by Beth Crumpler

Have you ever felt malaise in the workforce?  What did you do about it?  What can you do about it?  What is malaise?

The definitions for malaise according to are:

“1- a general feeling of being worriedunhappyor not satisfied

“2- a situation in which a society or organization is not operating effectively

Each day this month I will be updating this post on adaptivelearnin and sharing what I am most thankful for in ways to fight malaise in the workforce.  I will update every day until November 30, 2012- new things to be thankful for. Please stay tuned and check adaptivelearnin daily for the updates.  You Won’t Want To Miss It!

30 Days of Ways to Fight Malaise:

Things to Be Thankful for…

(Counting backwards) 

 (Update: 11/17/12)

30.  Take each day and moment as it comes, knowing that tomorrow will be a fresh and new one.

This one is self-explanatory.  Let’s be thankful for the ability to look forward to a new day after malaise…a new day that can bring about needed change.  I am thankful for change.

29.  Have an attitude that you will do the best that you can do with what you have.

Sometimes situations can be hard and sometimes we are put in environments that are not the most conducive.  Sometimes budgets and situations give us limited resources and abilities.  It is human nature to want to complain and dwell on these negatives, which can result in malaise.  When resources are limited, having an attitude that we will do the best with the most we have and using our imagination to fill in the gaps, helps bring peace.  Let’s be thankful for the peace that having a positive attitude can bring.  I am.

28.  Resist saying yes to everything; learn to say “no”.

As professionals who are determined and motivated, we love to say yes to projects and tasks.  We love our jobs.  We love to make a difference.  We love to help others.  We love what we do and like to shine in what we do.  At the same time, saying yes to too many things can cause malaise and unneeded stress.  Saying no and setting boundaries helps us fight off malaise.  It also teaches to have strength.  Let’s be thankful for the character and freedom that saying no brings.  I am.

27.  Be strong and resilient.  

Sometimes this is harder said than done.  Displaying strength and resiliency demonstrates character and builds character.  Using strength and being resilient teaches us that we can handle more than we realize.  It helps teach us that we can handle other tough and stressful situations that may come.  Let’s be thankful for the character that strength and resiliency gives us.  I know I am.

(Update: 11/26/12)

26.  Open the door or window and breathe some fresh air.  

Sometimes we don’t stop long enough to breathe the fresh air to enjoy the moment.  Breathing fresh air allows us to relax and have a break.  It awakens the mind and brings happiness.  Negative feelings cannot harbor when we are enjoying fresh air.  Let’s be thankful for the sweet relaxation that fresh air brings.  I am.

25.  Set time limits to combat workaholism.  

Yes, I said it…workaholism.  As professionals we strive for excellence and many of us like to go the extra mile.  We love to make a difference and be there for others.  We can become workaholics and spend too much time on our work.  Workaholism can easily cause malaise.  Setting time limits allows us to achieve accomplishments, but allows us to have balance.  Let’s be thankful for excellence and balance we achieve in setting time limits.  I do and am.

24.  Redirect the thinking that it’s only you… to… you are a team. 

Sometimes we get too self-engaged and self-focused.  We should remember that we are part of a team.  Our focus should be about the “we” instead of the “I.”  Let’s be thankful for the team we are a part of.  I am.  I love my team!

23.  Give yourself little celebrations (internal and/or external).

Giving ourselves little internal or external celebrations for little accomplishments allows us to reward ourselves when we are doing the same mundane things day-to-day and feeling like there is no end.  Celebrations can be internal cheers and praises, or they can be external celebrations.  Have a special coffee for an accomplishment.  Turn on a favorite song to cheer with.  Have a dark piece of chocolate.   Let’s be thankful for the little celebrations we can cheer on.  I am. 

22.  Give and be a gift to others selflessly.

When we give a gift to others with a generous heart and with no ulterior motive, there is no way we can have malaise.  Generosity allows the heart to be full and happy.  We can be a gift to others in helpfulness, sharing, paying it forward and so on.  Let’s be thankful for the gift we are to others and the blessing that brings to them.  I am.

21. Life saber the fear away.  

Fear causes us to stop stiff.  Fear can cause an onset of malaise.  Let’s take out our life sabers and defeat the fear.  Doing something that allows us to face our fears in a positive way, helps us life saber that grinding fear away.  Let’s be thankful for the peace that comes from demolishing that fear.  I am.    

20.  Focus on the lemonade, not the lemons.  

Let’s face it, we all dislike lemons.  Lemons can be people, but can also be circumstances.  Lemons make us bitter in attitude.  Focusing on the lemonade, the sweet good things, allows us to  set our attention on things that are good for us.  Let’s be thankful for the sweet lemonade in our lives.  I love my lemonade and am thankful for it!

