercise can help release all kinds of feel good chemicals in your body.

Meditate

Leading up to this year’s Super Bowl, it was revealed that the Seattle Seahawks had added meditation to their training routine. They went on to dominate the Denver Broncos for a record-breaking win – the first for the Seahawks franchise. More and more studies are showing the benefits of meditation. Consider inviting your co-workers to come to work a little early to start the day with 10-15 minutes of meditation.

Surprise Coworkers

Random acts of kindness (and appreciation) make the world a better place.  Put a sticky note on your co-worker’s desk to let them know they are doing a good job or look great in their new outfit. If someone’s having a bad day, make a coffee run and bring them their favorite treat. Be unpredictably pleasant and it could end up being infectious!

Be a Good Listener

It’s natural to want to jump in to a conversation and add your own experiences but it’s also good to learn how to push your own needs aside and focus on the person you are talking to. Really listen to what they have to say without interruption so that they know you really are interested and paying attention.

Offer to Help

If you feel  you’re in a good place with your own work and you see others struggling, offer to help them with a few things. The work environment is often competitive but establishing yourself as a team player (without needing recognition) will make you feel better about yourself in the long-run.

If You Have Nothing Good to Say…

The old saying is true. If you only have negative comments about something or someone, keep them to yourself. Try to say at least one good thing about someone every day. Before long, it will come naturally and you will be known as a source of positivity in the workplace.