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Working From Home
Wellness
Published Wednesday Mar 18, 2020 by Brittany Raine

Working from Home: How to Create a Home Office Oasis—and Increase Productivity

Personal Growth
Perspective
Renewal

It’s a digitally-driven world, and if you’re an employee, you’re probably working from home right now. The daily schedule for a WFH employee has quickly become redefined. Let's look at the home office: The desk is the kitchen table. The break room, whatever room you feel like that day. Zoom is the new meeting room and workplace. And your fellow employee helping you with time management and knocking your desk lamp over may have 4 paws and more concerned with finding the sun than any other task at hand. In this day and age, how can you organize your at-home workspace to be a beacon of productivity, a flexible environment, and most of all a room you actually want to commute to for work each day? 

Whether you’re working in your studio apartment, remotely meeting in your mega-mansion, completing a task in a tiny home or discussing your job with your employer from your parents' house, we've put together the following tips in an employee guide to working from home, retaining productivity, keeping focus, and finding a workspace that keeps you focused (and accomplished).  

Desk
Dedicate (and decorate) an “office” area.  

While all of us might not have an at-home desk or office for our work from home jobs, it’s essential to have an appropriate working area that is both productive and flexible. Regardless of space size, establishing a motivational, no-nonsense workplace will help create personal and professional boundaries and keep your focus on track, task list in order, and work in order. Since you're working remotely, treat this area like you would if your job was still at the office—organize it regularly, maybe a file cabinet, a motivational "I'm the boss" sign, etc. You know what we're talking about. Trust us, you’ll feel even more official when you take your next video conference call.   
  

1
Desk
Dedicate (and decorate) an “office” area.  

While all of us might not have an at-home desk or office for our work from home jobs, it’s essential to have an appropriate working area that is both productive and flexible. Regardless of space size, establishing a motivational, no-nonsense workplace will help create personal and professional boundaries and keep your focus on track, task list in order, and work in order. Since you're working remotely, treat this area like you would if your job was still at the office—organize it regularly, maybe a file cabinet, a motivational "I'm the boss" sign, etc. You know what we're talking about. Trust us, you’ll feel even more official when you take your next video conference call.   
  

Window view
Let the natural light in.   

A benefit of natural light is to alleviate any angst you may have from being indoors. Choose a space to work that offers natural light—and fresh air, if the weather allows. You won’t have to deal with those flickering fluorescent office lights, and you’ll reap the real benefit of natural light—upping your Vitamin D intake, warding off seasonal depression, making you happier, and your space, brighter. Opening the shades will keep you connected to the outside world and invite a little nature into your home. Remember to have a backup spot, though, in case backlighting becomes an issue when you’re on video. 

2
Window view
Let the natural light in.   

A benefit of natural light is to alleviate any angst you may have from being indoors. Choose a space to work that offers natural light—and fresh air, if the weather allows. You won’t have to deal with those flickering fluorescent office lights, and you’ll reap the real benefit of natural light—upping your Vitamin D intake, warding off seasonal depression, making you happier, and your space, brighter. Opening the shades will keep you connected to the outside world and invite a little nature into your home. Remember to have a backup spot, though, in case backlighting becomes an issue when you’re on video. 

dog in kitchen
Standup, disconnect, and schedule Savasana.  

When you’re working from home, and your commute is from your bedroom to your home office, it’s easy to get sucked into sitting all day—heads down at your desk going through your work email and never leaving your home office. Try creating a “zen zone,” adjacent to your workspace, but within sight (it will remind you to take a break). Roll out a yoga mat/blanket/towel and surround it with whatever helps you to focus and be present—no work materials allowed. Take advantage of the wellness space you’ve created by closing your computer at least two times a day to get working on a few yoga poses (these seven are fantastic) and take advantage of these ahh-mazing stretches. Your mind and body will thank you.  

3
dog in kitchen
Standup, disconnect, and schedule Savasana.  

When you’re working from home, and your commute is from your bedroom to your home office, it’s easy to get sucked into sitting all day—heads down at your desk going through your work email and never leaving your home office. Try creating a “zen zone,” adjacent to your workspace, but within sight (it will remind you to take a break). Roll out a yoga mat/blanket/towel and surround it with whatever helps you to focus and be present—no work materials allowed. Take advantage of the wellness space you’ve created by closing your computer at least two times a day to get working on a few yoga poses (these seven are fantastic) and take advantage of these ahh-mazing stretches. Your mind and body will thank you.  

music
Turn up the tunes. 

Sitting in complete silence, tapping away on your laptop, or be dialed into conference calls all day can weigh on you, especially if you’re coming from a lively work environment. If you’re alone and WFH, take advantage of that Bluetooth speaker or record player by tuning in and jamming out to some upbeat songs. Spontaneous dance party, anyone? Whether it’s turning up Tycho’s futuristic, multi-sensory musical experience, belting it out to Celine, bouncing to Biggie, or rocking to the Rolling Stones, trying diving into new (and old) playlists—we have quite a few WFH faves. You might even find working to music more powerful and invigorating than that fifth cup of coffee you’re sipping on.

4
music
Turn up the tunes. 

