We’ve all been there. We look around our workspace and everything is just total chaos, we are overly stressed, and integrating mindfulness (our self-care) is the last thing on our minds. Sometimes, taking a moment to breathe, giving ourselves a 5 minute pause, or simply getting fresh air is just not something we think about in the heat of the moment. However, we can be proactive about this. I am a big believer that integrating essential components into our workspace to help further instill mindfulness can make a huge difference in our day. The reality is, the more ways we can be mindful (or integrate mindfulness), the more this, in turn, positively impacts our nourishment, our movement, and our emotions.
As I mentioned, our workspace can make a significant difference in how we deal with stress at work. Below, I’ve developed 5 ways to mindfully and positively impact your workspace and work day:
- Write It Out: I start my day by writing all of the day’s tasks on a white board, located on my office wall. It reminds me to stay focused at the tasks at hand and as I get through my day, I simply cross them off my list. No batch tasks lists around my desk or having to constantly check my Google Calendar of what I need to get done. While this does seem a little 1998 – before Siri reminders – sometimes we just need to write it out, visualize it, and stay focused.
- Pleasurable Listening: After a stressful work meeting, sometimes you just need some pleasurable tunes to ease you back into your workday. I am a big fan of either listening to soft and blissful tunes or an audible book. My personal favorite has been Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass because she reminds me that life happens, affirmations are important, and that I have gifts I need to keep sharing with this world.
- Posture & Balance: How often do we find ourselves slouching over our desks, creating strains and pains down our spines? I know that I have. If you’ve recently checked out my Instagram stories, you’ll know that I am a big fan of using my exercise ball as my work chair of choice (#ergonomics). Not only does it help me maintain posture and gives me a soothing bounce as I work, but it also helps me practice proper posture for when I sit down to eat – the ‘rest and digest’ method. I completely understand that just using a ball isn’t for everyone. However, I love this alternative balance chair ball instead.
- Let Your Blood Flow: I love sitting on my bouncy ball, but there are times I need to just stand up and let the blood flow through my body (while still working on the tasks listed on my white board). Because I don’t yet have a standing desk (emphasis on yet), elevating my laptop on a platform stand has made a world of difference. I can stand up when I need to and continue working, without ever having to hunch over.
- Create Your Own Ambience: Whether it’s putting up pictures, having a small water fountain, adding a white noise machine, or painting your walls a blissful gray blue, creating your own workspace ambience can add a mega dose of mindfulness to your day. Your space should not only make you feel productive, but also tranquil and safe. In my office, I have pictures of my family, my MBA diploma, and my salt lamp to help keep me calm and remind me why I do what I do every single day.
By simply adding these few things in my day and in my workspace, I am taking care of me – I am being mindful of what I need. Mindfulness goes beyond mindful eating – it’s about what you can do right now to help you be more present in the moment, manage stress, and allow you to be you.
Share with me some ways that you incorporate mindfulness into your work day and your workspace in the comments below.