While there's no magic fix for these far from ideal circumstances, there are certain steps you can take to improve the vibe of your work space just enough to make it through the day without wanting to stream expletives into Slack. Below, Feng Shui Master Dana Claudat offers 10 easy-to-execute tips for Feng- shuiing your new office to give it, and you, an energetic boost.
10 ways to add Feng Shui magic to your makeshift home office
1. Book yourself a room with a view
"If you have a choice of places to set yourself up, ideally you want to be facing something inspiring," Claudet says. "Traditionally, Feng Shui 'rules' state that you must face the door to a room and have a solid wall behind you, but that's just not possible nor is it necessary in most cases—what you see in front of you matters a lot more, as you'll have attention on it all day long."
She recommends facing toward a window with a view that's inspiring but not distracting, a wall with a piece of art you like on it, or something else that's more neutral so you can focus. Additional ideas include: a fish tank, if you happen to have one (or, an aquarium live stream), lots of plants (which you can arrange via Feng Shui to attract abundance), a collection of your kids' art, etc. "Plants are always divine, and I love snake plants, orchids, bamboo in vases, and other tall plants to add a feeling of power to your work space," Claudet says.
2. Provide janitorial maintenance for your building
To prep for an ideal workday, Claudet recommends making sure your entire home is clean as can be. "WFH means your whole house is your 'office building,' and your office space itself in within that energy," says Claudet. If you can't do it all in one fell swoop (who can?), worry not—Claudet adds that cleaning breaks are beneficial for creativity.
3. Organize your desktop
Even if you're working with an uncluttered physical desktop, your digital workspace might be causing you some psychic turmoil. "I used to be puzzled as to why people would feel so overwhelmed by clutter in what seemed like incredible minimalist spaces, until they showed me their computers," says Claudet. "Desktop clutter can be as overwhelming as a pile of unpacked boxes!" She advises clearing and organizing yours. "Then, add a fresh background image so you’re greeted by something amazing," she says.
4. Let there be light
"Natural light, even a little bit of it, can be mood boosting as it also adds brighter color to the room you're in," Claudet says. "While you can absolutely turn on lamps and lights, also open curtains and blinds if you can for more sunlight in the mix."
5. Give your space a morning energy boost
Claudet advises starting each morning with a little energetic reset. "If you're at home a lot, things can feel stagnant and heavy over time," she says. "A little morning energy clearing can get positive momentum flowing." Some examples include: lighting a candle, burning incense, opening windows, and clapping—as in, making noise by hitting your hands together—in the corners of your room.
6. Inject some personality into the place
"Personalize the area where you work so that you connect more and feel more supported," Claudet advises. "Even if you're at a kitchen table, you can bring your favorite crystal to work with you, a small stack of favorite books for inspiration, or even a framed photo you can put back on it's shelf when your work day is done."
7. Create a wrap ritual
Not everyone has the space to create a stationary workspace for use throughout quarantine, but Claudet has advice for making the "commuter" experience more palatable. "If you can't dedicate a spot to your workspace where things will remain in one place, you can make a little ritual of filing things away and putting them back each morning," she says.
8. Switch up your seating
"I have a lot of clients who love to work at home and sit on the sofa, and that's fine for a bit but may not be ergonomically awesome for the long-haul," she says. "If you have the perfect couch to sit on, by all means do it, but take breaks to stretch."
If you're at a table, she suggests adding a pillow to the back of your chair for support and taking regular pauses to elongate your limbs, too. "Even if you have a desk chair, take breaks to stretch!" she reiterates.
9. Surround yourself with stimulation
To boost the vibes of your space, Claudet recommends positioning artwork not just on the one wall you face, but throughout. "If you don't have anything on hand, grab colorful pillows, a colorful throw blanket, or anything else that brings a fresh dose of colorful energy to the space," she says.
10. Make lemonade
Finally, Claudet advises keeping a bowl of lemons or other citrus fruit beside you while you work. "Nine lemons is a traditional Feng Shui wealth cure, but you don't need nine to get the vibes flowing," she says. "Use [and] eat that fruit and replace it when you can."
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