Hands up if you are reading this post during a work from home break. Maybe in your nice top + PJ bottoms, on Self Isolation Day number … oh, who’s counting anymore?!
So, not just me then? 🙋♀️
Having spent more time on social media in the past 3 weeks than I normally ever would (and that’s saying something!), I’ve noticed a few positive trends emerging:
- The home improvement lovers, finally having enough time for their DIY projects
- The bibliophiles, sharing their favorite books and creating ad-hoc online book clubs
- The work from home proponents, finally happy to prove that YES! It can work
- The content creators, turning towards more and more indoors shoots
And I can tell you that, without planning for it, this blog post actually incorporates a little bit of each of these trends!
Because today I want to share 5 ways I’ve found can help you create a much better work from home experience. Great in the current situation, but definitely useful long-term too!
Including: a small home office/room tour- featuring my version of a DIY gallery wall + my reading nook- some work from home habits to keep you healthy & happy, and some fun pics! Taken indoors, naturally.
So if that sounds good to you, keep on reading for my:
Sit next to a window if at all possible
Social isolation can be a major negative factor for your emotional and mental balance.
So if you are starting to feel the effects of this imposed (although absolutely necessary!) period, you can try a few ideas to make it a bit more positive.
And one of the simplest things you can do, is just move your desk or work area next to a window!
Getting that extra sunlight can help balance out your mood, by encouraging serotonin production in your brain. Which absolutely helps counteract the blue feeling triggered by missing friends, family and even favorite activities.
Not to mention, your eyes will definitely benefit from natural, instead of UV light. Especially if you too work on your computer for 8+ hours a day! Plus, sitting by a window should also help you take a computer break more often, to just rest your eyes.
Of course, this will not be possible for everyone. But if you have an open-ish space that you can claim for your desk even for a couple of days, go for it!
Keep your morning get-ready-for-work routine alive
When you’re at home all day, every day, it can be suuuper tempting to skip your usual morning prep.
And, I mean, it’s only human to spend some days in your PJ’s & zero make-up- I’m not one to cast any stones here. As I shared with The Style Club members in my latest e-mail, I can hardly say every work-at-home day has looked like this for me:
If you’re wondering where I was going all dolled up like this, the answer is nowhere! I was just busy filming for Lesson 5 of You and Your Personal Style
But here’s the thing:
Putting just a little bit of effort into maintaining your regular morning routine will make all the difference! It will boost your morale, and help you feel and look like the “normal” you- of just three weeks ago.
And I’m not saying you need to sit at your home desk in a fitted satin dress, curls and a full face of make-up (although if you are, umm, that’s awesome, and please share pics in the comments!)
But just putting on some nice looking, comfy clothes (be it a cotton shirt-dress, or a pair of skinny jeans + a soft sweater), combing your hair, and swiping a slick of lipstick on will make you feel so much more in charge of your day.
“Do I really need lipstick if I’m working from home?”
“Why yes, yes I do!”
Create a little nook for your hobbies
Working at home can very easily creep into your personal space and time. Which is why it’s crucial to set limits, and spend a certain amount of time doing things you enjoy.
Whether it’s painting, reading, working out- or whatever other hobbies you have! Including them in your Mon-Fri schedule will help increase your productivity and overall happiness.
Especially if you can also set up a little nook just for you and them.
In my case, reading has been a major part of my me-time ever since I can remember! So I placed a small chaise-longue in my room/home office for it. Marie-Antoinette inspired, naturally, since that is my taste in furniture (just not my budget, sadly…)
Either way, I now have a place to perch myself on, and enjoy a novel, coffee table book or magazine- depending on my mood.
And again, some pretty room decor (I was telling you about) next to my stack of books
Share the space with a loved one
I know, easier said than done now that we have to keep our distance from others, right?
Well, what I’m referring to in this particular case is not necessarily another human (if you’re not already living with a roommate/loved one). But actually I mean sharing your work space with your pet!
When we began the quarantine, it was a bit unsettling, sure. But at the same time, I was so glad we could spend more time with Finn and Odin, our two chinchillas!
Finn is the beige heterozygous chinnie, and Odin is the Wilson white- They both love scratches and plain oats 🙂
To be fully honest, we often feel guilty for leaving them alone during the day. Even though, yes, we know they mostly sleep then.
But still, I think this is a feeling a lot of humans with pets share! So we can look at this period of social isolation as a golden opportunity for us to spend more time with them.
And still, I know not all of us can always welcome pets into our work areas. Or we don’t have pets- or another person- living with us.
So, the next best thing?
Welcoming a loved one into your work space via pictures! On your desk, on your wall, or even taped to your laptop case.
I feel like in these times, it’s vital to connect with each other emotionally, if it is physically impossible. So glancing at their pics more often will just serve as a vivid reminder of all the best times you shared with all your best people!
And maybe it will even nudge you to pick up the phone and catch up with some you haven’t in a while.
Maintain good work space hygiene
Last but absolutely not least, keeping your work space clean and sanitized should be a major priority. Especially if you are indeed sharing your office space with a cute, furry friend!
And a very big part of that is keeping hand sanitizer and/or a stack of cleaning wipes on your desk at all times.
Because do you know what has more germs than a toilet seat?
That’s right: your computer keyboard and phone, yay!
So they do need to be wiped down periodically- in general, but more so when there’s a virus going around. And while you’re at it, make sure to also wipe down your pens, glasses, desk surface- which you touch frequently.
A second part of keeping your work space clean and enjoyable is diffusing essential oils inside it. And I will preface this section with 2 disclaimers:
*I’m discussing essential oils here only in the context of what has been scientifically studied and proven about them. Namely that some such oils help support the immune system (source here) and purify the air we breathe (resource here). Please do more research as needed if you are interested!
*If you do have a pet in your work area, please check whether the use of essential oils harms them. Eg. chinchillas have very sensitive respiratory tracts, and can’t inhale essential oils. So ever since we’ve adopted Finn & Odin, I stopped diffusing oils in my home office.
Still, I now use essential oils in the living room- usually in one of the two following blends:
- 3 drops Lavender + 3 drops Air + 3 drops Melaleuca (great for a fresh smell, perking you up, and air purification)
- 4 drops On Guard + 4 drops Tangerine/Wild Orange (for a very Christmas-like smell, a sense of comfort, and immunity promotion)
*Please note quantities are based on filling my DoTerra diffuser to the mark with water. Other diffusers may hold different quantities.
I usually alternate between these two blends, depending on how I want to feel, and will diffuse them a couple of times a day. Another suggestion is to dilute the oils in a water spritzer bottle, and spray them around the room 2-3 times a day.
And with this, I can only say I hope that you’ve found at least one of these tips useful- all 5 would be ideal 🙂 And that your work from home experience gets just a little bit better and more pleasant with implementing them.
I’m curious to also hear from the people who work at home full-time! Do you have any tips for us newbies who are just now figuring out how to create a makeshift desk area? Spill it in the comments.
Thanks for reading! And until next week, have a fabulous time, wash your hands, and don’t go outside unless absolutely necessary 😉
Oh, and if you don’t know what to do with yourself indoors anymore, how about taking a course that will help inspire and uplift your personal style? You know, for when we can all go outside again.
(Plus, it will help you with sorting and organizing your wardrobe- which you have no excuse not to do now.)