Be mindful of color and scent
Work space feeling a little glum? Try reinvigorating it (and yourself) with color. Moll Anderson, lifestyle expert and author of Change Your Home, Change Your Life With Color, explains that color has a multi-sensory effect, benefitting people by enhancing moods, stimulating senses, and releasing happy memories. “Color evokes certain feelings and emotions and when you’re aware of the feelings that affect your color choices, you can change how you feel every day in the colors in your work environment—by incorporating the colors that speak to you most deeply,” she says.
To foster creativity, she recommends the use of purple: “Just a little spark of violet can be enough to channel creativity wherever you need it.” She describes yellow as essentially “sunshine bottled up as a color,” saying it promotes energy and happiness, instantly invigorating a room or a person. Soft pastels add a touch of whimsy and calm, while rejuvenating green can alleviate depression and bring in positive energy.
Blue, however, has multiple personalities. While Mediterranean-hued blues promote a more tranquil and serene feeling, bright or electric blue is known to energize the home, space, car, and people.
Now, we get it—you’re probably not going to ask your boss to repaint your entire office. And even if it’s an at-home office, not all of us have the time for that. That’s where Anderson suggests we get creative with our cubicles. “Tiny spaces call for clever touches—pick an invigorating yellow throw for your chair, or a red floating shelf because, if you only have a wall to work with, let’s make it a confident one. A vase with bright flowers is always a fun, simple, and easy way to add color and life to your space. Or try an elegant blotter or a bright and bold table lamp,” she says.
Scent is also an important factor. Never underestimate the power of essential oils when it comes to improving your mood. Perrakis suggests her favorite for the work space: lavender. “It’s universally loved and many people enjoy the scent. It has many healing properties, too: It’s both anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, and it also settles the mind, helps with focus, and eases stress,” she says. She also mentions geranium, lemon, and orange as good essential oils to promote concentration.
Another option? “Keep your mind focused on tasks at hand without mental interruption by keeping a little vetiver essential oil to sniff as you work,” recommends Feldmann.
Of course, when it comes to smells, not all of your co-workers will be super appreciative to have unwarranted essential oils pumping in their direction (even if they do smell nice). If that’s the case, keep a dropper bottle or roll-on version at your desk, and take a whiff whenever you need it most.
For a more in-depth guide to essential oils, click here.