Sitting in complete silence, tapping away on your laptop, or be dialed into conference calls all day can weigh on you, especially if you’re coming from a lively work environment. If you’re alone and WFH, take advantage of that Bluetooth speaker or record player by tuning in and jamming out to some upbeat songs. Spontaneous dance party, anyone? Whether it’s turning up Tycho’s futuristic, multi-sensory musical experience, belting it out to Celine, bouncing to Biggie, or rocking to the Rolling Stones, trying diving into new (and old) playlists—we have quite a few WFH faves. You might even find working to music more powerful and invigorating than that fifth cup of coffee you’re sipping on.

Plug in and power up the diffuser. 

In a time of change, uncertainty, and chaos, stress can manifest in many ways. It’s essential to find calm in your every day, and that can be hard when you’re dealing with everything—including panicked co-workers and endless virtual meetings. So, what better way to clear the negative air than with essential oils? From boosting your immune system, to managing stress, to increasing your overall mood, a few drops in your diffuser can make a huge difference. And if you’re like me and think it’s never too early for pumpkin spice everything, check out these blends. Plug in your diffuser within a few feet of your WFH workspace for optimal soothing scents, all workday long.

5
Plug in and power up the diffuser. 

In a time of change, uncertainty, and chaos, stress can manifest in many ways. It’s essential to find calm in your every day, and that can be hard when you’re dealing with everything—including panicked co-workers and endless virtual meetings. So, what better way to clear the negative air than with essential oils? From boosting your immune system, to managing stress, to increasing your overall mood, a few drops in your diffuser can make a huge difference. And if you’re like me and think it’s never too early for pumpkin spice everything, check out these blends. Plug in your diffuser within a few feet of your WFH workspace for optimal soothing scents, all workday long.

desk plants
Bring the outdoors, in.

A little green never hurt anybody, especially when being inside is becoming the new norm. Make your WFH experience an urban oasis with (drumroll, please) plants! Succulents, ferns, aloe, a plethora of foliage—the list goes on and on. Plants will freshen your air and give you a little *extra* company as you WFH. Where our plant ladies at? Try contacting your local nursery or flower shop to see if they are open and schedule a quiet time to swing by and support your neighborhood business. If going outside right now isn’t possible for you, check out brands like The Sill to find a plant (or two) that can be delivered right to your door. And if you have a brown thumb—hey, we aren’t judging—search for some faux greenery on Amazon. Real or fake, plants can help add a little color to your space (and give your co-workers plant envy on those Zoom calls). Don’t forget a desk-sized one for your new WFH workspace!   


How are you building your WFH sanctuary? We want to know! Please share your tips, tricks, and creative ideas when it comes to making your home happening, and tag @mindbody on Instagram! 

6
desk plants
Bring the outdoors, in.

A little green never hurt anybody, especially when being inside is becoming the new norm. Make your WFH experience an urban oasis with (drumroll, please) plants! Succulents, ferns, aloe, a plethora of foliage—the list goes on and on. Plants will freshen your air and give you a little *extra* company as you WFH. Where our plant ladies at? Try contacting your local nursery or flower shop to see if they are open and schedule a quiet time to swing by and support your neighborhood business. If going outside right now isn’t possible for you, check out brands like The Sill to find a plant (or two) that can be delivered right to your door. And if you have a brown thumb—hey, we aren’t judging—search for some faux greenery on Amazon. Real or fake, plants can help add a little color to your space (and give your co-workers plant envy on those Zoom calls). Don’t forget a desk-sized one for your new WFH workspace!   


How are you building your WFH sanctuary? We want to know! Please share your tips, tricks, and creative ideas when it comes to making your home happening, and tag @mindbody on Instagram! 

Brittany Raine MINDBODY
Written by
Brittany Raine
Consumer Content Program Manager
About the author
A free-spirited farmgirl from New York, Brittany traded her job as a journalist and newspaper editor for the San Diego sunshine. Brittany now leads the curation of all creative content. There are rumors she was Middle Earth's warrior elven queen in a past life.
woman with short hair staring into camera
Wellness
Published Thursday Apr 01, 2021 by Denise Prichard

Your Guide to Releasing Stress and Finding Peace

Expert Advice
Wellness
Self-care

Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.

With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."

There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.

Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:

shanila sattar header
 
1. Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice  

When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey. 

virtual meditation header
 
2. I Tried Virtual Meditation...Here’s What I Learned 

Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?) 

TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra. 

dani schenone yogi
 
3. Accessible Yoga Poses for Emotional Balance and Release 

Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.  

shanila sattar header
4. Top Breathing Exercises for Anxiety and Depression and The New Normal

Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.

destress with yoga
 
5. The "Staying Grounded" Guide to Stress and Anxiety Pre- and Post-COVID-19

If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.

woman meditating
 
6. How to Meditate: A Beginner's Guide

Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.

woman in down dog
 
7. Cultivate Your Calm with These 7 Yoga Poses

There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.

shanila sattar header
 
8. Mindfulness Tips to Stay Intentional, Focused, and Aligned in 2021

We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.

shanila sattar header
9. Why It's Time to Try a Healing Virtual Sound Bath

If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.

These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.  

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.