The rise of COVID-19 has forced most working populations to adapt from an office environment to working at home. For most, the house is a sanctuary where people can retreat from the stresses of daily life to refresh finally, relax and rejuvenate. However, the reality is that sometimes, our own home can cause us to experience unwanted stress on top of our daily pressure-filled lives. With that, overcoming this is easy once you’ve unlocked the secret to the things in your home office that are causing you stress.
Sharing her wisdom, Cecille Ahrens, a psychotherapist who hosts a podcast about mental health called “Get Mental“, believes there’s a relationship between your environment and your overall health. Hence, here are the five things in your home office that you need to get rid of that might be causing you stress.
Any visible clutter can affect your creativity and workflow
According to researchers at UCLA’s Center of Everyday Lives and Families (CELF), there is a proven link between high cortisol (a stress hormone) and women who live in a cluttered home. Now that most people are working from home, it’s getting easy for clutter to pile up in your workspace without you even realizing it. When you have sheets of paper and loose cords scattered all over, finding what you need and having a dirty mess as a distraction is a huge sign of stressors.
Pay closer attention to your living space and get into the habit of cleaning more or start a decorating object. As the saying goes, “By freeing up space, you are giving your mind a break, too,”
Working in a space with insufficient lighting can cause stress
In any working area or office, it is only natural that it has lights that are brightly lit across the entire space. This is because poor lighting at work can cause the workers to have eye strain, fatigue, headaches, or stress. A working space should have sufficient lighting in order to improve productivity and reduce any possibility for errors to occur.
“Adding lamps, wall sconces, or ceiling lights can help redefine a space that promotes stress,”
Using the same space to work and relax can make it difficult for you to separate work from chill time
Working from home has made it increasingly difficult for people to differentiate their work from their personal life during this past year. However, creating a separate area for you to work and another to relax will create a physical and mental separation from the two. However, if you are living in a small space, this can be difficult. Hence, a good idea is to start decorating that space or doing some minor changes to give it a new and fresh feel.
“Even changing up the chair or table you sit to work versus relax can make a big difference,”
Old furniture can contribute to stress
As people, we all find joy in looking at pretty things and a well-decorated room. That includes a clean couch, a well-made desk and chair, walls filled with frames, and hanging plants. With that said, it is only natural that a room that has outdated décor or visibly old furniture tends to affect our mood and bring down our spirits. Thus, treat this as your wake-up call to finally get rid of that old furniture you’ve been holding on to and splurge yourself a brand new one.
“When we are surrounded by things that do not feel inviting or soothing or invokes some kind of a stress response, we tend to spend much less time in that space.”
Any background noise is a common stressor
When it comes to doing our work, there are people who have to work in silence to focus on the task at hand entirely but some, prefer to be accompanied by relaxing and chill music. However, background noise such as your TV or people’s conversations may induce stress and act as a distraction. Pay attention to your surroundings and see how all the sounds may affect your feel or productivity.
“Not all noise is unpleasant or stressful. The idea here is to be more mindful of the quality and quantity,”