Over the last year working from home has become our new normal. As we had no idea this would go on for so long, you may still be working on the edge of your dining table, next to this mornings cereal bowls and on top of last months utility bills. This is no way to work and will only add to your stress levels. By making a few adjustments you can create a designated workspace that makes you feel calm, focused and more productive. You have the opportunity to create a space that you love, so get creative and try to be intuitive by choosing what works best for you.
Here are my top tips in creating a healthy and happy workspace:
Clear the decks
Where ever you are working from its important to have a clear and tidy space. Being surrounded by clutter will make you feel unorganised and unfocused.
Sit near a window
Choose the lightest room in the house if you can. Sunlight will help boost your mood, energy levels and strengthen your circadian rhythm (your internal clock).
Open a window and have plants nearby
Sitting in a hot stuffy room will only make you feel lethargic and is a breeding ground for germs. Try to let fresh air in and use plants like aloe vera and english ivy to help purify the air.
Sit on a supportive chair
Slouching on a soft chair may be comfortable but its not great for your spine. Sitting up tall with your shoulders relaxed back and down will help ease back pain and bad posture.
Keep a large bottle of water on your desk to encourage you to sip it throughout the day. If you suffer with headaches or dry skin, dehydration is often the culprit.
Burn a candle or essential oils
Using scents is a power tool to create a certain mood or feeling. In the morning when your stress hormones are at their highest, try using floral scents (lavender, rose, jasmine etc) to create a calm and soothing environment. In the afternoon when you tend to have a dip in energy use rosemary, mint and citrus scents to help boost alertness and improve performance.
Switch your screen to night mode in the evenings
If you have to work later at night, switching your screen to an amber hue or wearing blue light blocking glasses will stop your sleep hormone from being disrupted and will help you to fall asleep quicker when you go to bed.
Keep healthy snacks to hand
Whether you’re hungry or just bored, having healthy snacks nearby will help stop you reaching for processed, sugar filled foods instead.
Ditch caffeine after 2pm
Drinking endless cups of coffee will make you feel jittery and restless. It can cause anxiety and will make it impossible for you to wind down at night. Try to minimise how much you have and switch to caffeine free alternatives after 2pm.
Stand and stretch whenever you can
Moving as much as you can and taking regular breaks throughout the day will stop you feeling stiff, sluggish and will improve your circulation.
Breath deeply and take mindful moments
Bringing your attention to your breath and the present moment will make you feel more connected and less stressed. Try to check in with yourself regularly by adding this step in between phone calls or before replying to emails. (Breath in deeply through your nose to the count of four and then slowly exhale to the count of 8)