Updated: Dec 6, 2020
2020 has been a rough year - no doubt. Whether you’re back grinding away the 9-5 in the corporate world or you’re enjoying the bliss (or chaos) of a home office, why not make your space one that makes you feel calm, focused, and motivated? We’re done with drab old offices, filled with nothing but clutter and stress, and we’re bringing our office makeover tips to you. So—we get it that depending on your work environment you may not be able to pull all of these off, so do what’s reasonable for you. There shouldn’t be opposition to most of these suggestions and if there are, honestly your workplace is too uptight! (Doctors, lab workers, and the like—we’re not lookin’ at you. We get it, some things just won’t fly.) Tip #1 – Bring the Outdoors In Adding plants to any space you spend a significant amount of time in is said to improve psychological health. I’m sure you’ve noticed “green walls” and other beautiful botanical displays in the hippest of spaces, and it’s not just because plants are pretty. Plants improve air quality and perhaps even improve productivity. What else do plants love? Natural light! Adjusting the amount of natural light you get in your personal office space might not be a possibility, but if it is, raise up those blinds and crack that window for some fresh air. We spend so much time in artificial light and staring at screens, which can actually disrupt your mind, causing stress, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. No way around those aggressive office lights? Take the reigns on managing the lighting on your desk or in your immediate area and opt for a fixture that brings you joy and utilizes something less harsh than fluorescents. Tip #2 – Escape with Serene Sounds Maybe your office is totally cool with music or maybe you work somewhere where the only acceptable noises are phones ringing off the hook and keys pounding away on the keyboard. If you’ve got the flexibility, we highly recommend playing some music that will bring you into a positive state of mind. I’ve been gravitating towards spa soundtracks, with meditative music that features light instruments and nature sounds. It’s super soothing and because there are no words, it never interrupts my train of thought. Keep the music low enough not to disturb others or pop-in headphones to be courtesy to your cube-mate. When it comes to de-stressing, this music will definitely help you escape to a calm and relaxing place. Music too overbearing? Try adding a desktop fountain or water feature to simulate calming, natural sounds. Tip #3 – Essential Oils & The Like My first recommendation, hands down, would be to bring a diffuser into your workspace where you can add the essential oils of your choice. The natural properties of these oils are simply incredible. Whether you’re needing something to calm you down (try out lavender), something to invigorate you (perhaps some wild orange), or you’re trying to clear that stuffy nose or rid yourself of allergies (hello peppermint and eucalyptus), you can totally alter your mood by adding these scents to your space. Feeling like a diffuser is an aggressive move for those tight office quarters? Opt for some essential oils in a roller ball. You can roll them on behind your neck, on the wrist, or even on the forehead. Always test a little spot before going nuts—the purest essential oils can cause skin sensitivity depending on your skin type. I highly recommend doTERRA essential oils, which I recently heard are now being recognized by certain health insurance companies under their wellness reimbursement programs. If that doesn’t say something about these natural remedies, I don’t know what does! If you’re on a budget, splurge on doTERRA for any oils that you plan to apply topically or ingest. For diffusing, I think other options are a great jumping off point. Tip #4 – Get Moving We spend too much time sitting and hunched over looking at devices. Work used to be the primarily place where we’d be chained down, but these days I find too many of us take a seat to scroll social media or dive into that Netflix marathon. There is nothing wrong with indulging in either, but when most of us go to work 40 hours a week for a big portion of our lives, we should block of some of those hours to get out of our seats and stretch. If your workplace will support you in doing so, definitely request a standing desk. This is so much better for your posture and will definitely keep you more alert during the work day. A standing desk isn’t a full-blown commitment to giving up that cushy rolling chair. Most desks are height adjustable so that you can opt to sit or stand throughout the day with ease. Do some chair yoga, too! Tip #5 – Make Your Space Your Own Whether you love motivational quotes, artwork, or things that remind you of your favorite places, add some décor to your workspace that gives you that extra spark. My office shows my love for the shore, adorned with wooden signs & beachy phrases and canvases paintings with the coastline. Pictures of family, friends, tropical vacations, and beloved pets line my bookshelf. Maybe they are reminders of where I would rather be—haha—but also of why the work you put in is worth it! My home office, which I now more commonly refer to as my Zen Den, takes a similar but slightly different spin. The space is dotted with yoga gear, plush pillows, a mini alter, a salt lamp and décor that says, “life is an adventure,” “namaste in bed,” and other fun yoga references. Both spaces include my faithful diffusers. Whatever makes your heart sing, whatever drives you to reach a goal, or whatever focuses your mind. Those are the things you want surrounding you.