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Work at home: Is it harder to be happy?

One challenge with working from home is that the “mood of the day” — if it’s a less than pleasant one — might be harder to shake than if you were to go off to an office.

I suppose if you’re just a jerk to everyone and don’t really care about other people it may make no difference (you know who you are). But I find myself behaving ‘nicer’ in front of others than I may be inclined to act at home.

flickr_pout-by_Erik_SkiffIt’s obviously wrong that we tend to relax our attitudes for the worse when we’re around those we love and trust the most, but we do it (It’s not just me. It’s not just me. It’s not…). It becomes a challenge at our house because both Renee and I work from home and we home school our children. That means if either of us is down in the dumps we don’t have strangers or a boss or co-workers whose presence somehow inspires us to ‘correct’ ourselves. This means that a bum attitude can stick around much longer.

One solution for this may be to go to a store or two and buy something. Anything. Buy some gum and start a small conversation with the clerk. Really small, like, “How’s your day going so far?”

Another idea is to start an online chat conversation. I don’t think this is nearly as effective as a face to face, but it can help quell the doldrums.

Another idea is to write a list of ten ideas to move a current project forward. Again, even better if you have someone (even a family member) to read this list to and perhaps glean a few more ideas after you’ve finished.

Sometimes taking a moment to watch something funny is a great way to reset the brain.

I think that a visit to the store and making a list are my favs for getting into a better mood. And talking about ideas with others. I have to be careful about talking with others. Same goes for online chatting and watching comedy. These activities can go from minutes to hours if I’m not careful.

What are your suggestions for getting the neurons (or chemicals or whatever) better aligned for a better attitude?

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Photo credits: web4camguy, Eric Skiff