The pleasure or the pressure of working from home
Small tweaks go a long way during this pandemic as we now mostly work from home. There have been many articles written about mental health and how depression and anxiety are on the rise. What can one do to achieve the perfect balance of enjoying one’s home while working from it? By making the daily grind more palatable.
1 It helps to have a designated work area, ideally near a window to get the benefits of sunshine, daylight and ventilation. If one does not have airconditioning, a stand-up fan helps cool the air. It would be ideal to have overhead shelves for easy access to files, books and paperwork. If one can splurge on a pint of paint, this area can also be painted an accent color to separate it from the rest of the space. A clearly demarcated work area helps us get into work mode when we need to.
2 Introduce biophilia in the environment. Buy a houseplant and set it near your work area. The plant gets the sunshine and you benefit from the oxygen. Oxygen stimulates your brain and increases your happy hormones. When shopping for houseplants, this variety of indoor plants like the philodendrons, sansevieria and aglaonema are easiest to maintain.
3 In the instance that you stay in a studio apartment and your desk pivots to your dining area, make sure you develop this habit of ritualizing your meals.
The simplest tweak that I do is the setting of the table for meals. For any meal, I make sure that I always have the posse of napkins, placemats, cutlery, dishes and stemwares prettily arrayed. Now is the time to use and enjoy the housewares we got as gifts or we shopped for from here and abroad. If anything, this pandemic taught us to live in the moment.
Eating well with a beautifully set table elevates the activity to a dining pleasure, plus it’s free—surely we all must have placemats, napkins, cutlery, plates and glasses. The extra effort of setting the table once acquired as a habit becomes rote. When dining becomes ritualized pleasure, even the quality of conversations around the table is raised another notch.
4 Music. Collate a playlist for motivation, stimulation and relaxation. That’s why movies have amazing soundtracks. The intention is to heighten the experience.
5 Scent. Scented candles are another affordable indulgence. Aside from the joy of looking at the flickering light it casts, the scent emanating from it adds another layer to soothe one’s senses. If you
can, invest in a diffuser and infuse essential oils as these offer health benefits, too.
6 Lighting. Mix white light from task lighting fixtures with yellow lights from your incandescent light bulbs. This ensures that you have the balance lighting that optimizes your well-being and softens the ambiance of the room.
7 Clutter. To avoid clutter, many online sources provide organizing carts, bins, boxes and easy-to-assemble shelves to sort out our indispensables. It’s okay to have them just as long as they are properly organized.
8 Beddings. An indulgence or a necessity? Both. Because this is the biggest area in the room that touches your skin and reenergizes you with restful sleep. Invest in proper thread counts for sheets so that when it touches your skin, the fabric is soft and the experience is pleasurable. A good firm mattress with a selection of pillows from hard to soft spells the difference between a good
night’s sleep and a great night’s sleep.
All told, we can help ourselves make working from home more enjoyable, so that the pressure becomes a well known pleasure.
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