By now, we all have a pretty good perception of how well we work from home.
Some of us have taken to it like a duck to water. We wake up early, find ourselves more productive in our spare room than any office around the country, and even clock in some extra hours to ensure every project gets out the door on time (whether that’s healthy or not).
Some of us though, are still struggling. Months into the process, we’re still finding it tough to apply ourselves in a remote setting thoroughly and slowly watch our standards and mental health slip.
Like so much in life, a positive outlook is essential when it comes to working remotely. If you don’t feel optimistic about the present situation, you’re never going to be the best you – whether you’re working or just chatting with your colleagues. It’s crucial to understand how to find mental positivity and then retain it, and that’s just what we’ll be covering today.
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Embrace the remote lifestyle fully
You’ll never feel comfortable with something unless you fully embrace it.
Finding success in working remotely requires accepting that this is the situation we’re going to be in for the foreseeable future. To maintain a positive mental state, you need to make the best of what you’re given.
That doesn’t mean just putting your head down and forcing yourself through work. Yes, productivity is powerful, and doing a job well can make you feel much better about yourself and your current situation. However, embracing remote working is about creating a healthy, happy environment to replicate your usual routine.
Rather than trying to shoehorn remote working into your regular life, rebuild your schedule around it.
Your work doesn’t have to be your life, but for now, so much of your day is built around managing yourself at home. If you’re a person who enjoys their commute give yourself the time each morning to walk or listen to a podcast. If you miss chatting with colleagues while making coffee, schedule them in with your housemates or peer over the fence to your neighbors. If you find yourself snacking throughout the day, restrict yourself to specific eating times to curb bad habits. Remote-How wrote an excellent guide to defining your remote working routine long before COVID thrust it all upon us.
You don’t need to re-think your life altogether for the sake of remote working – but your mental positivity will see a boost from re-evaluating your schedule and lifestyle to make logging in at home feel less jarring.
Consult expert opinions
If you’re facing more serious issues than general frustration and a loss of productivity as a result of working from home, maybe you should consider consulting expert help.
While it’s easier said than done to see a professional, therapy (whether one-to-one or as part of a group) gives you the opportunity to both talk through what you’re struggling with and find actionable techniques to improve your outlook.
It’s a difficult step to take, but talking about your concerns surrounding working from home can make them feel smaller and lift a massive weight off your shoulders. There may be a deeper issue that the stress of remote working is masking.
It may be the case that you look at therapy as too drastic a solution. You can be stressed and down without needing to consult a medical professional. In that case, specialist lifestyle and breakthrough coaching courses can help get you in the mental state to attack the remote working day and be your most confident self. Courses like Orion’s Method focus on helping you fill the void in your life that working away from friends and colleagues may have caused.
Consulting this kind of advice is a safe, healthy, and mature way to positively approach a lack of mental health in this unique situation. It will massively improve your relationship with remote working, among other stresses in life in the long term.
A healthy body is a healthy mind
You know the phrase. If you’re not treating your body with respect, how do you expect your mind to be in the place not just to think positively, but put everything into working remotely?
Eating well, getting regular exercise, and making sure you don’t spend all day staring at your phone. Yeah, they’re simple suggestions for a healthy home working lifestyle in theory, but it’s easier said than done.
Much like your mental health and fully embracing remote working, this is a slow process with lots of lessons along the way.
Rather than going cold turkey on the treats, use them as rewards to look forward to as you work. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn to get your run in, use the flexibility of remote working, and work out during lunch. Have designated screen time, so you aren’t spending eight hours a day burning your retinas.
This is an excellent opportunity to improve your health. Yes, you may be trapped indoors and cutting out your most regular exercise – but that time saved not commuting can be used to focus on unhealthy habits and make significant strides. This Kitchn article covers how to reset your mind to eat healthily throughout the home working process.
If you let your body fall apart, your mind will come tumbling after it.
Talk to people
We’ve already touched upon the importance of talking to a professional about any concerns you’re having working from home and the negative thoughts that come with it. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg – conversation should be your anchor throughout this frustrating period and into remote working beyond.
Talk to your family and friends about how you’re feeling. Ask them how they’re dealing with working from home – they may well have tips you can apply to your own home office. Tools such as Google Hangouts make it possible for us actually to work together without being in the same room. Set up a digital space and stay on camera chatting throughout the day – just as you would in the office.
Let your work know how you’re doing. If you’re struggling, there may be something they’re able to do to improve it. Having the right equipment is a crucial part of working remotely – and that means everything from desk chairs to adaptors lets you use your preferred monitors. These may seem trivial when you’re distressed at work, but every little environmental issue can change your mood working remotely.
Encourage your work to use internal messaging services such as Slack or Discord to replicate your community feel virtual (even if it’s through instant messaging) and replace cold emails that fill colleagues with dread. It’s not the same as having them there by your side, but it keeps relationships healthy.
It’s not easy to stay positive at the moment. If you dislike your job or do it from home, there’s not a lot of positive news out there to take your mind off it. Working from home is a real challenge for all of us, even those who have done it before. However, these simple lessons should guide you towards a more positive outlook when you sit at your bedroom desk every morning.