You’ve been thrust into working from home and although you like your house, you’re going a little stir crazy.
I’ve worked from home for years and I routinely don’t leave my house for days at a time. My career as an interior design blogger revolves around my home. I think about it, write about it, talk about it… I’m a professional homebody and even I need a break from my house occasionally.
Your home can be a source of calm and comfort, even when it doubles as your office.
If you are suddenly working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are no doubt grateful, however telecommuting comes with challenges. Adjusting to working from home can be difficult and the novelty of working remotely wears off rather quickly.
I’m sharing my tips for mind, body and home to stay sane when you are working remotely.
Take Frequent Stretch Breaks When Working At Home
Without the distractions of co-workers and coffee breaks, it’s easy to sit down at my laptop and suddenly, it’s 3 hours later and I’ve been sitting in the same exact position the whole time.
Set a reminder to take breaks to stand and stretch, if not walk around a bit. It’s likely you don’t have a proper ergonomic desk and chair so this reminder is important and not to be skipped!
Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links and if you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
There are TONS of free yoga videos on YouTube. Schedule a 15 minute yoga session mid-day. It will get your blood flowing, stretch your muscles and give your brain the rest needed to finish your work day strong.
Be Comfortable While Working From Home… Like REALLY Comfortable
Take a few minutes to think about how you could get more comfortable in your home work environment. It could be a lumbar support, a small footstool or lap desk.
My old house is drafty, so I have a few luxuries that make my work day at home a lot more bearable. I have a ‘house sweater’ that I adore. It’s a thick, soft knitted long cardigan (with pockets!) that I got at Target years ago. I also have slippers and a MAGICAL heating pad/back massager that I use while working on the couch at the end of a long day.
Throughout your work days at home in the coming days and weeks, pay attention to your body, mind and environment. Do more of what feels good and keeps you productive and eliminate or minimize sources of discomfort and aggravation.
Even the smallest annoyances… if you have the ability to fix them, do it.
You’ve heard the phrase “death by a thousand cuts”? Well, you can see where I’m going with this. Fix everything you can control and take a step above and beyond to get REALLY comfortable. You will enjoy your work day a lot more and when annoyances you CAN’T control happen, you’ll be better equipped emotionally to handle them in stride.
“Do more of what feels good and keeps you productive and eliminate or minimize sources of discomfort and aggravation.”
Reduce Anxiety While Working From Home With Houseplants
Houseplants provide many helpful benefits, like increasing oxygen levels, cleaning the air, boosting healing, boosting creativity, and relieving stress.
Nature has restorative properties and houseplants bring a little nature indoors, not to mention, they’re pretty 🙂
“You can double or triple the number air-cleansing, oxygen-boosting plants in your home in 2-3 weeks…who doesn’t want FREE PLANTS?”
I am a former plant-killing convert and if I can learn to keep plants thriving, so can you! After many years of killing every house plant I looked at, I now have many throughout my home and I highly suggest it’s worth the effort. I’ve seen a reduction in my seasonal allergies and dry winter skin since I began collecting indoor plants years ago.
If you’d like to start an indoor plant collection, Amazon is an excellent source of inexpensive indoor planters and you can order potting soil, perlite and top dressing, also. And did I mention that you can order LIVE PLANTS on Amazon too?!? Who knew!?
For a guide on the basics of houseplant care and maintenance, check out this link.
If you’d like to double or triple the number of your current plants for FREE, learn about house plant propagation here.
Color Light Therapy – Stained Glass-Inspired DIY
Stained glass windows are so beautiful, don’t you agree? I love the streams of color that shift and stretch across the floor with the movement of the sun.
I’d do cartwheels down this hallway, wouldn’t you?!?
When we moved into our nearly 100 year old craftsman bungalow, I immediately added DIY faux stained glass to the 6 small square windows in both our front and back doors. It was a fun project that I was recently considering revamping, BUT…
This is such a magical little corner.
Removable colored window film is a FAR less time-consuming way to get the feeling of stained glass windows and benefit from at-home color light therapy every day.
Always follow manufacturer installation directions, but in general, this is how window film is installed. It’s SO simple and because it’s temporary, it’s RENTER-friendly, too!
