Creating a Zen Home Office
I’m going to veer a bit away from the topic of social anxiety today! You see, I’ve been thinking lately that my home office could use a “zen” makeover. So, I thought I’d do a short series where I chronicle the evolution of my home office from distracting and cluttered to calm and zen.
To start off the series, I thought I would write a bit about what it means to have a zen home office. And if you don’t have a home office, perhaps there is another room of the home that you’d like to work on making more zen? If you live with social anxiety, even these small changes can make a difference in how you feel.
Not only that, but creating a home environment that makes you feel happy and comfortable will make it easier for you to welcome people into your home.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what I’m going to consider as I begin my “zen” home office makeover.
First and foremost, I know that I want to include a meditation spot. This might be an armchair or it might be a meditation cusion; I haven’t quite decided yet. I try to listen to a daily guided meditation, and having a dedicated spot to do this would make a huge difference. I also think that it would provide a spot for others in the family (namely, my children) to start practicing meditation too.
I’m not sure if I will include too much artwork, but if I do I’d like it to be soothing, calm, and motivating. While I love a good edgy print, that’s not the look I’m going for in this home office.
Greenery & Water
I once worked at a company where the whole building was created based on the principles of Feng Shui. The corridors all ran in circles, the offices had glass walls, and the reception area housed a bonsai tree and fountain. It was formerly owned by Sony.
And you know what? That place was once of the happiest places I ever worked. I don’t know whether the design of the building contributed to that sense of harmony, but it has continued to thrive and do well, and people like working there.
For that reason, I’d like to think about including some greenery and water in my zen home office; because that water feature is still lodged in my memory as the best part of that building.
Room for Yoga
I’d also like my home office to include a spot for doing workouts or yoga. So, I will keep some floor space in the middle open to allow for that. In a future post, I’ll try to include a diagram of my office and some photos so you can get a sense of what I’m working with. But suffice it to say, exercise is important for managing anxiety, and making it easier to excerise will make it more likely that I follow through.
Aromatherapy can play a role in managing anxiety, and so I’d like to include it in my zen home office. This might mean an essential oil diffuser or scented candles; I’m not quite sure yet.
When you think of a zen space, you probably think of earthy tones like natural tones, whites, greens, etc. I’m going to try and keep the color scheme of the main elements in the room neutral and add in color in that zen family. You’ll see in my next post in the series that my office currently has a dark brown carpet and yellow walls. They were actually orange and I painted them yellow. So I’ve got some thinking to do about the color scheme.
One of the main changes I’d like to make for my zen home office is to declutter! I’ve got WAY too much stuff in my office currently, and I feel it contributes to my lack of ability to concentrate sometimes. So, we will work on getting the clutter down as I transform the office.
I’ve never been a faux fur kind of girl, but I’m thinking it might make an appearance in my zen home office. Including soft textures feels very soothing to me, and it’s not something I’ve done much with in the past. I think this could make a big difference in the feel of the office.
Soft & Natural Light
I will also be playing with the light in my office. Currently, I have an overhead light, and desk lamp, and two windows. It’s bright during the day but a bit dark at night. We’ll see what we can do.
Simple & Natural Furniture
I’m thinking that most of the furniture in the office will stay. I currently have an Ikea desk, some Ikea bookshelves, and an old office chair (don’t ask me where it came from) (okay, my husband found it on the side of the road). I do want to get a new armchair, and perhaps one new storage unit. Most of my furniture right now is a light beige color or white, and I will probably stick to that theme.
Finally, this is going to be the hardest but it’s what I’d like to work on the most. I see pictures of other people’s home offices, and they have one little itty bitty laptop sitting on a desk with nothing else on it. Is that REALLY how you work? If so, I have to admit I’m confused. I’ve got a laptop, two monitors, a keyboard, mouse, etc. and I feel like I need ALL of these things to get my job done.
But at the same time, the electronics are ugly and anything but zen. Is there anything I can do about them? I’m not sure, it’s going to be a challenge. So stay tuned, because I’m sure there are others of you out there scratching your heads about how people get work done on one little laptop.
Finally, I’m going to try and do all of this on a strict budget! This isn’t what I would call a major room makeover; it’s a stealth upgrade using things I already have as much as possible and spending money only on the things that will serve me in the long term (and spending little on the things that will change with time).
We’ll see how it goes! I’m excited to share my zen office plans with you, which will appear in the next post in this series. For now, I’d love to know—if you have a home office setup, does it feel zen to you? If not, what could you do to improve it?
Related Articles about Working From Home
WANT TO REMEMBER THIS? SAVE HOW TO CREATE A ZEN OFFICE IN YOUR HOME TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
How to Create a Zen Office in Your Home
Reduce Anxiety with the Anxiety Workbook
Check out my popular book "The Anxiety Workbook: A 7-Week Plan to Overcome Anxiety, Stop Worrying, and End Panic."
With this workbook, you will learn strategies to manage anxiety based on the principles of CBT and mindfulness.