1 YEAR LATER: HOW I STAY SANE WORKING FROM HOME

The beginning of the year has been a whirlwind. I’m living in the Queen City (Charlotte, NC), got engaged, and have survived my first year as a full-time, home-based entrepreneur. This personal and professional journey required so many adjustments and a huge part of that was my workspace. My home transformed into my office unexpectedly, and I had to be deliberate about making it a space that was healthy and productive for my sanity and my sales. In working with Staples, I learned about the principles of Feng Shui from expert Susan Chan and considered them when I decorated my new loft apartment.

Why Feng Shui for Apartments?

You ever not in the “mood” to do much? It could be what you’re surrounded by. Our energy, or chi in Feng Shui terms, is affected by internal and external elements like our mood and surroundings. In order to have the most productive year ever, I had to rethink and become intentional with the environment I spent so much time in. The truth is, your space will often be a manifestation of how you feel inside. When you are frazzled and all over the place, your living space is likely unorganized and chaotic as well. Feng Shui is all about keeping the energy flow in a space smooth. Where you place furniture, the decorative elements, the natural light – all of that works together and when balanced, it boosts your mood so you can be more optimistic, productive, and healthy. This winter has been brutal and the flu has knocked some people out. It can be draining to be inside all day long with just your work and your thoughts. Here’s how you can stay sane while working from home this winter:
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Schedule a little time to be outside each day. Fresh air is crucial. My dog Lola requires me to take her out at least twice a day, and those 15 minutes outside help me a ton. It forces me to take a break and enjoy the outdoors. If you can’t get outside, consider air purifiers, open a few windows, or add plants (since they are natural air purifiers) to your space.  I have a few plants in my living room, and my fiancĂ© and I are trying out this urban gardening thing to grow our own flowers instead of buying them every week. #SavingforTheWedding
Are the lights draining you more than they are helping you to see? There are a ton of studies that show that fluorescent lights are linked to migraines, eye strain, melatonin suppression, stress and poor immune health. Replace fluorescent lighting with full spectrum lights that mimic natural light, or add a full spectrum lamp to your desk. This will help keep your spirits up.
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Add more wood elements to your space. I work out of my living room and on my dining table so I incorporated some wood elements to bring the energy of vibrant health, vitality and growth. I put a small succulent plant on my ottoman and a huge banana leaf sticks out of my cup holder. Small touches are the best way to bring to life the Feng Shui elements. Going overboard will throw off the balance of the space.
Manage your layout. All my furniture faces the front of the room so I can always see the door. You want to manage the flow of the room in the same way you manage your energy. Decluttering your desk and common spaces will help in keeping your chi up.
Beyond following simple hygienic recommendations from trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), there are a few simple tricks to improve the health and well-being when you work from home. Staying healthy can be as simple as pairing common activities like disinfecting surfaces and using hand sanitizer with Feng Shui principles such as decluttering desks and switching the energy flow. Winter is dreary enough on its own, I had to make sure that I was the best entrepreneur I can be.
Feng Shui will help you elevate your energy to best promote health and wellness, and Staples can help you with your office design needs as you contemplate the space’s layout with their design expert services. Staples has everything you need to fight the flu, from simple design tips that can impact your energy and productivity and is a one-stop-shop to purchase everything you need to increase total wellness. For more flu-fighting facts and tips, visit Staples Health & Wellness Center here.