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5 ways to stay positive when working from home

Firstly, how are you coping at the moment? Read on for 5 ways to stay positive when working from home.

You’d be 100% forgiven for not feeling at the top of your game – to say these are uniquely challenging times is an understatement. Some have lost their jobs, families are having to home educate their kids and we’re all missing our friends and family.

(Not to mention the other life stresses that get in the way.)

Although times are certainly tough, there are things those of us working from home can do to help stay positive and productive throughout the day. We’re not saying these strategies will work all of the time, but they’re tried, tested and definitely worth experimenting with!

Here goes…

1. Get dressed for the day ahead

What we wear has a huge impact on how we feel, according to psychologists. Our clothes enable us to express our identity and set the right tone for the day. As our brains associate pjs and loungewear with relaxation, we’d always recommend getting dressed for working at home.

“Our clothes should be comfortable and, if we want to maintain some degree of normalcy, they should be the sort of clothes we wore to work when we worked face-to-face. Doing this enables us to have some degree of control in a situation where otherwise we have very little control.”

– Dr Carolyn Mair, a behavioural psychologist and author of The Psychology of Fashion


2. Find joy in those little routines

Routine is like a tonic for our mental wellbeing. It helps keep us grounded and can have a positive impact on our sleep and stress levels. However, if you’re unable to stick to a schedule, we’d recommend establishing those small, mood-boosting routines.

Little routines could include:

  • Setting your alarm as your favourite song for the same time every day
  • Taking a coffee break at 11 am every morning (in the garden or by the window)
  • Making a lovely lunch with healthy-yet-filling ingredients
  • Setting aside half an hour in the day to focus on something you enjoy
  • Finishing at the same time each day

It can be really easy to let work and home life blur into one at the moment, but establishing boundaries can help you feel more relaxed and positive.

Tasty – check out their delicious recipes!


3. Try to limber up on a daily basis

Anyone else feeling a bit lethargic? When working and living from home, it can be easy to slide into the sedentary lifestyle. To overcome this, try to consciously work some form of exercise into the working day. You’ll feel more energised for it, we promise!

Why not try the following:

  • Do video conference & calls standing – take it one step further and move around your house while chatting to coworkers.
  • Do a stairs workout –  routine walks up and down the stairs in your house or apartment building will boost your heart rate and help keep you healthy.
  • A spot of cleaning – tidying up for 30 minutes can have the same cardiovascular effect as going for a fast walk (also, tidy space = tidy mind).
  • Take a look at another one of our blogs on how to boost your wellbeing at work in just 5 minutes – there are some handy tips here for stretching at your workstation and breathing exercises
  • Do some Yoga with Adriene – other short and accessible online exercise videos are available, but we personally recommend this one!

Adriene’s 15-minute routine is designed to help you feel at peace

4. Self care and cut yourself some slack

Practising self care is important; it will help you keep your mind, body and soul in good health. Even something as simple as paying attention to your breath can make a big difference. Notice if your breathing is shallow and try to deepen it by breathing from the belly.

Grounding is another technique you could try. Take a moment every now and again to recognise the parts of your body that are touching the ground. Feel the support and picture roots going deep into the earth, as if you’re a tree.

It’s also good to remember that you might not always feel positive and productive whilst working from home and that’s okay too!

5. Remember there’s always someone to talk to

Just because we’re physically distancing, we can still be sociable. And that doesn’t mean we have to join in on every group Zoom quiz going. Set aside some time to catch up with individual colleagues and friends. Sometimes, phone catch-ups can be more effective than video.

If you need to speak with a professional, Hub of Hope is a UK mental health database that brings grassroots and national mental health services together in one place. If you’re an employer, it might be worth sharing this resource with your team.

The platform/app is free to use and confidential; the aim is simply to make it easier for people to find and access the mental health support they need.

We hope you found these tips useful and you are all keeping safe and well.