In these challenging times it is even more important to ensure that we support our energy fully in our home office environment. It is most ideal if we can position our desk so that we have our backs to a solid wall affording us a full view of the door and the window as we sit at our desks.
Positioning ourselves so that we are not in direct line with the door, but offset so that we have a diagonal view to the comings and goings into the room. You may wonder why this should be, why not put the desk against the wall and sit facing the wall? When we sit with our backs to the door in a home office or sit in an open plan space with your backs exposed to the rest of the room it feels uncomfortable, we throw up an awareness to what is going on behind us and therefore cannot fully settle in and focus on the work at hand.
A good quality office chair offers ergonomic support and its five feet offer maximum stability. If we are teetering on the edge of a stool or sitting in a dining room chair which was not designed for comfort for the long periods involved in working from home, we will experience physical and mental discomfort and stress.
Ideally we have sufficient storage so that we can tidy all of our paper work away at the end of each working day. Having a “clear desk” policy allow us to being each day from a fresh perspective. Tidying everything away at the end of our day, allows us to separate our work from our home life.
If we are constantly surrounded by our work, we can feel like we are never off, which is stressful in and of itself.
When we feel exposed due to room layout, this further stresses our systems. When
we feel stressed our bodies naturally shift to our sympathetic nervous system response: fight/flight/freeze, our breathing becomes shallow our digestive and immune systems slow down in their function, our hearts beat faster and our bodies are generally in a heightened state of awareness and anxiety.
Small changes make a big difference
By contrast, if we introduce subtle changes we can switch from this stress response to our parasympathetic nervous system response: rest/digest/rejuvenate allowing us to deepen our breathing, relax our heart rate and most importantly switching our immune and digestive systems back into optimum functioning.
Having adjusted the position of our desk, the next subtle shift we can make is to introduce a nice healthy green plant – preferably not a cactus or anything prickly. Instead adding a plant with softly rounded leaves will introduce a natural element, add moisture and positive ions to the atmosphere (electronics emit negative ions creating static and dry air).
Scent is a very powerful mood enhancer.
Scent has the ability to immediately influence our limbic system, that primal part of our nervous system which sets our emotional response to any given situation. When we experience something which is pleasing to us it actually boosts our immune system. Our response to scent will also be layered by our memories associated with that particular scent. It is highly beneficial to diffuse aromatherapy oils in our homes generally, but even more impactful when we use them with intention. Choosing oils which are mentally stimulating allowing us to focus while working and then switching to calming and unwinding oils when we finish work for the day. The scent stimulus will switch our bodies into “down time” response, allowing us to really feel that work is done for the day and we can relax and unwind enjoying the rest of our day.
There are myriad essential oils to choose from and our individual emotional response to each will be coloured by our memories and associations to them. Here is a short list to give some ideas of what can work best in each case.
Mentally stimulating oils: peppermint (mentha x piperita), rosemary(rosmarinus officinalis) and cardamom (elettaria cardamomum) invite mental clarity while balancing our need for excessive worry, refreshing and invigorating.
Refreshing oils:- Citrus oils lemon (citrus limon), grapefruit (citrus paradisi) and lime (citrus aurantifola) will feel uplifting and cleansing, reducing tension and inviting in “happy” energy.
Calming oils: lavender (lavandula angustifolia), frankincense (boswellia carterii), black spruce (picea mariana), roman chamomile (chamaemelum nobile) and ylang ylang (cananga odorata) will encourage us to relax and unwind, reducing anxiety and overthinking, soothing and balancing our energy.
Overwhelm/ unable to switch off: Basil (ocimum basilicum), cypress (cupressus sempervirens), juniper (juniperus cummunis)and clary sage (salvea sclarea) are particularly beneficial to clear and calm the mind and relieve mental fatigue and strengthen our self confidence. Marjoram (origanum majorana) calms obsessive thinking and supports self care.
Essential oils are excellent air purifiers, the majority being anti-microbial and anti-bacterial and some even having anti viral abilities. Diffusing pure essential oils into our homes will support our immune system while enhancing our mood as we work, rest and play.