5 Unusual but Transformative Ways to Work From Home (THIS MAY CHANGE YOUR LIFE!)

productivity success Apr 12, 2020

By: Contributing Writer

For some office workers, this is their first time working from home. The strange combination of working a corporate job from home can be a shock to most. I can relate. Having been in a corporate environment all of my work life, I can say the difference is stark. However, even if I’ve worked in a conservative field like finance for most of my life, I went home to study martial arts, yoga/pilates, psychology, and various contemplative arts.

With the knowledge gained from all those areas, I want to share 5 unusual ways that helped me conquer working from home. You will probably not see these in any other article, but they are nonetheless deeply transformative and may change your life. 

Music has the power to immediately change your state and profoundly engage you in your work. Do you remember a time when you heard a song you loved from your past out of the blue and it tugged your heartstrings back to that moment? Music pulls out the subconscious emotions that we felt at the time of hearing it. And you use this to extract the emotions you need to be productive and even heal from whatever is troubling you at this moment.

Many people who work from home have problems concentrating, being motivated, or lifting their mood.

  • To increase motivation, you can put together a playlist of inspiring or upbeat tracks. (I like “Ten Feet Tall feat. Wrabel & David Ghetta” by Afrojack)
  • For times that require more creativity & empathy, try some contemplative tracks.  (I’m loving “To Be Loved” by Ashana or “La Respuesta” by Curawaka)
  • To increase focus and block out the noise around you from family, put on some headphones and be transported to your own mental workspace.

Music is also the quickest way to break negative thought patterns that tell us this situation may be permanent, pervasive or personal – with the right track you just may need to get up and dance.

Starting the workday each day by cleaning your workspace immediately gives you 3 massive benefits. First, it gives you a sense of accomplishment from finishing a productive task which gets the ball rolling to do the next thing on your list. Second, it allows you to focus on hygiene, which has become extremely important in these times. And third, the routine action gets your mind in a meditative state which clears your mind for work.

Just like how focused washing of dishes can be a meditative experience, the act of cleaning and wiping down your workplace before you work prompts you to see the space as something sacred. This idea of sacred space thus makes your work become more meaningful to you.

The way you do anything is how you do everything -- the more you make sure your workspace is clean, the more your mind becomes clean and the more likely everything that comes from it becomes clean. 

Cacao, not to be confused with cocoa (which is processed and full of sugar) may be a good drink of choice to help you in your remote work journey. According to Anima Mundi Apothecary, pure cacao is packed with the following nutritional benefits:

  • Cacao contains 40x more anti-oxidants than blueberries. It has an ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, vs blueberries at a mere 2,400. ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals (that come from pollution and toxins in our environment), which cause cell and tissue damage and can lead to diseases such as cancer.
  • Cacao is loaded with iron and magnesium (magnesium helps manage stress)
  • Cacao is a great source of serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine, which are neurotransmitters that promote bliss.

When looking to buy cacao, make sure it’s non GMO, heirloom or ceremonial grade cacao to get the most benefits and effects from this nutritional superfood and medicine.

More than just the antioxidant benefits, cacao teaches us a very important skill we need to get us through these changing times – empathy. Indigenous people have used cacao in ceremonies as a powerful heart opener and a way to connect to profound empathy, compassion and human connectedness.

Simply mixed with some hot water or almond milk, cacao is best drunk with full presence, doing nothing else at the moment but focusing on the tasty and nutritious drink open to the new things you will learn coming out of the experience. Some benefits of drinking cacao in this way can include:

  • An open heart
  • Pure happiness and bliss
  • Feeling of belonging
  • Feeling love towards yourself and others
  • Desire to be kind

The world will never be the same, and we have seen the profound effects our old ways have had on the planet and on our health (stress).  It is a humanitarian crisis.  Therefore, this new world will favor companies and people that are more sustainable, show more compassion toward those in need, and more empathy towards its clients and employees. Empathy will be the new currency of choice because it leads us back to peace and prosperity.

This may seem random and unusual, but there is a deeper reason for everything I list here. If you are able to do them (consult with your doctor before trying a new exercise routine), push-ups done consciously can transform your life.

When you do a push-up, you lower yourself close to the ground. Your hands and toes grip the ground and you are almost completely tuned into your body at this moment. Push-ups force you to see what’s it’s like to hold yourself up, to support yourself, and at the same time realize how close to the earth you are, therefore how much you depend on it. Therefore, it makes you realize not only that you can support yourself (no matter how little you go down or even using your knees), but also it shows you humility every time your face moves down closer to the ground. It’s a very physical experience.

Push-ups also connect us to feeling much more grounded and in our bodies instead of in our thoughts. When you are holding yourself up in a plank position, you are exercising the muscles of your core. Your core abdominals are associated with confidence and will – strong core, strong will.

All these characteristics – strong will, self-support, and humility – are essential for you to be able to work remotely with purpose and help shine a light on your true talents. And when (if?) you finally make it back to the office having accessed these characteristics, wouldn’t you be a much well rounded, balanced and aware team member or manager? 

Sometimes this is called “breathwork”, "breath of life" or “pranayama”.  Despite the strange terms, you don’t need to be a trained yogi or monk to do this. The basic idea is just to flood your system with life-giving oxygen. When you are stressed, breathing is shallow and this limits oxygen to your brain, limiting the way you are able to assess situations. Deep breathing can result in more energy, reduced stress levels, and an augmented immune response. Wim Hof has used breathing techniques to help him weather extreme temperatures and difficult situations, but you don’t have to take it to that extent to get the benefits (and definitely don’t try anything new without consulting your doctor).

All it really takes to get the benefits is 5 minutes of breathing deeply in, then letting go. What I do is I go and sit in a comfortable spot, then I either set a timer for 5 minutes and breathe deeply, or I may lie down and take 30 – 40 deep breaths, counting them on my fingers. I can feel my shoulders relax and my body get in a much more relaxed and calm state where I can appreciate life and see more clearly.

A great electronic visual (gif) you can use to guide your breathing can be found here.

Taking 5 minutes to breathe regularly is essential to get out of a stressed state and into a resourceful one. Stress is contagious and toxic and is the #1 thing that breaks down your immune system. 

Working remotely can give you many more resources to be your best than working from an office. These 5 transformative practices should help you find more balance in working from home during this time. Have you learned a skill working from home that will help personal & professional development? Leave a comment below & share what you learned.

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Disclaimer: This information is not intended as medical advice, but rather a sharing of knowledge and information based on research and experience. As always, consult your doctor before trying any new diet or exercise program.

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