The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus disease is a source of unexpected stress and adversity for professionals. Many seek to see the light at the end of the tunnel as everything points to this period as establishing a new normal. Self-improvement which is both physical and psychological is adopting healthy habits and routines. We wanted to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to maintain your positivity and bring out your optimum productivity during these circumstances. Here are 9 tips to stay positive and productive during tough times.
1, Keep moving
Exercise is a great stress buster and mood booster. You can exercise just about anywhere, anytime. Research recommends an adult at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. All activity counts, whether at the gym or at home. Physical activity improves your body’s ability to use oxygen and improves blood flow. Both changes have a direct effect on your brain.
Exercise also increases your brain’s production of endorphins. Endorphins are the “feel-good” neurotransmitters that are responsible for the coveted “runner’s high.” This is the sense of well-being and euphoria that many people experience after exercise. Do what you love. The most important thing is to pick activities that you enjoy. Take a walk with the dog, try body-weight exercises or do a yoga video at home.
2, Get enough sleep
Develop a sleep routine and go to bed and wake up at around the same time each day, every day. Also do the same thing, ideally read a book before bed. Relax before bedtime with some stretching or breathing exercises. Avoid any stimulants such as caffeine intake, and limit late night screen time, as light has been proven to be a potent stimulant for your brain, inhibiting your Circadian rhythm, or sleep pattern.
3, Establish a Routine
It is important to establish a routine during these unusual times. It can be tempting to just take the days as they come by shifting from bed to your workstation back and forth. But this sedentary behavior will affect your wellbeing. When you have a routine in place, you will feel more in control of your situation and life will not feel quite as chaotic. The lost structure of your workday is cemented once more. Setting up a regular routine even under these current circumstances will keep you motivated, and more disciplined. It will boost your confidence, and sense of purpose.
Should you be Working from home, making a daily plan may be challenging and take some time to figure out, but once you do, you will notice that agreeing to stay diligent about your schedule and delineate ‘home’ and ‘work’ life. If feasible, write down SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-limited goals. These will be small objectives you set yourself that are gratifying once accomplished.
4, Develop Resilience
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from a challenge. Remember, your mindset is everything. If we stay optimistic and tell ourselves we can do it, we can. Dreading stress or dwelling on it will worsen your stress. A mental exercise you can do right now is to visualize all the times you’ve handled tough situations before. Recalling them will not in itself lower your stress, but you will feel empowered by knowing that you can face the challenge at hand. Because you are equipped with the same tools of resilience that you have helped you overcome hardships many times over.
Michelle Gielan of New York City, the author of Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change, suggests writing down the list of your wins over stressful situations. These will be a quick reminder that you have the skills you need.
5, Use cognitive restructuring
Use this opportunity to learn new skills. Reading, webinars, podcasts, home improvement projects, and cooking are all activities that will empower you once the task is completed. They will help you in feeling like you are not wasting your time or be too hard on yourself. Rather you will feel productive and have and outlook on your future. Beyond mere distractions, these skills help you focus on the future to implement those newly acquired skills. Cognitive restructuring is about empowering your cognitive abilities: to have more tools to face the challenges of tomorrow.
6, Connect with others, your community- or faith-based organizations.
Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. While social distancing measures are in place, try connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail. Try to stay in contact and checking up on family, friends and colleagues as much as possible.
By being a giver, you will also boost your mood levels by socializing. Also do get in touch with your local community organization. They are a great support to confide yourself and may liaise you with other people that may be needing your help in those though times.
7, Find your optimal noise level
Background music has been shown to help with clearly defined, repetitive tasks and reduce stress before and while working. Research shows that low levels of background noise increase information processing and creative thinking, while silence being best for work that requires high levels of concentration.
A person’s mood or feeling about a type of noise may matter more than the actual type of noise. So, if you are just enjoying leisure time find music that will suit your personality and keep you upbeat.
8, Treat Yourself by Buying a New Outfit Online
Refreshing your wardrobe is a must right now. In a world where everything is slowed down, gift yourself a great outfit that you will enjoy wearing whether at home or going out. It is a great mood booster and a form of self-care to be giving towards yourself.
9, Get a power outfit on
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that professionals perform better on tasks when wearing clothes with “symbolic meaning.” For a business professional, wearing a nice outfit may boost how you feel about work.
Research by Joy V. Peluchette and Katherine Karl found, “Respondents felt most authoritative, trustworthy, and competent when wearing formal business attire, but friendliest when wearing casual or business casual attire.” In sum, dressing up in great clothing will empower you to be confident.
Remember these are unprecedented times so focus on yourself and take the extra time at hand for self-improvement. Don't burn yourself out because you are at home! Achieving an augmented lifestyle is a journey not a destination.
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