5 Tips For Surviving A Rough Day At The Office


Much like our friend Peter, the lovable yet woefully unmotivated protagonist of the film Office Space, we’ve all had a few rough days at the office. Whether it be a demanding boss, unending office politics, or an overabundance of TPS reports, sh*t is bound to hit the fan and leave you in it’s sh*tty wake.

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to find a way to deal with it- lest you end up shaving your head, drinking tiger blood and setting fires in old lady’s driveways.


(Yes, I realize I may have conflated a few celebrity breakdowns there. To be clear, I wish this fate upon no one.)

Here are a few things I do to help get me through a tough day at the office:*

(*Note this list does not include wine, because wine is obviously a given.):

1. Listen To Music


Back when I worked at a law firm and  hated life had my own office, I used to rock Songza all day err’day. Songza, if you’re not familiar, is an online satellite radio program that suggests music for you based on the time of day and the activity you’re doing.


I found it really helped put me in a better mood while I worked and even increased my productivity. Now that I’m in an open concept environment, I can’t listen to tunes while I work, so I make sure to get my music fix in during other times of the day. I blast pump-up tunes while I get ready in the mornings, rock out on the subway, and go for quick walks with my iPod during the day when I need a little break.

 2. Eat Chocolate

My office building connects to Toronto’s underground PATH system, a veritable labyrinth of underground shopping malls and services stretching over multiple city blocks. This is both convenient and extremely dangerous- mostly because of the Godiva chocolate store right around the corner.


While I am often successful in thwarting it’s advances, on a bad day, resistance is futile. To avoid dropping $8 on two miniature pieces of candy, I often just walk in and linger long enough for them to offer me a free sample, then slip out undetected. I’m not proud of this behavior. Lately, I’ve also been binging on enjoying funsize Halloween chocolate bars. They’re too small to have calories, right?

3. Stay Caffeinated

Since busting out a box of wine and pouring myself a nice tall glass of Pinot Greeg at my desk is mildly inappropriate, Starbucks has become the next best thing.


While I’m partial to the PSL (uuh Pumpkin Spice Latte) I’ve also been into David’s Tea lately.


This mecca of all things steeped has something like 80 flavours of tea.. including “Movie Night”, which has REAL POPCORN IN THE TEA BAG.

I feel like that sounded dirty. Let’s move on.

4. Read A Book

Sad but true story: for 30-45 minutes every day at lunch, I walk to a nearby food court, take out my book, and read. Alone.


It started as a way to squeeze in my stupidly ambitious 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, but it’s since become something I look forward to every day; a necessary break for the preservation of my sanity. Plus, I can’t help but feel like someone might see me and write me a Craigslist Missed Connection. (I know. I’m obsessed).

 5. Do Some Yoga

Remember when I first wrote about my experience with hot yoga? Well I’m pleased to report that I actually stuck with it, and am now a bona fide yogi.


Just kidding, I still really suck, but I have been going about twice a week for the past two months or so. I’ve found it really helps with both the stiffness of sitting at a desk all day and my overall stress levels. It’s also sort of improved my overall outlook on life. Seriously. Yogatta try it.

So there you have it. I’ll be honest- most of the time none of this really works, and I just end up going home, pouring myself a giant glass of wine and crying on the couch to Extreme Weight Loss.. but hey, worth a shot, right?

Question of the Day: How Do you Get Through a Rough Day At Work?


9 thoughts on “5 Tips For Surviving A Rough Day At The Office

Add yours

  1. Our phone system links through to our network, so I sit there listening to music on YouTube all day with my headset. It also makes it look as though I’m on the phone.

    I don’t tend to eat chocolate, but I keep a keen eye out for leftover sandwiches from meetings.


  2. I like to rock the music just slightly louder than people find acceptable. Then I’ll apologize, turn it down, the let the volume creep up even louder and drive them insane. Because co-workers shouldn’t be friends.


  3. I can’t imagine working without headphones in, music on … you’re a saint. But Godiva nearby? I could get used to that.

    My office is near Bryant Park in NYC, so I try to escape for a few minutes there if I’m particularly stressed. Anything to get away from my desk helps when I’m fed up … funny how that works out, huh?


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