Struggling to see the glass as half full at the moment? You’re not alone! Having a positive mindset while working from home is more important now than ever.
During uncertain times, it’s easy to fall into the trap of having a negative outlook. This can impair your work performance and quality dramatically.
Having a negative mindset can cause more damage than you may think. In fact, a 2013 case study found that thoughts and self-blame in relation to negative events were linked to an increased risk of mental health problems.
According to Success Consciousness, having a positive mindset will enable you to achieve more.
“A positive frame of mind increases your motivation to succeed and get what you want.”
So, how do you uphold a positive mindset while working from home?
Control your language
This isn’t about minding your Ps and Qs. It’s about being aware of words you use in your thoughts and aloud.
The way we describe something can alter the emotive element hugely.
For example, you may find that your workload has increased with the current climate. You could view this as a great way of keeping busy at home and focusing on something other than the worrying pandemic.
Or, you may see this as a huge burden adding to your worries at the moment.
One scenario, but two very different perceptions.
Practice identifying self-critical and generally negative thoughts. Challenge yourself to find a positive spin on daily scenarios. If this proves too difficult to flip your thinking, try simply ‘toning down’ the negativity. Change “I hate this” to “this is challenging” or “I can’t” to “this will take more effort”.
These small changes to soften your language can help to mute those negative thoughts.
Choose a workspace with natural lighting
The positive effects of sunlight can be substantial.
Sunlight increases serotonin levels in the brain, associated with an improved mood. It’s basically a natural mood enhancer.
According to Forbes, it’s also known as the ‘happiness hormone’, keeping you calm and alert.
Dr. Mithu Storoni, physician, researcher and author of Stress-Proof, explains: “The brighter your daylight exposure, the more melatonin you produce at night”.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain during darkness and let’s your body know that it’s time to wind down ready for sleep.
Increased exposure to sunlight makes you feel more awake, reducing insomnia.
The Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University conducted research that showed a strong link between workplace daylight exposure and employees’ sleep, activity and quality of life.
Opt for a room with larger windows, draw back the curtains and soak up the Vitamin D while you work!
It can be lonely working from home, especially if you have colleagues like those of us at GAS who enjoy each other’s company and appreciate the witty anecdotes from team members which break the day up.
Maintaining connections with your colleagues upholds the social aspect of your employment.
Current restrictions mean we can’t meet people from external households face-to-face, but there are a wide range of techy tools out there to keep in touch.
The likes of Facebook, Snapchat and Whatsapp provide the opportunity to video call people and maintain that personal element of contact.
Failing that, a simple phone call can stop you feeling so lonely.
We thrive on social connection as humans. According to Age UK : “A wealth of evidence shows that positive relationships and shared activities contribute to our wellbeing.”
“As far back as we can trace, humans have travelled, hunted, and thrived in social groups and for good reason.” – MindWise Innovations.
So, don’t forget to keep in contact with your colleagues regularly!
Get up, get dressed, get focused
As tempting as it may be to use this time to stay snug in bed while you work, don’t do it!
Getting out of bed and getting dressed helps to get your brain into focus for the day ahead and improves productivity.
“Washing and getting dressed will not only improve your state of mind, it will psychologically prepare you to start work.” – BBC.
Lying around in your PJs all day will likely make you feel lethargic and low. Combat this by getting up each day and following your usual routine of getting washed and changed into work attire.
The formality of your outfit is dependent on the type of person you are and the business you work for. Sometimes a simple t-shirt and jeans will suffice, others prefer to be all suited and booted.
You’ll also be prepared for any video calls you need to make!
If you are concerned about the current economic climate and its effects on your business, visit our COVID-19 Business Support Hub to learn how GAS can help you control your business running costs.