That is an Instagram-worthy window, for sure
Amazon has a “sample pack” of colored window film sheets that are perfect for small windows. Trim, apply, enjoy!
Aromatherapy Soothes Stress
Aromatherapy can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression and even nausea. It also has the ability to invigorate and lift your spirits. I think we could all use some of that right now.
Aromatherapy is my way of nudging the vibe in my home in the appropriate direction. When working from home, uplifting citrus and calming lavender are my suggestions for creating an environment to focus.
WORK FROM HOME AROMATHERAPY
BOOST PRODUCTIVITY WITH CITRUS-BASED SCENTS
The infamous stovetop-simmering scent in Williams Sonoma stores is an invigorating blend of citrus, herbs and spices. It’s bright, clean and slightly earthy.
Try it for yourself with this DIY Williams Sonoma scent recipe.
“This candle is what Heaven smells like”
Capri Blue’s vibrant tropical scent, “Volcano” is my favorite scented candle. It also happens to be Anthropologie stores’ un-official signature scent.
Basically, this candle is what Heaven smells like.
So what makes it good for WORKING? According to it’s maker, Capri Blue, Volcano’s scent comes from “sugared citrus” and is both uplifting and energizing – a divine way of enhancing a productive home work environment.
CLEANSING SCENTS FOR MIND, BODY AND HOME
Palo santo is my favorite type of smudge stick – it smells like minty lemony campfire.
Smudging can be smokey business, so leave this for warmer weather when you can open the windows and let the air and smoke circulate.
A little ritual never hurt anyone, so while smudging may not have a direct impact on your work, it will still have a positive affect on both you and your home.
Clean And Organize An Overlooked Area
In all aspects of life, I find it easier to maneuver a tidy space. Stopping frustration before it happens is a step above and beyond, but one you’ll never be sorry you took the time to do.
Organize a junk drawer, or go big and tackle a closet. Now that you are working from home, you may find yourself frantically searching for a pen mid-day or needing a post-it to jot down a thought – it’s nice to know EXACTLY where those necessities are when you need them.
It’s likely you’ve gained some time if you’re telecommuting. Total up the time you were previously commuting and apply it to finishing home projects you’ve said you’ll get to ‘one day’. Guess what? TODAY is the day! If completing a small project will improve your life at home, DO IT!
Rearrange, Redecorate & Re-Purpose
Shake up the energy in your home by rearranging, redecorating and repurposing decor, furniture and art.
If you’ve had the same pieces in one room for years on end, it’s time for a change. Don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere, you can display it in another area of your home. The concept is to re-think and repurpose the decorations you already have to see them and their usefulness, in a new light.
Group similar items together for a cohesive display, like the vintage cameras above.
Relocate a few decorations to your work area to spruce it up. If you have a memento that inspires you, move it so you can see it from the place you most often work. I have a gorgeous cork board with a mirrored frame above my desk that I scored at Michaels on clearance(!!!) When I find something that I love and that inspires my creativity, I put it on my board. I’m a true believer that thoughtfully choosing what you allow in your environment plays a large part in your sense of well-being.
There has never been a more important time to feel calm and content in your home. Your home is an extension of you, it is your safe place, the cocoon where you rest and regenerate. When the stresses of work suddenly invade our living quarters, it’s jarring.
Remember these work from home tips to practice self care while telecommuting…
To Make Working From Home More Enjoyable…
Eliminate even the smallest sources of frustration. It will make working from home easier (hello junk drawer!)
Stretching, aromatherapy and chromatherapy can energize, relax and rejuvenate before, during and after your time working from home.
Slippers and back massagers are part of the perks of working from home – Don’t discount their effectiveness and incorporate them into your daily work routine.
Houseplants offer numerous benefits for home offices.
Use time previously spent commuting and apply it to DIY projects around the house. Clean, organize, purge, donate, build… whatever it is, do it!
Bonus points if finishing your project will directly improve your work day, but any upgrades at home will boost your mood and give you a sense of accomplishment at a time when many of us need more joy in our lives.
Take care of yourself & each other…