In today’s challenging climate, working professionals worldwide are experiencing numerous difficulties with their work, such as worries of being exposed to the virus while in the office, navigating through the hybrid work model, and more. The majority of remote employees who are quick to adapt now enjoy their working arrangements while others do not. Meanwhile, those who have returned to the office are constantly on guard against the risks posed by the lingering pandemic. Overall, stress is on the rise for everyone working remotely or otherwise, posing detrimental consequences to their well-being.
This issue only reinforces the importance of looking out for our mental health, something that not many employees pay much heed to yet. Boosting mental wellness can be done in many ways, from short yet reinvigorating breathing exercises to adding some nifty accessories to your workspace. In this article, we will be focusing more on the latter and clue you into some of the must-have items on your desk to promote your mental health while at the office.
Break time alarm clock
Nowadays, traditional alarm clocks are no longer as valuable thanks to other devices such as our mobile phones taking on their purpose. However, having an accessory dedicated to telling the time and, most importantly, setting when you should take a break is great for your mental well-being.
Periodic breaks throughout the workday are essential for several reasons, one of which is to be more productive in the long term. It is believed that our prefrontal cortex (which is responsible for logical thinking, willpower, and emotional self-regulation) experiences fatigue after doing so much ‘thinking work’ without breaks. Moreover, since we take in so much information every day, with a US study published by the University of California reporting around 100,000 words a day, breaks also serve as a way to better process everything we have taken in.
As such, to make sure that you take breaks when you have to and not spend hour after hour working, consider getting an audible reminder in the way of a traditional alarm clock. Breaks can be as simple as walking away from your desk for a couple of minutes or playing with your pets for a little while before continuing your tasks for the day.
Certain scents and fragrances can help uplift our mood, so it is best not to downplay just how much a scented candle can help you get through a day’s work. Although picking a scent is more so a matter of personal preference, specific oils are better suited to soothing one’s anxieties and, ultimately, boosting mental health.
For instance, the scent of lavender is well known to provide calming benefits, with a study done in Kagoshima University in Japan proving the smell of lavender triggers a relaxing effect within the human body. Thus, trying out a lavender-scented item such as a candle, oil, or even perfume could prove helpful whenever you feel overwhelmed.
Daily planner and organiser
If you often struggle in organising your time, a daily planner could assist in the improvement of your time management. Organising your work time is not just crucial for productivity reasons but also our mental health. As discussed in Verywell Mind’s articles, simply writing things down reduces stress levels and makes us less likely to become stressed and overwhelmed by the workday ahead.
On a similar note, having a to-do list and checking off items one by one helps prevent multitasking, which has already been proven to decrease and not increase productivity by elevating stress and causing mental exhaustion. With the help of a specific but flexible timetable for your workday, you can feel more in control and organised.
Tiny potted plants
Plants are not just excellent interior design elements; having one on your desk can also help manage stress levels while you work. A study made in the University of Hyogo in Japan at the beginning of 2020 revealed that office workers who placed and cared for a plant on their desks had ‘significantly reduced’ anxiety. Moreover, even just having a plant within their line of sight was enough to experience stress reduction.
Thus, consider having a plant buddy around to accompany you on your workday to further relieve some stress. There are plenty of plants to choose from that are relatively fuss-free and easy to take care of, such as succulents and money plants.
With the many changes to our way of life brought about by recent events, primarily the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be challenging to maintain healthy mental well-being while being just as productive at work. That is why it is vital to be more attentive to our stress and take steps to keep it in check, from enjoying stress-relief activities to incorporating a few additions to your working space. Besides that, a change of working environment could also do wonders for your performance, regardless if you are working from home or the office.
Get back in touch with other professionals and your colleagues while working remotely by trying out a coworking space near you! At GreenHub Singapore, our furnished office spaces are where coworking takes place, with its modern design aesthetic and all-inclusive features as well as amenities that facilitate doing work. We also emphasise our members’ well-being and help promote it with green design elements combined with natural lighting that boosts mental wellness. To find a suitable office space for rent or experience our offices in person, contact us at +65 6692 8000 today and arrange for a visit.