For a long time, part of the so-called American Dream was working until you had holes in your boots and blood on your hands.

Thought that’s still a path that can be taken, with so many advancements in technology, and artificial intelligence in particular, working a million hours is simply not necessary to become a successful person. 

By almost every metric, the United States is one of the top three or four richest countries in the world, and seeing so much money go in and out of a business making you feel overworked and underappreciated takes its mental toll, especially when employees see how much wealth is around them. 

With that, knowing your worth is important. Even though things like asking for a raise can cause a little extra morning anxiety, they are important to help keep your psyche and overall view of your job positive.

Negative thoughts towards work can lead to serious mental issues like depression or even thoughts of self-harm, so maintaining a healthy work life balance is something everyone should strive for. 

Again, for some people that may be grinding away for 60 hour a week at something that you love… but for most, it is not, and here are a few tips on maintaining a positive workplace mentality (even if your workplace is now your home, post-pandemic). 

Eat Healthy 

Eating healthy as often as you can is certainly always good advice, but eating the right things before you need to focus for several hours can really make a difference with your mindset.

Some great food to focus on in the morning are blueberries and nuts, and even your cup of coffee! 

Most experts don’t recommend having 3 pots to yourself, but caffeine does, indeed, help with focus. If you’re someone who eats meat, fatty fish like salmon are great to toss on your bagel to maintain a focused mindset!

Exercise

Even those lucky enough to not deal with much traffic on their commute still added a few minutes to their days by not having to travel, and this time can still be spent on the move in order to spike the brain and not be stuck in your mundane mindset from the night before. 

A nice, brisk walk outside does the trick, but if you can get a little more cardio in, an increased heart rate helps prepare the body for a focused, positive day. 

Take Screen Breaks

Screen time has been directly related to lowering psychological well-being, and if you work in front of a computer you need to get away from that computer frequently.

A lot of people recommend the 20-20 rule for your eyes (20 minutes looking at a screen take 20 seconds to look at nothing), but for the brain, a full disconnect is important. 

You should plan to take a 15-minute break every two hours, and don’t look at your phone while you’re on it! Exercising during this time kills two birds with one stone!

Listen to Music 

Though not all people are wired to listen to music while they work, it’s worth a second try if you’re struggling to maintain a positive mindset at work. Instrumentals and ambient sounds can help the body relax and the mind focus and remain positive.  

What It Accomplishes

Most importantly, good mental health is every bit as important as good physical health, but another benefit is the resonation with your colleagues.

A positive mind helps other minds feel the same, and even if you feel like you’re “slacking” by taking care of your mental health, it will pay dividends for your team in the not-so-long run when they all increase their productivity by seeing you in a determined and positive mindset. 

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