Welcome back to the blog, apologies for the week delay in getting this post out since Mental Health Awareness day (yep all that time ago) I’ve actually been going through a recent family bereavement so my head has not been in the right ‘blogging’ space. Anyway, enough about my personal life, let’s get into this week topic, an important one too in my opinion.
Let’s start with background noise, back when we were in our offices working there are many ambient noises going on in the background some of which you likely wouldn’t notice or realise unless your either in the office really early or really late (normally late based on my experience). Those noises go from people talking on the phone, distant daily stand up meetings taking place to things like keyboards typing & the air conditioning all contribute to this background noise we have in the office.
Now we are working from home it is a whole new environment, with the exception of laptop notifications (assuming you have them switched on) the home work place can become very quiet especially for those who live alone or those whose children have gone back to the school. In turn this can begin to affect your mental wellbeing in ways you wouldn’t obviously think about, in essence the ‘quiet’ or lack of noise can actually increase the feeling of loneliness & isolation, which in turn can begin to create a place where negative thinking & thoughts can take over.
So the question is what can you do about it? Play a recording of an office environment in the background? Perhaps… Or have you ever considered if you are not doing so already try having music playing quietly in the background.
Lots of research available to see online that evidences listening to music helps the brain to trigger the release of several neurochemicals that can aid the reduction of depression & anxiety including improvements to sleep quality, mood, memory, increase some cognitive functions, enhance learning and concentration. Music is great for your brain because it is one of the few activities that stimulates your entire brain, so without really thinking about it, by simply playing some music in the background during the working day (between meetings if you have them) you are effectively stimulating your brain! Sounds so simple I know but I can say from honest experience that I found my mood has been lifted massively throughout the working day & evening, something which colleagues & family have noticed.
Now there are many different means in which to listen to music this day and age my absolute go to right now is my Alexa device (which is hooked up with an Amazon Prime account) but without an Amazon Prime account you can pay a very small monthly subscription under £5 a month in the UK for Amazon Music. What you then choose to listen too is going to differ from person to person, having an Alexa with a music subscription allows you to request for things like ‘Alexa play the greatest Motown songs’ (personal favourite of mine) without any adverts or alternatively I request to listen to Radio Stations such as Smooth Radio Bristol (digital radio station) which gives you a combination of music & talking in the background. If you want to go for superior sound quality or if the Alexa is or musical device is stationed too far away from you then investing in a Bluetooth speaker is another great way to get the most out of your music, I have a small portable Bose Soundlink Colour 2.
I am into my sport as well so I will sometimes go for a radio station such as Talk Sport for all of the latest Football (soccer) updates.
So what’s next for you? My suggestion is to dust off any old radios, download a radio app on your mobile or invest in an Alexa or something like it to really change your working from home environment & please let’s keep the conversation going give it a try & send me your success stories in the comments below. Until next time, thank you everyone for reading.
In case you are interested please find the links to the devices I am using below, FYI these are associate marketing links so if you did choose to purchase one of the items using the link I would receive a very small commission, however, I am not by any means pushing anyone to buy anything just simply sharing what works for me based on my own experience.