19.  Envision the positive that will come from the goal or deadline.  

Focusing on the end result of a deadline helps keep us balanced in our thoughts and moods.    Focusing on the goal helps us envision the celebration and achievements we will reach which keeps us from becoming overwhelmed by the details along the way.  Let’s be thankful for envisioning the goal and the excitement that brings.  I am.

(Update 11/18/12) 

18.  Savor some hot herbal tea or coffee roast.  (Don’t do coffee if it works you up with anxiety.)

Taking a few minutes to savor herbal tea or coffee roast will help you relax.  Many herbal teas are designed to sooth and relax.  Coffee can relax some of us, but may cause anxiety to others.  If coffee relaxes you then go ahead and drink some.  Let’s be thankful for the savoring relaxation  a warm beverage brings.  I am thankful and enjoy one every day.   

(Update: 11/17/12)

17.  Think like a child- simplify and don’t complicate.  

What does thinking like a child mean?  Children don’t worry about the things that adults worry about.  Yes, we have to be responsible adults and can’t be children.  I get that.  However, sometimes adults make things too complicated and overstressed in situations.  The complication and stress can easily be eliminated if we think like children.  What does that mean?  Let’s focus on simpler things rather than complicating things.  Let’s have a happy and joyous attitude rather than getting worked up about everything.  Let’s be the adult, but simplify and keep the perspective of a child to not complicate things.  Let’s be thankful for the freedom simpler focus brings.  I am.

16.  Bust a move.  

One of the best ways to fight off stress and tension is through movement whether walking, jumping up and down, or doing other exercises. Let’s all get up and bust a move when we are down in mood.  It will help us relieve tension and help us refocus.  Let’s be thankful for the good on the body and on stress relief that busting a move has.  I am thankful for movement.

(Update: 11/15/12)

15.  Play some music (if you can), and if you can’t, play some music in your mind  (sing a song or tune to yourself).

Music is medicine to the soul and mood.  I am a musician, so I could not live without music.  Playing music allows us to let loose from our stress and allows us to relax.  Some environments won’t allow music to be played.  If this is the case for you, then sing a song or tune in your mind.  This will help relax your mood during stress.  Even when I teach, I sing tunes in my mind.  It keeps my spirits happy and smiling.  Let’s be thankful for music and the stress relief it brings.  I am!

14.  Make peace and forgive.

Making peace requires letting go and forgiving the person or thing that causes us feelings of malaise.  Forgiving can be hard but is necessary to have peace.  Sometimes the person we need to forgive is ourselves.  Sometimes it is someone else.  Let’s be thankful for the peace that forgiveness brings.  I am.

(Update: 11/13/12)

13.  Be colorful in attitude in situations.  

Being colorful in attitude and life means to omit the greys and blues. Focus on the joy that having a colorful attitude brings.  Colorful attitudes bring happiness.  Life is full of yellows, reds, greens, oranges, purples, etc.  Use color to enjoy life.  Who can be grey or blue if there is positive color of attitude around us?  I can’t.  Let’s be thankful for the happiness positively colorful attitudes bring.  Joy and cheer!

12.  Be creative.

Creativity helps us focus on positive outcomes, adventure, and development of solutions.  Great things come from creativity.  Who can have malaise when creativity is present?  I can’t.  Let’s be thankful for creativity and the positive outcomes it births.

(Update: 11/11/12)

11.  Celebrate the small things.

Celebrating the small things that are positive helps us keep perspective.  Let’s me thankful for this.  It allows us to focus on one thing at a time so we don’t become overwhelmed.  It allows us to stay grounded in truth and positive thinking.  Even during adversity there are small things we need to remember and celebrate so that we don’t let the larger negative situations define us, or our mood.  What small things are you thankful for?

(Update: 11/10/12)

10.  Use relaxing techniques.  (Pace yourself, take deep breaths, think of a relaxing place, stretch, ect.)

During a stressful or intense situation, we can fight off malaise through using relaxing techniques.  It helps calm us and helps us handle the situation.  I use deep breaths and imagery.  The most relaxing place I’ve ever been to is a beach in Florida called Siesta Key.  When I’m in a tense situation, I think of being in Siesta Key in the breeze with the warm sun touching my face, and the warm water quietly shimmering in the sun.  Let’s be thankful for relaxing techniques that can help us in intense situations.  I am very thankful for Siesta Key.

(Update: 11/9/12)

9.  Have humor and laughter.

Laughter is medicine for the soul.  Using humor and laughter during tough situation helps us relieve tension and better handle stress.  Who can have malaise with humor and laughter?  I know I can’t.  Let’s be thankful for the medicine laughter brings in the face of adversity.  I know I am.  Smile and laugh! : )     

(Updated: 11/8/12)

8.  Apply trust and integrity.

Trust and integrity come from honest character.  Through applying trustful character, others learn we have integrity and we learn others have integrity.  This creates a trusting, caring and supportive environment.  We should be thankful for the peacefulness and happiness integrity brings.  I am very thankful for the many people of integrity I know and work with, and have worked with. 

