“Stupid.” “Jerk.”

We’ve all called ourselves those names – and worse – at times. We’re often not only our own worst critic but our own worst enemy!

It shouldn’t be that way. Jesus told us the second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Too often we forget the second half of that directive and fail to treat ourselves in a loving way.

Here are 10 strategies you can apply today to grow stronger, get more enjoyment out of work, and show yourself some love.

Use Your Strengths at Work. The bestseller Now, Discover Your Strengths showed how much more productive and engaged we are when our jobs leverage our strengths and talents. Yet only 20% of workers around the world hold jobs that capitalize on their strengths. Talk to your boss to renegotiate your duties if possible, or consider finding a job that will use
your strengths and make you happy.

Accept Compliments. If you’re like many people you brush aside compliments with a self-deprecating remark. Stop that. Simply say “Thank you” to the complimenting you. They believe those good things about you so you should too.

Manage Your Stress. For years studies have shown that stress harms us emotionally and physically. We can’t eliminate it and studies have also shown that a little stress is actually good for our performance at work, but actively managing it will improve the quality of your life on and off the job.

Draw and Maintain Boundaries. We’ve all sat in our cube working past 5pm while others leave right at quitting time. The nature of work is that it never ends. Work as productively as you can during the hours you’re there and then leave as close to quitting time as you can. Practice negotiating when tasks
need to be completed and what gets added to your plate.

Update Your Resume. Be ready to jump on an opening by getting your resume in order now. Preparing to capitalize on openings makes you feel as though your taking concrete action to improve your situation. It helps you stay optimistic.

Learn Something New. You can improve your marketable skills while literally growing the connections in your brain by taking a class or seminar. It’s also a great way to make connections with people and expand your network. You never know where
that can lead.

Make Friends. According to Tom Rath in his 2006 bestseller, Vital Friends, having a best friend at work makes you seven times more likely to be happy at work, to get more done in less time, have fewer accidents, and share ideas with others. Invite
a coworker to lunch or to meet for coffee before work.

Eat Healthfully. Making good food choices is a basic step to taking better care of yourself. If you’re a stress eater keep healthy snacks on hand so you’re not tempted to hit the vending machine. Reduce portion sizes, eat more fruit.

Be a Friend to Yourself. We show our friends we care by speaking kindly to them,complimenting them, and forgiving them when they make a mistake. Talk positively to yourself. Focus on developing your strengths rather than “fixing” a weakness.

Talk to God. The weight of our problems can wear us down and depress us. It’s easy to forget we’re not in any fight alone. The Father is always present, waiting for us to turn to Him and give our problems over to Him. We’re not required to get
down on our knees to pray, nor are we required to recite a formal prayer in order to be heard. We can simply open our hearts by recognizing He’s in charge of the universe. We can talk about our fears, ask for His help, ask for wisdom to understand what we should do, and ask for the strength to do it.

Too often we forget that we must take care of ourselves to have any strength to care for others. A healthy mind, a healthy body, and a healthy spirit combine to make us a better friend to ourselves as well as others.

Author's Bio: 

Winnie Anderson publishes The Mustard Seed, a twice-monthly ezine that shares information and tips to connect your faith to your work life. Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus calls her ebook "...provocative and reflective." Get a free chapter when you register at livemyfaithatwork.com.