How to Boost Your Morale in the Break Room

By the time you drag yourself to the break room for lunch, your morale levels have probably plummeted to the depths of despair. Maybe you need a pick-me-up and have run out of ideas for how to do just that. If you don’t have the right amount of enthusiasm and confidence, you won’t be able to make it through the day as successfully as you could if your morale level was high.

So, the next time you head over to the break room—whether for coffee or to eat lunch—consider implementing the following ideas into your daily routine so that you can keep your morale up.

See Also: 5 Ideas to Boost Employee Morale and Performance

1. Stop Thinking About Work Projects

If you want to boost your morale, sometimes you must stop thinking about work and all the projects you need to complete. This may be difficult, but clearing your mind and refocusing on something positive can boost your morale. When you’re headed over to the break room for your fifth coffee of the day or taking a well-deserved lunch break, make a pact with yourself to stop thinking about work. Hit the reset button. Realize that you need that time in the break room to be an uninterrupted session of noncritical thinking.

Sure, there will be other colleagues in the break room. You’ll most likely be interrupted by a friendly—or not so friendly—conversation. That’s fine. The point is that you need to have that uninterrupted time of not thinking for one second about work. Okay, so your mind will probably wander back to the pile of work taking up space in your inbox. Just try to zap those thoughts out of your mind as quickly as they come in. No one said it would be easy, but you’ll soon be able to focus entirely on anything but work when you try to boost your morale in the break room.

2. Distract Your Mind with Fun Things

So, you also need to distract your mind with fun things to boost your morale and help you to get that unbridled enthusiasm back for your work. Just the thought of coming to the break room for fun distractions will even start to boost your morale level. Remember how much fun you had as a child when you were allowed to finally go outside to the playground during recess? That’s how you need to start looking at your break room experience: as a chance to cultivate your inner child.

Okay, so you may not have the most exciting break room at your job. The best thing about it is that you get to sit in a room that is not your workstation. You don’t have to be hounded by the receptionist to keep taking calls. You finally have that golden hour to regroup and boost your morale. Don’t focus on what luxuries your break room doesn’t have, like a high tech coffee bar, large flat screen TV, ping pong table or Xbox station. Those are all fantastic benefits. Yet, even if your break room is still stuck in the 90s and doesn’t have any high tech coffee pot or fun gadgets and toys, find ways to distract your mind with your own adult playtime.

Just don’t get X-rated with your brand of fun. Remember, this isn’t your own private room to meet up with that sexy intern from the marketing department. Bring your personal laptop or tablet and play video games or relax and catch up on your Words with Friends ongoing games. Listen to your favorite playlist or watch the latest episode of Scandal on your tablet. Download some free books to read on your Kindle. Technology is great and offers a wide variety of ways to have fun in the break room.

3. Hang Out with Positive Colleagues

Bones cast eating Chinese

We all need people in our lives who can encourage us when we’re down in the dumps. We’re so frustrated with work that we’re ready to march into our boss’ office and hand in our resignation letter. So, unless you’re a sociopath who would rather stalk his prey than hang out with people for reasons of friendship, make some connections in the office. Make sure you decide to hang out with friendly, upbeat colleagues. Hanging out with pessimistic people who live by the adage that misery loves company will definitely not help you to boost your morale in the break room.

Rather, they’ll drive you further into the dumps. You may even lose your will to get back up and walk to your desk to finish the workday. You might end up chained to the chair in the break room because this miserable person doesn’t want to be alone to wallow in his misery. So, choose your work friends wisely and find positive colleagues to spend time with in the break room. Make plans to order pizza one day and have an impromptu party in the break room. Invite all the happy people from your department. Keep out the miserable ones who will only sap out all the positive energy you’ve worked so hard to build amongst your colleagues.

4. Start a Creative Personal Project

You can also boost your morale in the break room by getting creative. Start a personal project that you will look forward to working on each day during lunch break. Okay, so you probably don’t want to bring in your bedazzling kit and start decorating your clothes. Save that for your next sick day. You don’t want your colleagues looking at you like you’ve completely lost your mind and have reverted back to childhood. Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a novel. Take the time to bring your laptop to the break room and spend an hour a day writing that steamy romance or murder mystery novel.

You might consider using your break room time to create an  where you can create goals and pin ideas and photos to your digital record. Get creative in your project choice. After all, you want to boost your morale while working on it. That means you need to be completely invested and engaged in the project.

Finding a way to relate your time in the break room to an engaging personal creative project can help you to boost your morale. You’ll start looking forward to that lunch hour each day when you get a chance to relax and work on your project. Just make sure that your project isn’t too personal. You don’t want any prying eyes to get a glimpse at those risqué photos you’re adding to your scrapbook. Sure, your boyfriend will likely appreciate your present, but you probably won’t want to get caught by any colleagues or your boss assembling such a book!

Boosting your morale should be a fun process. After all, you’re trying to find your way back to actually being enthusiastic again about work—rather than drumming your fingers on your desk, counting the hours until you can escape the prison walls of the office.

Stop thinking about work when you enter the break room door. Find ways to distract your mind with fun things where you can let go and channel your inner child again. Hang out with happy colleagues who will cultivate that symbiotic positive relationship. Get busy with a creative personal project while you take your breaks. Think outside the box and embrace all the wildly engaging possibilities for your mind.

What have you done to boost your morale in the break room? Feel free to share the ideas you’ve tried in the comments section below!