7 Tips For Leaving Your Bad Mood Out Of Your Work

Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
By Jessi Haggerty, RD

Long gone are the days when we can “leave it at the door” upon walking into the office. That’s just not realistic. If you’re still trying to compartmentalize your “work life” and “personal life,” we’ve got some work to do.

You are a whole person, and you have the right to feel your emotions fully and completely every moment of your life. Recognizing this is the first step in becoming a stronger employee, coworker, and business owner. Your challenge now is to cultivate some serious self-awareness, and to create the space you need to control and balance your mood and show up for the task at hand.

It’s important to remember that your mood will affect the mood of those around you, and vice versa. Your job is to clean up your side of the street and remove yourself from the bad vibes equation, so you can really thrive in your whole life.

Here are seven ways to do just that.

Related: This Is Why You're Never Happy With Your Job — & Here's How to Change That


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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
How often do you wake up and check your email immediately? Or jump right into taking care of the dog or your kids? Start the day off with something that you do just for you, to set your mood on the right track. Sit down to a healthy breakfast, go for a walk, attend a workout class, or just savor your morning cup of coffee in bed.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
At my last job, I found myself getting into the habit of bonding over complaining about work. This not only fueled my bad mood, but totally derailed my productivity. I decided to flip the switch by checking in daily with my coworker to discuss our latest favorite kitchen creations, which not only strengthened our friendship, but brought lightness to what felt like a heavy circumstance.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
No, this isn't about getting an exterminator. ANTs are Automatic Negative Thoughts. Ever start thinking about all of the things that could possibly go wrong at work before you even start brushing your teeth? Take note of when these thoughts pop up, and bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing on what you’re doing right that minute. Crowd out ANTs by playing your favorite music or listening to your favorite podcast as you get ready to start the day.

Related: 10 Habits Of The Healthiest People On Earth
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
This might be the 100th time you’ve read this piece of advice, but that’s only because it actually works! Keeping a daily log of the things in your life that you’re grateful for is scientifically proven to improve your physical and psychological health. This daily practice will put you in the right space, by helping you focus on what is working instead of what isn’t.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Sometimes our bad mood arises when we realize we're spending too much time doing something we don’t enjoy. Allow yourself to take frequent breaks to do something that will ground you. Try a mini meditation, 10-minute walk, or phone call to a friend or family member. Most states require employees take a paid 15-minute break during their shift, so no excuses!
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
You knew I had to throw this one in here, didn’t you? This doesn’t mean you have to schedule a two-hour gym session every day. Even just 15 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (perhaps a brisk walk that you take on one of your breaks) has been shown to have immediate positive effects on your mood. These bouts of activity can be taken as needed, but they work best if implemented daily, to prevent bad moods from striking in the first place.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
While high-sugar foods might lift your mood for a moment, they usually cause a nasty crash later in the day, which can only make matters worse. Fuel your mood with fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocados, nut butters, and coconut to help balance blood sugar and regulate stress hormone levels.

Next: How To Avoid Stress-Eating & Fuel Your Body Right
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