Stress management 101: Declutter your desk, and mind!

From setting up shelves with lamps and figurines to inducing freshness with potted plants, experts suggest simple, sustainable ways to spruce up your workstation.
A neatly-organised desk, experts say, helps increase concentration and productivity. (Photo: Shutterstock)
A neatly-organised desk, experts say, helps increase concentration and productivity. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Updated on Jul 02, 2021 08:50 PM IST
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By Srinidhi Gopalakrishnan, New Delhi

The past few months have seen a significant increase in emotional burnout among youngsters, owing to the work from home regime. Mounting workload, prolonged screen time and the lack of ‘me’ time has taken a toll on many. While mindfulness and practices such as meditation have been largely advocated, there are other ways one can infuse positivity, one such being by revamping their home workstations.

Our surroundings, experts say, influence our behaviour and mood. And, a messy desk represents a cluttered mind. “During the pandemic, most of us were forced to work from home, which came with its own challenges. But, studies have found that people who had cleaner surroundings adapted better to this change and were significantly more productive,” says Arouba Kabir, a mental health counsellor. “Having an organised desk implies less distraction, which in turn means improved concentration and productivity. It gives you a sense of calmness and helps you take control of your day, thereby keeping anxiety and stress at bay,” adds Kabir.

READ: Work-life balance amid Covid-19 crisis: What’s that, quip millennials

If you’re looking for a workspace revamp, here are some simple, sustainable tips and tricks.

Pick out multi-purpose furniture: When we enter work mode, there’s a call for truce between functional and aesthetic attributes of the space. And, a multi-purpose table with utilitarian drawers is a workaholic’s dream! Make a statement with an ergonomic chair, and bring the entire work setup closer to pockets of natural light.

Curate a ‘me time’ corner: Spanned-out spaces are an open invitation to aesthetic experiments. A quite reading nook with a modest chair or a comfy couch can brew energy in an otherwise still space. Introduce some interesting partitions that promise privacy while making a great background for task schedules and charts.

Think chic: If you have wall shelves above your workstation that are filled with books, try arranging them differently. Besides stacking the books right, place a few mini pots, figurines, lamps or candle holders to add some character to the shelf. You can also colour-coordinate the books and accessories so as to give it a chic finish.

Shelves can be revamped by placing candle holders and figurines.
Shelves can be revamped by placing candle holders and figurines.

Find what inspires you: Think of that one line which cheers you up or motivates you to give your best shot. It could be something you read or some words of wisdom from your parents. You can either create a collage of quotes in a photo frame, or just pick one or two quotes and put it up in front of you.

Keep your achievements close: Dedicate a row for lining up the medals and awards you won, for nothing can be more encouraging than looking back at your accolades. Alternatively, you could frame your favourite family picture in sleek metal or fine-cut wood. Interesting textures of wood and brushed metal can help you break free from the monotony of stereotypical work setups.

Pots of positivity: Replace the mustiness of piled-up office supplies with aromatic bonsai and air plants, to further optimise the ambience with moisture balance and stress-relieving features. You could either place fresh lavender and roses in small flower pots on your desk, or keep an open brass plate on top of the shelf and put some jasmine flowers, with water sprinkled on it.

Inputs from interior designer Punam Kalra and interior consultant Palash Agrawal

Author tweets @srinidhi_gk

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021