7 ways to add more Zen to your workspace

7 ways to add more Zen to your workspace

Your office is often a home away from home. Some of us spend more than eight hours a day in a cubicle or four-walled room, and there’s no reason why it can’t be a place of health, happiness, and peace (especially if you’re in a high-stress job or industry).

Before you begin personalizing your space, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Make sure what you bring to the office isn’t banned (some buildings don’t allow candles, for example, and some employers prefer that personal items are kept to a minimum).
  • Respect your co-workers’ spaces (a giant vase of flowers when you share a desk with someone who is allergic is probably not the best move!).
  • Don’t add anything to your room that will distract you from your work. You are there to get things done, and games or electronic devices can take your attention away.

But there are some fun, inexpensive, and very effective items that can help you look forward to going to work each day.

  1. A Himalayan natural salt lamp

    I have one of these in my bedroom and I am going to add one to my home office desk as well. These lamps are believed to clean and deodorize the air, and may even help with colds or allergies. It certainly can’t hurt, and the lamps are so pretty and calming to look at that even if you don’t believe the hippie-dippie stuff, it’s a nice addition to your décor!

  2. Fresh (or good fake) flowers

    There’s just something about a vase of beautiful flowers that can brighten even the worst days. I’m partial to roses because they feel indulgent and expensive and they last a long time, but really, anything that makes you smile is worth the investment.

    And if you do have allergies or don’t want to spend money on fresh flowers, these “nearly natural” flowers completely fooled me when I first looked at them!

  3. Photos

    Hands holding a framed family photo

    Why do we work? To pursue our passions, to feel fulfilled, and, largely, to support our families. So why not keep a token of your loved ones close by? I always feel a boost of energy when I see a sweet photo of my two kids nearby, and I remember that the harder I work during the week, the better our time will be together on the weekends.

    A collage frame full of your favorite family moments is a great way to keep that inspiration close. And if you can, pick a mix of fun, funny, and serious photos, because those are all of the moments you’re working so hard to preserve!

  4. An inspirational daily calendar

    Everyone needs something to look forward to, and sometimes the act and habit of arriving to work to tear off the latest page from a daily desktop calendar to see what’s next can make a difference!

    I love motivational messages and quotes. Whether it’s funny animal pictures, a new word of the day, a look at great moments in that date’s history, or something else, these calendars can help you mark the passing of time with some lighthearted and inspirational moments.

  5. Sunshine and natural light

    I’m lucky enough to work next to a large window. Every morning when I settle in to work, I open the blinds and let the sunshine in. It is such an uplifting part of my routine.

    But a friend of mine works in an office with no windows — it’s dark enough to be a cave! I’ve recommended that she purchase a sunlight desk lamp to mimic the sunshine. I think it will make a big difference.

  6. A creative and colorful outlet

    Hands drawing in an adult coloring book

    I love to doodle during meetings. I actually find that instead of distracting me, giving my hands something to do while my brain focuses on the speaker or the topic helps me stay hyper-engaged.

    Even better than just a blank piece of paper, though, is an adult coloring book. These have become very popular because the designs are intricate and beautiful, and really do help to de-stress. Maybe it’s because we all loved coloring as kids, and that was a less frenetic time.

  7. Something that makes you say “Ohmmm”

    I believe in meditation. It has had a powerful and positive effect on my life — at work and at home. Whether it’s just a few moments of deep breaths with positive affirmations or a full-blown audio track, whatever helps you find a little Zen in your life is worth considering.

    If meditation itself feels too difficult or overwhelming, consider adding this calming meditation fountain to your workspace.

    Why not take a few moments to create a space for yourself that supports your professional goals while still making it possible for you to get — and stay — healthy and happy when you’re outside of the office? And remember: what you do, others will mimic. You could start a wellness revolution, just with a coloring book and calendar.

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