Can you find Real Happiness at Work?


This week is all about another summer book that you may (or may not) have the desire to read, but I’m going to give you a summary and some wonderfully great “takeaways” for you to hold onto.

The book is Real Happiness at Work by Sharon Salzberg.  This book is a followup to another WONDERFUL book by Salzberg: Real Happiness.

I chose the one centering on work because that’s what so many of the questions and concerns lie from people I work with.  How do I continue doing this job?  It’s so hard.  I’m only happy when I’m away from the classroom.  All of these questions and concerns are very real and very relatable. 

And that’s why this book is such a gem.  It reframes the problem and gives real solutions for you to implement at your job that can help with cultivating true happiness.

Although it’s about 250 pages, it is chock full of practical advice, mindfulness practices, and Q & A from real people.

 It is divided into eight sections which are the qualities that Salzberg believes we can cultivate to find happiness at work.  For this post, I’m going to focus on the “Resilience” section since that is one that teachers everywhere have been told they need to build in order to “survive” teaching.

So resilience is having the ability to bounce back from difficult circumstances.  And that is certainly addressed in this part, however, I wanted to focus on this because one of the biggest recommendations that Salzberg gives for building resilience is to practice your own self-care!

Yes, resilience may LOOK like an external thing.  It’s something that we are able to do, but when we are capable of doing this well is when we have been giving attention to our own self-care and wellbeing.

It may sound counterintuitive, but if you’ve needed another reason to begin to prioritize your own health and wellbeing.  Here it is: your ability to be resilient for the long term is directly correlated to your ability to prioritize your own health and wellbeing.

And if we know ANYTHING about how teaching is going, we KNOW that it’s not apt to get any easier any time soon.  So, you may have “gotten through” this year, but just getting through can’t be a long term plan for building resilience and finding a sustainable way to move through each consecutive school year.  In fact, we’re trying to move to regenerative solutions, not just sustainable (but we’ll get to that in the near future).

So to support resilience building, here’s a great self-care awareness activity from Real Happiness at Work:

Everything that Comes to Mind When It Comes to Stress Activity

-Divide a piece of paper into 3 columns.

-In the first column, list all the things that contribute to your stress at work.

-In the second column, list all the things you do to restore yourself, lift your spirits, or give yourself a break.

-In the third column, note how effective these restoration techniques (listed in column #2) are on your health and wellbeing.

-Reflect on your lists and reflect on how much you are dealing with, if you are coping well, or if you need to change some of the things you are doing to cope with the stress you are dealing with.

We need to find ways to support our own self-care in effective ways in order to be happy at our jobs.

If you want to learn ways that mindfulness practices can support your happiness at work, please check out Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness at Work.

If you’re looking for some extra support with building your resilience, NOW is a GREAT time to start.  Schedule a complimentary clarity call to see if Teacher Wellness Coaching is the right fit for you.