Let’s face it: working from home can be super stressful. Sure, we all love the commute. And we would love to see ”business on the top, comfort on the bottom” attire become the norm in every avenue of our lives.
However, the lines between work and play have become more blurred. Should you write that email now or after the kids are in bed? The juggling act of life that was complicated before kids can be downright daunting now- especially if your family is home with you.
Mouths must be fed varied and delicious organic foods, exercise routines must sculpt you into an influencer, and the laundry. Can we talk about the laundry? It never ends. Why must children have four outfit changes in a day? Are we at a Lady Gaga concert? You may be overwhelmed by the stress of it all. If you are, here are five ideas that can help you de-stress and still impress.
1. Add Some Greenery
Research has shown that adding plants at the workplace decreases stress, increases productivity, and lessens sick days. Why not add some foliage to your home office? Need something simple to take care of? Try a Snake Plant, a Jade Plant, a Philodendron, or an Aloe plant. These varieties add some color and are almost impossible to kill. Have a black thumb, no sunlight, or don’t want more chores? Buy an artificial plant. There are many impressive faux foliage arrangements out there. Place it near your workspace to improve your office hours.
2. Make Space for Yourself
The more time you spend in your house, the more messy and chaotic your house may become. Don’t focus on the omnipresent pile of laundry in your bedroom that needs to be folded. Ignore the tornado of toys your children kindly deposited in the other part of your living room. Your house may not be as organized as you would like it to be right now, and that’s okay.
Instead of feeling out of control of your space, choose a small area where you work- it can be as small as three square feet- and make it yours. Keep it clean, put your favorite photos in it, decorate your walls, add aesthetically pleasing tchotchkes, etc. This space should reflect what you wish the rest of your house would look like if you had infinite time and energy. Now when you’re on your Zoom call, you can breathe easy in your designated space that’s only for you.
3. Give Your Kids a Cleaning Task
Now before you roll your eyes, hear me out. When your children come looking for you while you are working, give them a specific cleaning task that they can complete autonomously- like correctly putting all of the books onto shelves or placing their dirty clothes in the hamper.
If you want, throw in some kind of reward for a job well done. This is a win-win scenario: either they clean what you ask, buying you more uninterrupted time while tidying up, or they don’t but avoid coming back to you to remind them of a said chore.
4. The Business Mullet
For over a year now, many of us have been taking advantage of the ”business on the top, comfort on the bottom” work attire. Elastic waistbands have done wonders to reduce stress. While that is terrific, you can take this idea even further. Do you have a favorite pair of warm, soft slippers? A velvety blanket? A custom cushion?
If you are going to have to spend hours a day at a desk, you might as well create a space fit for royalty. Make your workstation so warm and cozy that you will rue the hour you have to get up and make lunches. A happy seat can go a long way in improving positive mental health.
5. Fancy Beverages
Sometimes the monotony of sitting in one place for too long may tire your nerves- even if that space is designed to be calming and pleasant. Try spicing up your day with a specialty (nonalcoholic) beverage! You can start simply by adding fruit to your tap water. Throw a fancy glass into the mix, and voila! Instant vacation vibes. You can also spice up your beverages using a seltzer, splashes of juice, vitamin packets, or even food-grade essential oils.
Water infusions have endless possibilities. Don’t like water? Try some lovely tea. Stir in spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to make it feel like a present from your local barista. Connoisseurs in the beverage game can make smoothies or shakes, and people on a budget can even buy their own soda maker to replace those costly and non-eco-friendly cans and bottles. Creating a fancy beverage is a simple way you can brighten your workday.
No matter the method you use to de-stress, the important thing is that you take extra care of yourself while working from home. It’s usually the last thing that mothers worry about, but a mother’s mental health is a vital component in maintaining a healthy family dynamic.