Global stress can be all consuming right now. And with social media feeds buzzing into overdrive, daily routines unsettled, and friends and family in a state of anxiety, it can be difficult to stay focused.
But for most of us, working from home or not, work must continue. Emails must be sent, deadlines met, and stories told. So how can we trigger feelings of calm, focus and even happiness right now? I want to share my happiness triggers with you. Feel free to try them out and why not leave some of your own in the comments below?
10 Work From Home Happiness Triggers To Try This Week
#1 Pick Some Blossom or Flowers
Spring is in the air and with it comes an array of scented flowers and blossoms. My absolute favourite is orange blossoms which is the scent of happiness for me! Pick a small branch of orange blossom if you can and keep it on your desk in a vase. Pressing the leaves releases the scent which will fill your office for hours. If you don’t have blossom trees, then head out onto your balcony or garden and pick a flower. Take a moment to appreciate its beauty, scent and colours. Don’t have flowers? Order yourself some online if you can.
#2 Make Some Fresh Coffee
If you can make fresh coffee, then do so. Scientists have known for years that coffee stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain, which produces the euphoria and happy feelings that people associate with their first cup of coffee. Use high quality fresh coffee and take time to breathe in the scent in your home. Take the time to froth the milk and add cinnamon or chocolate on the top. Most important? Take 10 minutes clear of any distractions to drink it.
#3 Stretch it out
You might not realise how tense your body is until you stretch it out. I’m not into running 10km or bench pressing a small elephant before 5am. But I am into stretching and meditating each day. Stretching increases your flexibility, stimulates blood flow to your muscles, improves your posture and is great for stress relief. Got too much going on in your mind to meditate? That’s cool too. Put your favourite music on and take 10 minutes to stretch and breathe deeply.
#4 Close social media
Yep I said it, close it. Working as a marketing director, I’m permanently hooked up to the feeds. I know what’s trending, what everyone is talking about and the breaking news as it happens. But sometimes we need a break. Being permanently connected can put us in a state of hyper anxiety. The negative impacts of social media platforms include issues like increased levels of depression and anxiety, poor sleep quality, dissatisfaction and FOMO. I’m not suggesting you delete platforms or stop using social media. But dedicate several hours per day to non-social-media activities. And turn your WiFi off at night. If you must tune into social media, choose pages to follow that make you feel happy.
#5 Write what you want to
Writers can be impacted by stress in different ways. Some are highly charged and inspired. Whilst others experience lethargy, mental blocks and tiredness. All of these are normal and there is no correct response to stress triggers. If you feel under a lot of pressure, allow yourself time to pick the activity you feel calms you. If you’re not a writer, you might find that writing is something you want to begin. Perhaps you want to write a poem, story or just doodle some thoughts in a journal. Allow yourself time to do this rather than pushing your mind to tackle assignments you simply don’t feel able to handle. Work on projects you feel passionate about or that are less stressful than others.
#6 Get some sunshine
When natural sunlight hits the skin, it triggers the body’s production of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also known as “the sunshine vitamin.” It’s a crucial ingredient for overall health; protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps muscles, improves brain function and elevates your mood. That’s not to say you will be sunbathing all morning. But why not take your morning coffee to the window, balcony or garden and catch some rays. Close your eyes and feel the warming, calming effect of the sunshine. And talking of closing your eyes, it’s ok to take a structured nap. I find that 20 minutes mid afternoon reinvigorates my mind and sparks positivity. Just remember to set that alarm!
#7 Cuddle your pet
If you’re fortunate enough to have a dog, cat, bunny or any other furry friend then don’t miss out on cuddles. Cuddling stimulates the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which help relieve depression and may make you feel happier. The act of holding and stroking your pet is also a good way to combat anxiety. It creates a calming effect and helps you focus on the present moment. Plus, it’s great for your pet too. Animals feel anxiety in much the same way we do, so taking time to relax them is important. If you’re now working from home, your pet will be happy to spend the extra time with you.
#8 Create a photo board
Those of you new to working from home may not have your desk or office set up yet and that’s totally ok. One of the first additions to your new space should be photos that make you feel grounded and happy. Perhaps it’s photos of a great trip you took, your loved ones, pets or a beautiful field or beach. Whatever makes you happy, create a board or space to pin those photos and look at them often. Another great thing to add to your desk is a dream board. Fill it with photos or images of things you want to do or goals you wish to achieve in the next few years.
#9 Skype with people who make you happy
Of course, we all need to get on with work and might be taking part in work meetings on Skype or Zoom. In addition, take 15 minutes out of your day to skype someone who makes you happy. Perhaps it’s a colleague you normally work with, a friend or a family member. Try to avoid toxic people if you’re already feeling anxious. Focus conversations on positives wherever possible.
#10 Establish a positive tone
Each new day is a fresh opportunity to reset your tone. If you decide you will have a stressful and negative day, then you certainly will. Words are extremely powerful as Andrew Bennett – leadership consultant, business coach and member of The Magic Circle – emphasised during an inspiring TEDx Talk at Towson University. “Abracadabra” he explained in a live speech, has “transformative power.” Not because it’s used by magicians who make humans disappear or change the shape of objects, but because of its actual Aramaic meaning: “what I speak is what I create.” Essentially, this taps into the idea that if we have a positive mind set and use positive language, we can create positive outcomes and vice versa. We can literally transform negativity into something meaningful and productive.
Enjoyed reading 10 Work From Home Happiness Triggers To Try This Week? Hit share! What are your happiness triggers? Tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know.