What are the most important work from home must haves for better mental health? Coffee, Wine, Puppy. That’s it. That’s the post. See you next time! Ha. Just kidding. Kind of. I worked from home pre-pandemic. My dad has worked from home for years. We’re both introverts. And now we actually work together. So spending our days working from our separate homes having meetings with each other is pretty awesome. Plus I have the world’s most amazing coworker. So I have nothing to complain about. Even throughout the pandemic, my work and work from home situation didn’t change. (I am very blessed and lucky.) But my mental health sure did. So here are the ultimate work from home must haves to protect my mental health.
First of all, I admit I have champagne taste. I can walk into a room and immediately pick out the most expensive thing. How do I know? Because inevitably it’s the thing I fall in love with. Especially when I’m shopping. Unfortunately, it’s a trait I’ve also passed down to Mila. What? I can’t pass a trait down to a dog? Well you haven’t met Mila then. Anyway… I’m not going to put on a front and lie to you about anything in this blog. So when I provide a recommendation for something that is expensive, I recommend it because I absolutely love it. However, I will also give you a more reasonable option as well. No judgments here. I’m just a people pleaser who likes to keep everyone happy.
Work From Home Must Have #1 – Clothes that make you happy
One of my favorite things about working from home is my wardrobe. Some people (like my dad) wake up every day and do a full routine – shower, breakfast, real clothes including a belt. Not me. Meeting at 9? Ok, I’ll set my alarm for 8:30. 8-8:15 if I have to put makeup on. And I am absolutely notorious for wearing the same clothes over and over. So when it comes to choosing what I wear when working from home, my only requirement is comfort. And pockets.
Lately my uniform has been a sweatshirt and soft leggings. Maybe a t-shirt if it’s really warm outside. But I generally keep my house pretty cool because I need it very cold in order to sleep. (Although my sleep issues are a topic for another day.) As you probably already know, Target has really upped their loungewear staples lately. I’m freaking obsessed with these soft joggers. I honestly have them in 3 colors. And I have 3 pair of the dark gray. Plus it comes in shorts and even has a matching shirt!
Work From Home Must Have #2 – Blankets
I love blankets. It can be 100+ outside and I will have a blanket on my lap. Mostly because I keep my house cold, but also because I just really love the comfort and security. My current desk blanket is the Ugg Duffield throw. I’ve had it for like 10 years. It washes and holds up perfectly. My current couch blanket is this one from Barefoot Dreams. I have it in both purple and gray. All I need is for them to make a hot pink one and I’ll be a happy girl.
Work From Home Must Have #3 – Something to clear your mind
I heard somewhere (I know – more of my very reliable sourcing) that some personalities need to use 100% of their brain at all times. And I am definitely one of those people. That’s why sometimes I can write, talk, listen to a book, and come up with an amazing idea, but other times I have to turn down the radio so I can see better. Which is also why having something to clear my mind is one of my most important work from home must haves.
Although I always have Mila around, sometimes working from home is just too quiet. And it leaves too much room for internal thoughts. My go to’s are audio books from the library or podcasts. I think they are the best options for me right now because I currently only work from one monitor and they don’t take any additional visual space. However, I’m also a big fan of working with Hulu or Netflix on in the background if that’s an option for you. Plus there are always apps like Audible, Calm, and music.
Work From Home Must Have #4 – Snacks & Water
I mean really snacks and water are just life must haves. But they’re one of the best (and worst) work from home must haves too. An emotional support water bottle is always an easy add. Plus, they come in so many cute styles and colors and brands now. Of course because I’m basic, I switch back and forth between the Starbucks cups (hot pink or iridescent of course) and my two 40oz Stanley cups (one hot pink, one light pink). I have learned it works best to have a few to switch between to keep your day exciting. But I also always have multiple beverages going at once – usually coffee, water, and flavored water.
When it comes to snacks, working from home can be a positive or a negative. If you’re like me and have zero self control, it helps to only stock healthy snacks. But of course you should always keep chocolate in the pantry for emergencies. However no matter what you surround yourself with, just make sure you take time to eat. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the small things when you’re working from home. And food and breaks are very important for your mental health.
Work From Home Must Have #5 – Tech
One of the biggest benefits to working from home is the ability to make your life easier. Your desk doesn’t have to look exactly like your coworker’s. There are no rules of what you can surround yourself with or how you should decorate. And although your company may provide your computer, monitor, and more – that’s not always the case. In fact, a lot of small creative businesses and entrepreneurs will have their own tech to work from. Which means you get to make your life as easy as possible through tech.
At one point, I had a client who needed me to use a PC and I am a Mac girl. So I had one monitor, but two laptops, two mice, and two keyboards on my desk. And it was a LOT. Every time I wanted to switch from working on one client to another, I would have to switch the cord from one computer to the other so I could use the monitor. Until I discovered there’s such a thing as a switcher. Of course switcher probably isn’t the technical term, but it’s a little box that uses the cords from both computers and attaches to your monitor. So when you want to switch from one computer to the other, you just push the button! (You can read more here.)
Other tech life savers are a bluetooth keyboard, wireless headphones, a sunlight/happy lamp, and just generally anything that makes your life easier.
Working from home can be a lot on your mental health. It’s hard to know when work starts and stops. Meetings get scheduled during lunch. But there are so many tips and tricks to make things easier besides the things I mentioned above. I have Mila. My dad takes a walk before and after work and calls it his “walk to work/home”. Whatever you do, just remember that even though you work from home, it does not mean that you are alone.