Never before have of so many of us had to work from home. Prior to the pandemic, this this may have sounded like the dream but as ever this is not always the reality. There are so many distractions around the house, jobs that need to be done, children that need to be home schooled etc, that the idea of bringing any sense of calm into that can seem impossible!
At Luluh Lane we care about how you are feeling, and we want to help!
Here are our top 8 tips to help you create a calmer working environment in your home.
- Find your workspace
- Not all of us were planning to work from home when we moved into our pads so you may have to think outside of the box for this one! This could be converting a cupboard, your bedroom, we even have friends who have decided to convert their camper van into their home office!
- Make yourself a desk
- Once you have decided where in your home you are going to work you will need to create a flat surface…somewhere! You could buy a desk, do a bit of DIY and make one, or simply try turning an existing piece of furniture e.g. your dressing table into a workspace (like a member of our team at Luluh Lane!)
- If you don’t want your desk to be out the whole time, then try a semi- permanent option. Desks can be folded away, wall mounted to drop down or put on wheels for easy movability.
- Reduce Clutter
- Studies have shown that clutter can make us feel more stressed which isn’t going to help you out when you want to work. The first step is to take everything off your desk and give it a clean. Try using a natural cleaner with a fresh citrus scent.
- Throw way (recycling what you can) anything you no longer need or use.
- Keep the amount of physical objects on your desk to a minimum. This means reducing paper (and thereby saving precious trees!) by keeping your documents digital where possible, having an online calendar and using apps for to do lists and reminders.
- If you are like us and like to write ideas down when they come to you, keep one small note book on your desk, or a small file that you can use dividers to organise your thoughts.
- When you do need to print a document keep folders close by so that it can be filed away when you have finished with it. Always have a whole punch at easy reach so this can be done without savaging around! Keep one in-box for things you need to get to in the short-term. This could be on your desk/shelf on in a drawer.
- Organise your desk-top. Only having tabs open that you are using, limit newsfeeds, apps, programs and turn off those pop ups (yes including on your phone!). Remove any unused icons and save your projects into easily findable files.
- Have a simple, calming wallpaper for your desktop to limit distractions.
- Keep your space functional while looking great
- Make sure you can sit comfortably at your desk with a seat that supports your back and set your monitor so it's straight on in your line of sight without having to strain your neck. Another popular option is to use a standing desk.
- Make use of all the space you have, especially vertical space. Putting some shelves up above your desk is a great way to keep all your essentials in easy reach while keeping your desk clear. If shelves aren’t an option a small set of drawers are also ideal. Having them next to your desk at the same level creates a bigger worktop if you need it.
- Give everything you need a home, and make it look nice! Meaningful mugs, recycled tin cans and pre-used jars are great for storing and organising your stationary. These can be decorated e.g. by wrapping around twine or using decorative recycled paper. If storing things in a drawer then you could use a utensil organiser to keep things manageable. If buying new try to look for sustainable materials, there are some lovely bamboo organisers on the market.
- Have one or two photos, motivational quotes and/pictures in sight but not too many to distract you. If you can, keep them off your actual desk so they do not get in your way.
- Bring the outdoors in and keep things as natural as you can
- We love indoor plants! Not only do they look amazing but they also help to absorb excess electrical energy (its crazy how many devices we have on the go!), freshen the air, and connect you with nature. Did you know that studies show we're 12% less stressed with a plant in our office? Rather than putting them on your desk, find a cute little plant pot and put them on a shelve or get a hanging planter.
- Rocks, shells, pieces of wood from the outdoors can help ground you and help you refocus. Many believe precious stones have healing properties. For example, clear quartz is said to help with concentration and focus, pink opal is said to bring calmness and smokey quartz is said to stabilise emotions. Try keeping some of these items in a bowl that you can touch when you are feeling some anxiety start to creep in.
- Only have electrical items switched on that you are actually using. Too many of these things on at one time can be draining, as well as not being good for the environment. Pop on a candle instead to help you feel less stressed.
- Try Aromatherapy
- Not only do essential oils smell amazing but they are also believed to have many positive effects on our emotional well-being. Try diffusing an energising blend using citrus oils to say focused or a more zen blend using Lavender or Ylang Ylang to help bring a sense of calm. Look for a clean diffuser blend to minimise toxins.
- Keep Hydrated
- We all know we need water to stay focused yet it’s so easy to forget to drink when you are busy working so why not keep a large sustainable bottle of water at your desk on a little coaster. Keep it in eye line and in easy reach on the side of your dominant hand.
8. Remember to Breathe
- We know, this may sound odd but when we get stressed we don’t breath as fully as we should, which just adds to our anxiety. When things get a bit overwhelming try to take some time to just focus on your breathing. Try this quick and easy little tip that can be done at your desk. Take your right index finger and push it gently against your right nostril to block the flow of air. Take 5 breaths in and out of your left nostril. Repeat on the other side. This should help to rebalance your emotions and reduce stress.