Many of us have been working from home for a year now and whilst there are of course benefits (e.g. no commute, more family time, perhaps some flexibility) there are also downsides and finding inspiration and motivation without the social comradery of the office and a clear distinction between work and home life, can be challenging.
It’s very easy to blur the boundaries and find your attention straying to home distractions or conversely working beyond your ‘official’ hours. Structure is important (time blocking tasks helps keep you on track with purpose) but utilising opportunities to introduce variety is too. Ensure your’ To-Do List’ is realistic so you feel fulfilled. Check your posture, dress up to feel good and don’t forget to breathe – deeply! Take regular breaks outside – fresh air and appreciation of nature lowers your blood pressure and alleviates procrastination and rumination whilst improving attention, memory and sleep. And exercise relieves anxiety and boosts physical, mental and emotional energy. Embrace those endorphins and refuel with healthy food choices and plenty of water.
Is there anything you can improve about your working environment? Optimise natural light which triggers your brain to release serotonin thereby promoting a sense of calm and focus – also helping to regulate sleep. Keep your windows clean and utilise mirrors which effectively double your light source, no matter how grey the day! Counteract stressful background noise, which can cause a surge in adrenaline and raise your blood pressure, with sound cancelling headphones or uplifting music. Clutter can induce the stress hormone cortisol therefore rearrange and organise your home space so it’s fit for purpose and create a sanctuary where you can concentrate. Visual aids like quotes, affirmations and photographs can influence your mood.
Incentivise yourself by rewarding screen-free interludes to decompress, enjoy your other interests and positive interactions with friends and family. Notice the difference, to both you and the recipient, when you pay a compliment, tell someone you value them or conduct a random act of kindness because “Compassion reduces our fear, boosts our confidence, and opens us to inner strength.” (The Dalai Lama). And show yourself some love because there’s also growing evidence that self-compassion can help to combat stress, encourage you to stick to your goals, increase contentment and improve connection to others.
This may not be easy but you’re doing a great job,
Kate Finn is a solution focused clinical hypnotherapist https://www.kfhypnotherapist.co.uk