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This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.

At the best of times, working from home is associated with all sorts of positive emotions for remote workers – freedom, autonomy, trust, and happiness, to name a few. Indeed, remote working is often viewed as the “holy grail” of flexible working options, with numerous benefits that far outweigh any potential disadvantages.

However, working from home during the pandemic was a different experience for some. More people than ever are working from home, but without the usual thought and preparation it takes to decide whether to work remotely. Remote workers need to balance personal and professional priorities without having access to many of their normal points of sale.

With all that going on, working remotely may not feel like it can be. Here's how to stay positive and rediscover all the wonderful things about working remotely.

Hug where you are

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In difficult times, it is natural to feel down. Everyone has negative emotions, and accepting them – rather than resisting them – is one of the best ways to move through the feelings.

If you tell yourself that it is okay and normal to feel stressed out while trying to balance remote working with the rest of your life, you will relieve yourself and see the brighter side of things as they come. In the same way, let go of what you cannot change or control and focus on the small wins.

Practice gratitude

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Most research shows that cultivating gratitude in your daily life is one of the quickest avenues to positive, happy attitudes. In one study, participants who wrote a few sentences per week about things they were grateful for for 10 weeks were more optimistic and felt better about their lives than those who wrote about what irritated them.

Take time each day to end your work day by writing down what you are grateful for. Maybe it's a supportive boss or a flexible schedule – whatever it is, focusing on what you're grateful for will have a positive impact.

Change your mindset

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How you frame something in your head determines how you experience it. So if you approach things with a "half empty" glass position, you will tend to find them deficient. Fortunately, you are in complete control of the way you think.

Make a home office your own

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If you are new to working remotely, you may not have had time to set up your home office before working from home. While this may not have been a priority at the time, having a workspace that you can name yourself – and set up as you wish – can do wonders for your mental outlook.

If you work from home on the couch while the rest of your household goes on their days, you can feel the strain. So do what you can to find your own unique home office space that will set the tone for a positive, productive day at work. While you're at it, decorate your workspace with things that make you happy – plants, family pictures, and artwork can be uplifting.

Establish a routine

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Working remotely, especially with a flexible schedule, allows greater control over your work life. That can lead to a happier person. While this can mean working when and where you want, it is important to try to stick to some semblance of a routine. This way you not only stay up to date and increase your productivity, but also let your boss and coworkers know when you are available.

Set limits

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As a remote worker, it can be easy to blur the lines between work and home. While this ability to combine the two can be a huge benefit of flexible work, you may feel like everything is a struggle when there are no limits at all.

Sure, there can be times when your schedule is crazy or you have to work a few hours more than expected. However, on typical days it's important to quit work and walk away at the end of the day. Keeping your work and personal life separate will keep you positive when working remotely and you won't get burned out.

Stay in contact

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Work is work, but in order to have meaningful relationships with your teammates, you need to connect with them on topics other than work. Sure, you have meetings and other opportunities to work on projects with your team. However, if you don't make an effort to be proactive with your co-workers while working remotely, you may feel lonely and isolated.

Bonding with others and feeling part of a community is key to staying optimistic. So work on developing your working relationships remotely. Virtual meetups, instant messaging, group chats, and other forms of remote communication can be helpful.

Work during your most productive hours

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Depending on when you are feeling most productive, you might be tempted to use those hours to catch up on laundry, gardening, or grocery shopping. While this can be a nice break on occasion, these productive hours should be focused on doing your best job. Your most productive hours are usually when you are feeling the most energetic and optimistic. Scheduling your work to be “in the zone” can help you stay positive while working from home.

Take stock of when you are feeling energized and able to concentrate, then plan your work day around that time. The success and performance you get through your productivity can't help but make you feel more positive. It can also be helpful to lock the time on your calendar for these hours.

Play often

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One of the benefits of working from home is that you often have the flexibility to take breaks from work and structure your day around other playful priorities.

Instead of scrolling through your phone during lunch, take the time to “play” something you really love! Spending 30 minutes between meetings doing something you enjoy can help relieve stress and negative feelings.

Prioritize self-care

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You know the saying, "You cannot take care of others until you take care of yourself." In times of stress, nothing could be truer. To stay positive in every aspect of your life, including your work, you need to make yourself a priority. With increasing responsibility for care, changing job expectations, and uncertainty amid the pandemic, it's easy to let self-sufficiency fall by the wayside.

Sleeping well at night, supplying your body with healthy foods, restricting sugar and alcohol, and exercising – all of these are ways to take care of yourself to combat stress. And research shows that meditating and practicing mindfulness (even while at work!) Can help you deal with stressors in life.

Light it up

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Whether you set up your home office space in an area with access to good lighting and natural light from windows, or commit to spending time outdoors every day, studies show that the light in your surroundings has a huge impact on it has how you feel. In a study of people who work from home or stay at home during the pandemic, people with “slightly brighter” to “very brighter” lighting (including windows) had a significantly improved mood and sleep quality compared to respondents with “something weak "to" very weak ". Interior lighting.

And people who spent an hour or two outdoors each day reported better sleep and significantly less anxiety, stress, and depression than people who spent less than 30 minutes outdoors each day.

Out of the house

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If you work from where you live, it's easy to switch between your two roles without ever having to leave. However, it is important that you vary your scenery to avoid feeling stuck, burned out, and generally unsatisfied with your lack of general day-to-day changes.

Leaving the house doesn't have to mean a big road trip – or a road trip! Simply walking around the block or visiting a local park can get your mental environment freshened in dire need.

Meet with others

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If you can meet with other team members once personal contact is secure, take the opportunity occasionally. If your coworkers are scattered around the world and can't meet in person, take time out with friends, neighbors, and family to (safely) build relationships.

Emphasize the positive

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Few things have changed the world of work like COVID-19. And while it is easy to get the stress of working from home and taking on responsibilities that pull you in all directions, focusing on the positives with remote working can really make all the difference.

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