Divorce got you down?


By Doris Helge, Ph.D. © 2008

If you’re newly single, especially if the transition was a nasty surprise, make your job a soothing fortress that shields you from stress and negativity. Happiness at work will feed your need for peace and harmony when your personal life is painful and chaotic. Achieving joy on the job is easier than you may think . . .

I’ve been there, too. You’re trying to charge out of the house so you can slog through sluggish traffic and sneak into the office before anyone notices you’re late.

Your inner critic adores this little drama. An ugly voice that sounds like the teacher who told Albert Einstein that he’d never amount to anything screams, “You’re a disaster! Why didn’t you get up earlier?”

You fall for the bait and wail, “Because I’m exhausted and overwhelmed. I don’t care about my job right now!”

If you’re newly single, especially if the transition was a nasty surprise, it’s time to make your job a soothing fortress that shields you from negativity. You can create a situation where your job feeds part of your hunger for peace and stability when your personal life is in turmoil.

Achieving happiness at work is easier than you may think. You can surround yourself with the support you need. It doesn’t matter if you’re working your dream job or a minimum-wage position you can’t wait to vacate. You can use even the most undesirable job to create a sense of serenity during a major life change.

I’m not talking about becoming a workaholic to avoid confronting unresolved personal issues. I’m talking about empowering you to use your job as a source of new self esteem and balance when life feels out of control and a voice inside of you screeches, “Your life’s a mess! You’re a failure.”

You’ll develop more passion for your work, smile more, and spontaneously do a better job. You’ll probably be surprised at the rich rewards you’ll reap. Many of my clients originally used this strategy to survive a topsy-turvy world. They were amazed when a big boost of confidence landed them promotions and raises that helped them become more successful singles.

You see, when we’re happy at work, our income increases. Many bosses trip over their own feet as they scramble to support employees who whistle while they work.

Joy on the job creates more lifestyle choices. Because we’re less stressed, relationships are more rewarding. Single parenting is also easier when we enjoy our job, so this is a very win-win approach. You can create harmony at work and a ripple effect that makes you feel immune to personal stress.


Here are some techniques that have worked for my clients.

  • Identify comforting routines at work. For example, straightening your desk just the way you like it or chatting with someone you trust during a break. If you’re a new single parent, you’ll probably enjoy having adult conversations at work.
  • Enjoy the stability that exists because certain people will be at a specific work site almost every work day.
  • Develop new habits that comfort and nourish you. Create new “positive addictions.” Take a brief walk, gaze at fish in an aquarium, or breathe deeply into your belly for 3-5 minutes. Looking at pictures of your pets and friends will also release stress and shift your outlook on life.
  • Identify and appreciate every little thing that helps you feel stronger because you’re employed. Even if you don’t like your job, having an income is a source of stability. You’re getting paid for being a responsible person.
  • Identify activities that feel good, no matter how brief a time, and create opportunities to do more of them. Set up your work area the way you want it. Play music that feeds your spirit. Even if you have very little control over a shared workspace, you can buy notepads and work folders in colors that soothe a jarred nervous system.

When you feel totally out of control of your personal life, introduce new mastery into your work life. Sign up for extra training or work with a mentor. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you take tiny steps forward. Even checking items off a to-do list triggers the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain. You also reflect a new level of confidence that makes people view you in a favorable way.


When you’re working, you’re usually protected from howling hurricanes at home. Relish the fact that you’re being paid to take a break from private concerns.

Allow your work life to be a safety zone where you’re appreciated for being who you are and reinforced for doing a job well. Even brief bursts of joy at work can create balance, stability, and tranquility.
Visit http://www.FreeJoyEbooks.com and GET YOUR FREE EBOOKS: “Secrets of Happiness at Work” and “Get the Respect & Appreciation You Deserve Now.” Doris Helge, Ph.D., isВ an executive coach & a corporate trainer for companies as large as Microsoft.

© 2008.В This article was excerpted with permission from “Joy on the Job” by Doris Helge, Ph.D.В Permission to reprint this article is granted if the article is in tact, with proper credit given. All reprints must state, “Reprinted with permission by Doris Helge, Ph.D. Originally published in “Joy on the Job,” see http://www.MoreJoyOnTheJob.com © 2008

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