Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. Do you get to write emails in your underwear? Absolutely! Do you get extra sleep now that your commute is canceled? Heck yes you do. But … are you also finding it hard to structure your workday? Or maybe you’re feeling extra stressed whenever you sit down at your dining table-turned-makeshift-desk?
If so, I feel you! It’s definitely easier to get yourself into “productive zen work mode” when you’re in an office. However, since we’re all going to be doing at least some WFH shifts for the foreseeable future, it’s time to start investing in your WFH wellness.
To help with this, I’ve made a list of seven simple tips to add a little bit of happiness and wellness to your WFH space.
1. Add Some Greenery
Whether you have a green thumb or struggle to keep a cactus alive (hi, it me), adding a small amount of greenery to your workspace can also add some much-needed calm as well. Researchers have actually done studies that show that adding plants to an office space helps you feel more productive and creative.
I’m not about to become a Plant Mom, but I’ve been thinking about buying a couple of very low-maintenance plants like spider grass and air ferns to make my WFH space a little happier.
2. Set Up a Personal Humidifier
You guys, I can’t stress enough how helpful a humidifier is. In the summer, it helps to combat the dryness of air conditioning. In the winter, it helps to combat the dryness of the outside air and the inside heating. Trust me when I say that your skin and sinuses will thank you.
I love being able to drop essential oils like lavender, bergamot, and clary sage LINK into a diffuser because not only am I getting some extra humidification, I’m also getting relaxing, energizing scents that make work a little more bearable.
3. Learn a Little More About Ergonomics
Did you know that some professions actually teach entire training modules just on ergonomics? The term is definitely trendy right now, but the concept is actually important. Setting up your work space so that you can sit or stand in a comfortable, ergonomic position makes a world of difference in your productivity and energy levels!
There are tons of videos and articles that you can find with a quick Google search, but this Mayo Clinic guide is a good place to start. Making small wellness adjustments to your WFH setup can help you feel more energized and less achy at the end of the day.
4. Splurge a Bit on Your Workspace
We have no idea how long we’ll all be working from home, so if you haven’t taken the plunge to set up and decorate your work space like you want, this is your sign. Take a day and do it!
Working in a thrown-together, multipurpose space is like trying to live in a house before you’ve unpacked your stuff. It’s stressful, annoying, and super tiring. Go ahead and clear out a dedicated work space somewhere in your house (even if it’s just a corner of another room). Decorate it how you want. Get a comfortable chair. Set up your plants, photos, and diffuser. Let your family know it’s off-limits. I promise you’ll feel so much more productive and relaxed when you sit down to work!
5. Invest in Some Comfortable Headphones
Whether you work in a quiet apartment or a full house, a good pair of headphones is invaluable. The right music can help you feel alert, focused, and ready to tackle that inbox that has been piling up. If you don’t love listening to music while you work, I highly recommend SimplyNoise instead. There are ambient sounds as well as white, pink, and brown noise generators. The various “colors” of noise just represent different frequencies of sound that can help you feel more relaxed or energized.
Whatever you choose to listen to, having comfortable, noise-canceling headphones can make you feel less stressed and more productive.
6. Make Sure Your WFH Space Is Well-Lit
While natural lighting is typically considered to be the best for boosting your mood, I know that it’s not always possible to set up a workspace that’s full of natural light.
Even if you don’t have convenient windows, it’s important to have enough lighting on and around your desk so that you don’t feel like you’re working in a cave! I personally prefer to have a few strategically placed lamps to diffuse plenty of light across my desk, and I have a brighter torchiere lamp set up in the corner for when I need extra lighting but don’t want the too-bright overhead lights on.
7. Set a Break Timer (and Actually Pay Attention to It!)
This tip is a reminder to myself as much as it is to you. If you’re unfamiliar with the Pomodoro Technique, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read about it! It has been an integral part of making my WFH life easier.
Whether you follow this technique, or you choose to set your own schedule of timed work and timed breaks, it’s really important to actually take the breaks when the timer goes off! Get up, stretch, grab some water, and go stare out the window for a minute to give your eyes and body a break from being folded in front of a computer screen.
Make Wellness a WFH Priority
It’s not easy to separate your work life from your personal life when you’re working from home, but it’s more important than ever to prioritize your health and happiness! What are your best tips to make your WFH space more zen?