Amid the stress of a raging global pandemic, working from home may have initially provided some solace. No longer tethered to a commute or business casual dress code, you could enjoy slower mornings, pajamas all day and throwing in a load of laundry between meetings. Yet close to two years later and too many Zoom meetings to count, you may be getting tired of looking at the corner of your bedroom you’ve turned into an office. Your slippers are worn down. Your desk light is glowing dimmer. And your morning coffee routine feels like a caffeine conveyer belt. In short, it’s time to refresh your work-from-home situation.
According to Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama, working from home for an extended period of time can create a feeling of being trapped. Without an office to commute to or hallways to roam, you may feel stagnant as you sit inside all day. While it may feel trite, Klapow suggests reflecting on the positive aspects of working from home. Can you make yourself a fancy latte every morning because you’re not rushing out the door? Take yourself on a walk around the neighborhood during what would otherwise be your commute?
“Creating a schedule that takes full advantage of being at home is the key to changing your mindset,” Klapow told HuffPost. “Ask yourself, ‘What can I do here that I could never do at work?’”
Working from home doesn’t mean forgoing all structure. Having a set schedule may help you remember to go outside, eat a yummy lunch or FaceTime each Tuesday with your favorite coworker. In addition to scheduling your time, Klapow suggests making the most of being at home. Wear a robe all day. Work with your cat in your lap. Heck, take a TV break during lunch. When your boss isn’t looming over your shoulder, you can really make the most of the workday.
As cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant rise and offices push back in-person openings, it’s easy to spiral into negative thinking. But it’s imperative to try to find little things to smile about — even if it’s just a mug with expletives on it or a new desk chair, said Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist in Santa Rosa, California, and author of “Joy from Fear.”
“If we’re deprived of feel-good moments too often and for too long, the psyche can actually feel starved and drift into depression and hopelessness,” Manly told HuffPost. “Happy moments build resilience to counteract life’s stressors. When we have frequent doses of happiness, even the most stressful times feel less draining.”
Sprucing up your home office is a way to help find more happiness in your day to day. From stick-on wallpaper to outdoor slippers, we’ve rounded up a ton of ways to trick yourself into having more fun while working at home.
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