Most graphic and web designers spend long, long periods of time in the home office, so why not make working less stressful and more relaxing? Creating a relaxing home office can help you produce better work, reduce stress, make working more enjoyable and improve your mental and physical health. Below I have put together some interesting tips you can follow to create a more zen-like home office and working experience. Feel free to share any relaxation tips below or photos of your own zen-like home office.
Tips Towards a more Zen-Like Home Office
1. Your Desktop Wallpaper
It sounds simple, but think of how many hours your eyes are locked on your desktop screen! Try adding a nice relaxing image as your desktop background. Personally, I like to use nature landscapes, because to me nothing is more relaxing than an ocean view or a gorgeous forest. For you it might be a photo of loved ones, something cute or even something you really want such as an exotic car, which can work as relaxing or motivational imagery.
2. Find a Room With a View
In the corporate world people always dream of an office with a view. Why? Because its much more relaxing to look at trees outside and birds flying around than a cubical wall with papers stuck on it. So don’t be afraid to relocate your office in your house so that you have a nice view. Believe me, I’ve spent many years working out of a basement with no windows or natural light and it is NOT fun or relaxing.
This topics always reminds me of the scene from office space where the main character unscrews his cubical walls and lets them fall to the ground so he can see outside, which appears at 1 Minute and 55 Seconds below:
3. Get Some Green
Just because you are indoors doesn’t mean you can’t do some gardening. Adding oxygen-generating plants to your room can make the air better, make the place look great and keep you more relaxed. How many plants you get it up to you, just don’t get fake ones!!! Plants just need a little water and sunlight to thrive and can help you do the same.
3. Fresh Air
Nothing is worse than working in a hot stuffy office. Try opening your windows to bring in some fresh cool on windy days and save some energy by turning off your fan or air conditioner. Fall is the perfect time to take advantage of a relaxing and fresh breeze courtesy of mother nature.
4. Burn Some Incense
Humans have been blessed with many senses, many of which can make you feel more relaxed. Different smells work for different people so you need to do a little experimenting, but a popular choice is Incense. Incense has been used for many years as a way to enhance relaxation and mediation via smell.
5. Fresh Coat of Paint
Many studies and articles have been written on how certain colors make people feel more relaxed. Repainting a room can be done in a day for very cheap, which is def worth years of increased relaxation. Your eyes will thank you!
If you are going to repaint your office you might as well redecorate! Try replacing old dark and bulky or outdated furniture with, eco friendly furniture or some more wallet friendly, but still light and modern looking furniture from IKEA. A few pieces of new furniture and decorations can go a long way in making your office suitable for Buddhist monk meditation!
7. Let There be Light
Working in bad lighting can really strain your eyes, especially if you are working in bad lighting for many hours at a time and this eye strain can lead to eyesight problems and headaches, which is NOT good when you are trying to relax. Hopefully your office gets some good natural light during the day, but if it doesn’t make sure your room is well lit and don’t forget to use those Energy Saving Bulbs!
8. Turn on the Spa Channel
One of the greatest things ever invented was the Spa Channel on Sirius/XM satellite radio. Satellite radio costs under $15 a month and has TONSSS of music stations including the Spa Channel, which plays relaxing music all day long with no commercial interruptions. The music is very soothing and can work wonders for anyone looking to make their office more zen-like. They play soothing music of all types from a variety of cultures and they have a huge selection of music so they don’t replay the same songs over and over again.
9. Quiet Time
Similar to the mediation tip recommend below, I highly recommend getting some Noise Canceling Headphones. They are great for when you really need to focus on work and not be disturbed by a noisy environment. Silence is golden as they say.
10. Meditation Breaks
This might sound a little odd to some of you, but meditation really works and can help you clear your busy mind and make you feel very, very relaxed. One of the most popular forms of mediation is Transcendental Meditation, introduced in India in 1955 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Supposedly you need to be taught it by a certified teacher, but I have heard many people talk about its amazing benefits so I am sure its worth it and look forward to learning it myself.
11. Embrace the Outdoors
If you are ever feeling stuffed up, stressed or find yourself having a mental block, try stepping outside for a few minutes. Hopefully you are lucky enough to be around nature, but even if you are in the city you could walk around the park during a phone conference or to think of creative ideas. You could even try holding meetings outside if several people work in your office. This can create a more relaxing work environment and can help boost office morale.
12. Organize Your Belongings
This one always shows up on relaxation lists and and it is the tip I will stress the most. Nothing creates more stress than being unorganized and your stress levels can spiral out of control from a simple thing such as not being able to find your keys. Even if it is not spring, you should clean house right now! Trash, recycle and giveaway everything you can so that your office is neat and organized. Everything should have its place and you need to get into the habit of cleaning on a regular basis and be sure to place things where they belong.
13. Get an Ergonomic Office Chair
The most important piece of furniture in your home office is your CHAIR, because that is what your butt is planted in for most of the day. A bad chair can be very uncomfortable and even cause back issues and pain over an extended period of time. So if you are going to spend any money on furniture, get an ergonomically designed chair, that provides good back support and is very comfortable. This can improve your home work experience tremendously!
14. Get Your Eyes Checked
If you spend massive amounts of time on the computer your eyes could be suffering and this can happen pretty quickly. I used to have perfect vision and now my eyes are in much worse shape, which I am sure can be blamed on me spending too much time in front of the computer. So be sure to get your eyes checked by an eye doctor and get your glasses prescription filled if needed. This can reduce eye strain, help stop headaches and can make reading on the computer much easier.
15. Extend Estimated Project Timelines
We all want to get projects done quickly so we can send out invoices, but sometimes its better to give yourself some more time to complete them. Try extending the estimated project timelines for a few of your projects that way if anything goes wrong you will have more time to get things done. Rushing to meet deadlines is always a nightmare, so by adding a week or even a few days onto timelines you can save yourself tons of stress.
16. Quench Your Thirst
It only takes a loss of about 1% – 2% of your body’s ideal water content to put you into a state of dehydration. When you are dehydrated you can feel fatigue, weakness, dry mouth and lots more and it only gets worse as you become more dehydrated. This doesn’t sound very relaxing to me, but the fact is many people are dehydrated so you should drink about 6-10 glasses a day. The benefits of staying hydrated or truly endless so be sure to get one of those sweet Poland Spring Coolers in your home office.
17. Cut the Sugar
Everyone knows drinking sodas is bad and one fo the worst parts its the sugar crash. The sugar crash happens when you intake a large amount of sugar and can make you feel very sleepy, which makes you not want to work! Not working will make you miss deadlines and can add stress to your daily regiment. So replace the sodas with water or something healthier, so you can continue to run like a well oiled machine all day long!
18. Get a Massage on Your Lunch Break
Let me tell you…almost nothing is better than a relaxing deep tissue massage. They can be pretty expensive, so most of us can’t get one every day, but they can work wonders on those extra stressful days. So save the spare change up from lunch for a professional massage on one of those hellish work days.
Hope you enjoyed these tips!