How Working From Home Can Benefit Mental Fitness
The last twelve months have seen a tectonic shift in many people’s workplace habits. Millions of us have left our safe commuting routines and office spaces, replacing them with a groggy journey to the kitchen table. But while some enjoyed the change, others couldn’t wait to get back to the uplifting atmosphere of the office.
Mental fitness experts at Minderful, the app for ‘doing’, put their heads together and asked an important question: How do we make working from home better for our minds?
The Sacred Hour
When we wake up, it’s very tempting to roll over and immediately grab our phones. But as soon as we go online, our minds are sent into overdrive. We start our day reactive instead of proactive, which heightens our stress and anxiety. Our digital notifications give us triggers in our brains to release dopamine, which gives us a taste for it—and makes us constantly crave it throughout the day. To combat this and to give yourself the luxury of waking up in peace, implement a sacred hour in the morning. Put the phone away, listen to a podcast, read a book, journal, or do whatever you feel like doing away from the screen. Only start working when you’re ready.
Recreating your Office Space
Scientists have proven that the brain attaches memories to spaces, which is why we often forget what we’re after when we leave the room. This is also true for workplaces. Some of us have had trouble remembering passwords, notes, and knowledge that is usually easy to recall in the office, contributing to diminished productivity. To counter that, create a dedicated workspace in your home and try to work from that exact spot every day. Bring as many things from your office desk that could trick your mind into thinking it’s back at the office, and don’t use that space for anything else. Make sure you set realistic expectations and log off completely at the end of the day, which will help you avoid burnout.
Adapting the lighting during the course of the day to mimic nature aids our natural circadian cycles, thus optimising our moods and energy levels throughout the day. Bright light is suitable for daytime hours, while softer, dimmer lights work better in the evening. Similarly, colder tones like green and blue light have a stimulating effect on the mind, while warmer tones like orange and red enhance the feelings of relaxation. Blue light has also been found to decrease the amount of sleep hormone melatonin, which means blue light works best for areas where we need to focus, like computer screens.
To learn more about how to look after your mind, visit Minderful.com or listen to their mental fitness tips on Spotify, where they gather advice from everyday people.