Gone are the days of the after-work drink with your coworkers, the impromptu lunch in the park together, or going to grab a coffee and a conversation. Even on our most challenging days at work, we used to be able to rely on these small joys to lift our moods.

Add to that, many of us have been either working longer hours or juggling family and work obligations. It’s no wonder that fully remote workers are now experiencing more burnout than on-site workers, which Gallup deems an unprecedented shift.

If there is anything we have learned from ourselves this past year, however, it is that we are a wellspring of resilience. We have the capacity to adapt to our changing circumstances, and even find and create joy within them.

As we know, sometimes it’s the little stuff that makes the biggest difference in our day-to-day. So, In honor of International Day of Happiness later this month, here are five simple ways to reignite your workday with small joys that go a long way.

1. Reaffirm Your Why

As the philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “He who has a ‘why’ to live for, can bear almost any ‘how.’” Especially in trying times, purpose is what drives our connection to work and to the world at large. However, the “collective effort” that fuels our sense of purpose is harder to achieve if you aren’t working in the same physical space as others, says meQuilibrium Co-founder and Chief Knowledge Officer, Dr. Andrew Shatté, “Now, more than ever, we need to constantly remind ourselves that what we do matters and how it contributes to the greater good.”

How to do it: 

At meQuilibrium, we have identified three levels of connection you can have to your job. The first is the paycheck, the second is enjoying the challenge and interactions with coworkers, and the third is feeling that you contribute to something larger than yourself. Not every task will fulfill that level three connection. However, there is purpose in everything you do—and even just the act of searching for it will drive your motivation, resilience, and happiness at work. Start the day off with an affirmation, such as, “I make a difference by…” or “It fills my tank to…” If you find yourself losing steam, write down at least one impact that the task or project has: who does it serve? What next step does it make possible? Finding even a level one or two connection will reignite your motivation.

2. Seek New Experiences

So many of us crave routine and structure amidst the large-scale unpredictability. However, there is a fine line between routine and “rut”—the latter of which is all too easy to fall into these days. According to The Happiness Research Institute’s 2018 Happy Memory Study, new experiences are necessary in order for us to forge happy memories. The study found that nearly a quarter of people’s memories were of unique experiences, and more than five percent of their happy memories were of “firsts.”

How to do it: 

New experiences don’t have to be big to make you happy. Your brain is craving—and will benefit from—even small bursts of novelty. Catch up with a coworker you haven’t spoken to in a while, rearrange your workspace, or ask your manager if you can join a team that’s working on a project you’re interested in. While creating new memories may feel challenging during a pandemic, the Institute’s CEO, Meik Wiking, points out that it also presents a unique advantage: Living through a pandemic is a unique experience of itself, which means that the positive memories we make right now may have an even better chance of sticking.

3. Read on Your Lunch Break

Switching up your scenery has well-researched effects on motivation, energy, and creativity. For those of us whose environments aren’t conducive to taking a walk around the block, however, “traveling” through a good book can have a similar effect. A 2013 survey found that reading has been found to decrease stress and increase life satisfaction, happiness, and purpose. And a study from the University of Sussex found that just six minutes of reading can reduce stress by up to 68 percent.

How to do it: 

Designate a block of time in your workday to dig into a book, article, or audiobook. Allow this time to be a sort of meditation, giving your brain a break from whatever tasks you’ve been focused on up until that point. When time is up, return to your day refreshed and with a renewed perspective. For best results, do this somewhere other than your workspace, such as outdoors or by a window.

4. Eat Better

When we’re not feeling our best, we usually aren’t eating our best. “This is a cycle,” says meQuilibrium Director of Content and Integrative Health Coach, Alanna Fincke. “We feel better when we invest in ourselves, so eating well is not only important physically, but mentally and emotionally, too.” What’s more: Your brain produces oxidants when you work, and after 10-12 hours of mental activity, that’s a lot of energy to replenish. Long story short: cutting corners won’t cut it.

How to do it: 

Go for foods rich in antioxidants, i.e. berries, beans, apples, and tea, which act as anti-inflammatory agents, and take care to stay hydrated, which helps remove metabolic waste from the brain. Try “super-hydrating” at the start of your day with two cups of water and avoid “dehydrators,” such as processed sugary foods (one UCLA study linked foods high in fructose to slower brain functioning) and too much caffeine, which, especially on an empty stomach, can increase anxiety and stress.

5. Release Expectations

While we all deserve to strive for happiness, the unrealistic expectation that we should feel it all the time places pressure on us that can ironically contribute to our unhappiness, in some cases leading to depression and even physical health problems.

How to do it: 

When you feel the urge to judge or criticize your boredom, exhaustion, or sadness, validate it instead. It has been a tough year, and everyone, no matter how happy they appear on the outside, has felt unhappy at some point, too. The only way to heal is “through”: Allow yourself space to fully process your experience. Whether that means journaling or authentically sharing with family, coworkers, or friends, feeling your full range of emotions leads to true happiness—and helps you appreciate the good stuff even more.