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Veronica is a certified Digital Marketer, serial traveler, MIndfulness & Tech junkie. She lives the digital nomad life, and runs her digital marketing business remotely from beautiful islands and exotic locations and loves helping women achieve the same dream!
ultimate guide to social media mindfulness
Working from home is freeing and flexible, and it can be great for your commute, wallet, and mental health! But it can also turn personal spaces into indistinct cubicles if you let your office take over.
Fortunately, a few thoughtfully planned items can result in a healthy work-life balance and ensure you’re benefitting from remote work. Keep reading to learn how to create a mindful remote working setup!
When I started working from home, my workspace wasn’t the most comfortable (nor the best looking!), but I knew I needed to work with what I had.
To me: as long as I had a table and a chair, I was good to go!
But the reality is that you need to adjust your space to separate your working hours from your personal life. And even if some of us have a budget to do that, while others are digital nomads, we can always make our surroundings better to keep balanced.
But before you start working in your PJs, read this guide to ensure you have a setup that doesn’t jeopardize your mental health and allows you to keep your zen on!
Here we go:
Ever been stuck sending emails or replying to Slacks at 9 pm? I’ve been there, too!
Not setting boundaries when working remotely can be dangerous. You may reach out for your laptop or look into your social media channels if you find your working tools are right next to you.
So first, you need to choose a primary workspace (hopefully, it has a door!). This will be the main place where business is going to go down!
If there are no doors available to you, you can always set up a table that only will have your work tools – or at least a side of the dining table you don’t use for dining! (See? We try to adapt as much as we can!).
The point is to make it very distinctive to your mind when you’re working and when you’re not.
For example, I’m writing to you from the side of my dining table I don’t use to eat! I’m facing the opposite side I usually do when I’m eating (there’s a feng shui component to that which I get into below, so keep reading!).
Another thing that you can do is keep specific devices exclusively for work use.
If you don’t have a company-provided laptop, make sure you use your laptop only for work. I use an IPad for my personal needs and my computer for work – which means I also mostly use my phone for work, so I keep all private matters on my IPad.
But if you can’t afford an IPad yet (we’ve all been there), how about you make sure you at least use your laptop only for work and switch off your notifications? It’ll have a stronger connotation every time you pick it up. That’s how you draw a clear line!
And for your secondary workspace, you can choose another spot of your house where you’ll spend the least amount of time working from. For me, it’s my couch!
For your secondary working space, you can choose cafes and coworking spaces. Make sure they meet specific criteria, watch the short video below to check out my coworking space non-negotiables!
My life changed the day I was introduced to a laptop stand, no joke!
That’s when I realized that there are so many gadgets to make our life easier nowadays – we are so lucky!
So I use a phone stand for filming videos or going live on Instagram (even Zoom calls!). No more balancing my phone on top of weird stuff just to get the right angle!
Who doesn’t love snacks? I have my own snack corner, full of quick-healthy snacks that will fill me up and make me feel like I’m rewarding myself (you’ll find lots of fruits, nuts, and the odd sandwich there).
And getting up early to set this up for me makes me feel like I’m taking care of my most important employee. It’s called self-love!
The last item you ABSOLUTELY need for a mindful remote working setup is a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. I wouldn’t be able to live without them, especially when I’m taking care of important tasks and my neighbors decide they need to be loud. They work every time!
Sitting on the seat is like sitting on the driver’s seat. And only having a good chair won’t help you. You need to set the whole space up for success! So yes, invest in a good chair, but also consider the following:
A footrest. Having your feet parallel to the floor and your feet supported is an important part of your mindful remote working set up. But it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, a sturdy box will do.
An external mouse and keyboard. Make sure your forearms are resting on the table, but your wrists are floating.
A good chair. If you can’t afford a fancy chair, roll a towel or use a pillow for lumbar support. Make sure you’re seated all the way back with relaxed shoulders!
As the guys on The Spruce point out: feng shui is the practice of arranging the pieces in living spaces to create balance with the natural world. The goal is to harness energy forces and establish harmony between an individual and their environment.
And trust me: you definitely want to be in harmony while you’re working. But even if you don’t live your life 100% by Feng Shui’s philosophy, you can add a little bit of it and see how it feels.
For example, I’ve made a few changes (without having ever tried feng shui before). And I have noticed a difference in my mood and energy while I work!
Here are small things you can change (that totally worked for me):
Position of your desk:
Try to set up your mindful remote working set up, so you end up looking towards your door.
What I mean by this is you can see the door to the room while you’re sitting at your desk without being directly in line with the door. This allows you to feel more in control of your life and career because you can see anything that might be approaching. The command position works on a subconscious level, too, even if you aren’t expecting guests in your home office.
Can’t make it work so you’re looking at the door? No problem! You can place a mirror to look at the reflection of the door while sitting at your desk.
Use colors to attract what you want for your professional life.
You can add a desk blotter to bring in more groundedness and stability. Choose a color you’re drawn to, or pick one according to the element you want to invite. Check the color meanings below!
I know: your mindful remote working setup is beautiful and peaceful, so you don’t need anything else… think again! Setting up a space for success is great, but the physical element shouldn’t be overlooked!
Use any opportunity you have to move. For example: on Zoom or phone calls (don’t forget to turn your camera off!) or while brainstorming (you can always record a voice note or stop to make notes.
However you choose to move your body, I want to recommend a few things I use, and you didn’t know you needed but totally do:
Good lighting – natural light is always best! Not to mention the energy you get from the sun. The early morning sun helps regulate hormones, so being in the sun for a bit in the morning will be beneficial. It’s also proven to raise cortisol (happy hormone). Translation: get an early morning walk in if you can!
Plants – more oxygen = more energy! – pothos or snake plants are easier to care for – you don’t want a plant that will die or be in bad shape- that’s bad qi! (qi = energy)
Whiteboard for planning. This will help you visualize, and it’s a more dynamic approach to brainstorming (so you’re not sitting at your desk the entire time – movement helps creativity!).
Don’t want to clutter your space with a whiteboard? I use washable glass markers! It’s fun to plan writing there (and it’s a great excuse to clean my windows a couple of times a week!).
Small weights and a yoga mat. Having a yoga mat handy is a great idea! As is keeping elastic bands/light weights around for those moments you’re brainstorming. Keeping the energy flowing is key!
Conclusion – Practical, dynamic, mindful setup.
The practical, dynamic and mindful elements are vital to your remote working setup success. You can try the inexpensive alternatives when if you’re first starting out, and add more things when you see what works for you.
Your workspace will be in constant transformation, but so are you because that’s what life is about: change and growth!
Have you tried any of these tips? Let me know below!