Personal time and work time used to be separate, but nowadays this idea seems obsolete. We answer emails at all hours, we work when commuting, we work when on vacation. It’s only fair that we also indulge in a little self-care when we are at work. For a lot of us, that means sitting in front of a desk. It’s quite comfortable, but there are little improvements that can be made. Keep on reading for some tips and tricks that will add to the 9-5 experience!
This is not about where you fall on the spectrum of messy-tidy, but rather about sensory stimuli. Things like scents, sounds, amount of light, type of light, and so on, make a huge difference to your mood, energy levels, and ability to concentrate. This is why it’s important to focus on these little details, or as we call it, focus on self-care.
Music: Controlling what you hear is probably the easiest thing on this list. Invest in a pair of good headphones, and figure out your sound per your music preference. Classical music is a recommended option across the board. According to an article published in the Australian Journal of Medicine, listening to rock music as opposed to classical music lowers focus and increases the likelihood of making mistakes, whereas a study conducted in France found that students had better results when attending lectures with classical music playing in the background as opposed to no music.
Lighting: Changing the light around you is slightly more challenging, but achievable. For most people, a well-lit environment will be the better choice. Recent studies show that our bodies react differently to artificial and natural light. Specifically, being subjected to artificial light makes our cortisone levels drop throughout the day, which leaves us tired and drowsy at the end of the day, as opposed to people exposed to natural or good lighting conditions. In the absence of that, a lamp will work wonders to light up your space. Best part? It’s fairly easy to find an artificial light that imitates natural sunlight!
Scent: this is probably the trickiest one on the list. In a world with an overwhelming number of olfactory chemicals, we need to be cautious to not choose scents that will cause irritation to the people around us. However, there are smells that have certain universal effects. The key here is to pick something simple and not overwhelming. A good choice is a soothing lavender, or for the colder weather, peppermint, which will also help with congestion. The easiest way to introduce fragrances to your workspace is through a small diffuser, which will also accessorize your desk.
Now that we have listed some tips to make the space around us more personal, it’s time to move on to some tips on how to stay healthier when working. As Juvenal said, “Mens sana in corpe sano“, which for you non-Latin speakers means “A healthy mind in a healthy body”!
Skin Care: This is the epitome of self-care. Keep an all-purpose moisturizer nearby –Aveeno, Kiss My Face, or Eucerin are frequently seen around our space here at NGIN Workplace. It’s always a good idea to have some help with keeping your hands, face, and wherever else needed soft and moisturized. According to dermatologists, prolonged exposure to air-conditioning has drying effects on our skin, since it’s air that lacks humidity. While we can’t avoid air-conditioning, we can certainly work around its negative effects!
Another great product to keep nearby is a face mist. Face mists are the equivalent of splashing cold water on your face, without the aftermath. Refreshing, cooling, and hydrating, it’s a great pick-me-up product to have nearby, as it helps not just your skin, but also wakes you up as only a fine, cool water mist can. Stick with safe choices like Avene, or go for a targeted one, specific to your skin’s needs.
Hydration: Drink water! Many of us are guilty of not drinking enough water, which causes fatigue, lack of concentration, and drowsiness. Keep your energy levels up with healthy snacking. Nuts, protein bars, or nut clusters are great sources of protein, on top of being tasty. For immediate energy aka sugar: fruit!
A small grooming kit, because when working you can get distracted by the smallest things. For nit-pickers, even a small snag nail or stray hair can make you obsess over that little detail, disrupting your focus and workflow. That’s why it’s a good idea to have at least a nail file/clipper and a pair of tweezers on hand. Our office likes to take it one step further – we keep things like stain remover pens, a needle & thread, and even a clothing iron! It’s all about being able to take care of little distracting details.
It’s easy to tweak your surroundings and make work time more comfortable. In return, this little investment will help you stay focused, and be more productive. We have tried and tested self-care methods like these in our offices at NGIN, so trust us. We know what we’re talking about!
By: Jetmira Allushi