Feeling disconnected from, well, everything? Welcome to the worst part of location independence. Even in the sunniest climates, working solo can feel especially isolating and, at times, more than a little dull. Thankfully, this is something you can easily manage with a few changes that transform your workspace.
When I first began working remotely part-time in 2013, the practice reminded me of what sick days were like back in elementary school. You’re at home and (mostly, if not totally) spending hours in solitude, while the rest of the world continues hustling and bustling at what seems like a foreign pace. Watching reruns of the Price is Right and eating chicken soup wasn’t quite on my agenda, of course. But pulling myself up and out of a solo funk did take some concerted effort. Here’s what I learned, which I hope will help you to have happier work-from-home days.
Try out these four ways to instantly improve your mood during telecommuting days:
Infuse your workspace with pleasing scents.
Aside from ambient noise, we just may have uncovered why remote workers love to operate out of coffee shops. Think of your favorite aromas; maybe it’s relaxing lavender or vanilla, soothing sandalwood, or a rich hazelnut. Rather than being a sterile spot, your desk should be part of a cozy, welcoming environment; consider lighting a candle or wafting some essential oils. You might be surprised by just how much they transform even the most mundane space into a true haven.
Realign your mind and body.
Remaining sedentary for long stretches has been shown to have adverse effects on your health—let alone the short-term stiffness that builds up in your neck and shoulders. If you don’t have a standing desk, schedule regular breaks to get up and stretch. Have a yoga mat handy and run through a few quick poses to limber yourself up. You’ll find that you’re more comfortable and better able to do deep dives on projects when you take the occasional physical break.
Collect laughter you can revisit.
Why should every grin be a fleeting experience? There’s a reason why I have a folder titled “Amusing.” It’s the spot where I gather screenshots from funny team chats, goofy memes, silly animal pictures, news headlines—you name it, if it made me smile, it belongs there. If I’ve got a few minutes between calls or my next task and I’m feeling even a little low, a quick glance at files in that folder will surely brighten me up.
Bring the outdoors inside.
For those of us who don’t get outside enough, there are ways you can feel closer to nature. (And in case you were wondering, yes, there’s actually a clinical term for this: the aptly-titled nature-deficit disorder.) Why not add a potted plant to your desk, since it’ll also give off oxygen? If you lack a green thumb, go for a low-maintenance succulent or cactus garden, put dried flowers in a vase, or pin a few fallen leaves to a bulletin board. If you or your kids have collected seashells, colorful pebbles, or gemstones, put one or two on a shelf near your laptop.
Have any of these tips helped to make your remote workdays more cheerful? Share your tips and/or photos on Twitter and tag @remote_co.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com