7.  Communicate and ask questions.

We all have experienced moments where there is a break down in communication. The breakdown can be a result of many things such as unclear expectations and unclear communication from others.  Asking questions helps us communicate effectively.  Through communication we learn the expectations of others and what others mean.  We can then fight off worry and tension that otherwise might arise.  I am thankful for the bonds and peace that asking questions and communicating clearly creates.

(Update: 11/6/12)

6.  Learn and grow by improving areas of weakness.

We all have things that we are great at,our talents.  We all also have weaknesses.  When facing weaknesses, we have to make choices: learn and improve our areas of weakness, or let insecurity of our weaknesses defeat us.  Letting the weaknesses defeat us can create foul moods and anxiety.  By confronting weaknesses, we grow and become better in our areas of weakness.  As a result, our skills and talents improve.  Celebrate and be thankful for the weaknesses you have learned from and the skills you have sharpened.  I am thankful for improving my areas of weakness.

(Update: 11/5/12)

5.  Bond and network with those who have good character.

Be slow to speak and observe character over time.  Not everyone has good character.  Some people are toxic and out for themselves.  Through observance of character, we learn who has good character.  Bonding with peers who are genuine, brings a positive atmosphere in the face of a negative situation.  This will keep malaise at bay.  Be thankful for positive and healthy bonds with peers of genuine character.  I am.

(Update: 11/4/12)

4.  Persevere through obstacles.

Objects of malaise may be difficult to persevere through, but it is through using a positive mindset of perseverance that helps us get through tough situations.  When we apply perseverance, we are redefining the negative situation, having control over: how it affects our mood, how it affects our life and how it affects our work.  Be thankful for what perseverance teaches: strength, acceptance, determination, having backbone, dedication, purposefulness, tenacity and stamina.  I know, I am thankful for these things.

(Update: 11/3/12) 

3.  Push back kindly against pushback.

When we experience pushback we must make a conscious decision not to allow the pushback to affect our mood.  To fight malaise, we should push back against pushback: mentally stay positive, create support networks, encourage your peers, analyze and identify positive ways to address the situation, and take action.  Thankfulness comes from the character that we build during pushback:  determination, perseverance, strength, communication, bonds among peers and many other rewards.  I am very thankful for what I have learned in the face of pushback.

2. Take risks.

Some of us are afraid to take risks out of fear.  Some of us accept the status quo because of fear.  We fear the unknown or we worry that if they take a risk then we might fail.  Where do we go if we take risks?  We may receive recognition, advancement, opportunity, etc.  What happens if we fail from our risk?  Big deal!  We should take the good from it and use what we learn to make better informed decisions and/or risks in the future.  We should be thankful for the blessings and learning opportunities, taking risks brings.  I am very thankful for taking risks.

1. Learn from failure.

We all have experienced failure in one way or another.  Failure can crush our confidence and self-esteem.  Confronting it head-on helps us gain confidence, and above all… opportunity.  What happens if we try something and fail miserably?  Should we let failure grip us in fear?  No!  There is always something incredible to learn from failed attempts.  We should be thankful for the things we learn and the opportunities that present themselves in the face of failure.  I am thankful.

*Opinions are my own and are not those of my employer.  Opinions shared here are not related to my employment.

If you enjoyed this article, Get email updates (It’s Free)

Beth Crumpler is the founder of adaptivelearnin. Beth is an educator who is passionate about platforms for adaptive learning and curriculum design. She earned her B.A. in music education from Southeastern University, M.S. in TESOL from Shenandoah University, and 42 graduate-level credits from several universities in California. Beth is an experienced teacher, curriculum writer, blogger, and elearning course developer in the fields of ESL and music education. She has written learning content for several major educational companies/institutions. Her strongest asset is in using needs analysis and thinking creatively to develop adaptive educational materials both through kinesthetic hands-on and technological platforms to meet the diverse learning needs of students regardless of age, learning need and content area. Beth has taught students of many linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. She loves her work, loves to bring positive humor to it whenever possible, and is seriously dedicated to the profession. Beth's experiences teaching for numerous content areas, diverse populations, and a wide range of age groups is what propelled her with the vision to create adaptivelearnin. Her vision has been to support educators in finding resources which support learning through modified and targeted experiences so that all students receive individualized learning to facilitate their educational growth needs. Adaptivelearnin is a place where educators can find digital and hands-on adaptive learning resources for planning and instructional purposes. Beth does freelance curriculum writing, article writing/blogging, and online course development. For inquires about hiring Beth for work, please email her at Go to to check out published articles Beth has written. Opinions are her own and are not those of her employer, or previous employers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.