Watching the time at your desk and waiting to clock out? We’ve all been there. Jobs can, at once, be a crucial part of how we crate abundance and financial freedom for ourselves while also being one of the main causes of stress. Work environments in the Western world are, by and large, not conducive to maintaining a healthy balance and can sometimes be one of the places where we spend the bulk of our time. So, when we find ourselves in a toxic work environment, things can be even more difficult. No one wants to wake up dreading the moment they walk into the place where they’ll spend most of their day and yet so many people do just that. Now, this isn’t an article that is going to influence you to become a full-time entrepreneur because, the truth is, not everyone is built for that life either and it’s not possible for everyone to make a sudden change in their employment while still maintaining financial stability. What you can do; however, is start to cultivate mindfulness as part of your work life while you begin to put an exit strategy in place. 

Here are 7 ways to cultivate mindfulness in a toxic work environment. 

Meditate in the morning. 

Meditation does not have to be a long or drawn out practice, you can simply opt for a quick 10 minute session in which you still your mind and welcome joy into your body. Focus on your breathing and invite good thoughts to take over as the primary language that your feelings will follow. If waking up early enough to get in a meditation feels like added pressure, try meditating on your commute into the office. 

Write out affirmations. 

Filling your office or cubicle space with reminders of your worth, your goals or just things that you make you feel better can be a great way to remain grounded when things get testy. Retreating to your space and being met with positive words is a great way to combat any external forces that may be making you feel bad. 

Take your breaks outdoors. 

When we are feeling stuck, getting out into nature is a great way to be reminded that are free indeed. Getting some fresh air, taking deep full breaths and allowing yourself to do a little wandering can be a great way to reset your energy for the rest of your shift. 

Opt for healthy lunches and snacks. 

What we put in our bodies has a huge effect on how we feel and though it may be tempting to feed our cravings for a temporary boost—the better choice is to give your body some nutrients. When we are already feeling anxious or in a bad mood, foods high in sugar, salt and/or carbs are going to make us feel lethargic and even more “over it”. Fueling your body with a balanced meal will help you handle your workload and the office dynamics. 

Skip the water cooler gossip. 

When we are already feeling sour about our work environment, we can sometimes seek out other disgruntled employees to feel the community we so desperately seek. Though this can help for a moment, it often amplifies any negative feelings we are already experiencing. Words have energy and when we expose ourselves to words that deplete us, we can make matters worse. 

Make a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to it at lunch. 

Music has power and we are all in better moods when we can hear the songs that remind us of the good times and people in our lives. If you’re hoping to make a move in your profession, try creating a list of empowering songs that repeat affirming phrases that you can use a guidepost to map out the life you want to create. 

Remember that showing up to your job is part of showing up for you. 

We often hear a lot of talk about people who work “for themselves” but working a job that allows you to take financial stress off of your plate is also working for yourself. You are working for your livelihood, to support your family, to aid in traveling, etc… All of these things are extensions of you. Not having to worry about where your next meal comes from or how you’ll take care of yourself during a medical emergency is just as important as being able to make your own daily schedule or work remotely. You are still showing up for yourself by using the time at this job to finance your present and future.