Source:nbcnews.com

It’s been a tough year so far. And, whether you’re back in the office with new COVID-mindful measures in place, or you’re still working from home, there are lots of things that can perk up your 9 to 5. Here’s a list of 10 essentials…

1. Awesome stationery

Source:captainnotepad.com

Digital organizers like Microsoft Task Manager and Asana are all well and good, but is there anything more satisfying than crossing actual written task entries off an actual notepad? You can find some custom notepads just for yourself on websites like this one captainnotepad.com Dreamy. Some like to kit themselves out with different notepads for different things. For example, one for meeting notes, one for jotting down ideas when inspiration hits, and another for to-do lists. Different colored highlighters are brilliant for organizing tasks, thoughts and ideas, too. And invest in some organizers to store files, notebooks and pens, and keep your desk spick and span at all times.

2. The right kind of chair

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Making sure your back gets the right kind of support is SO important. Get this wrong and you can really suffer later on in life. To ensure your office chair offers the right kind of support for your spine and encourages good posture, there are a few things you can look for. A chair with adjustable height and armrests, for instance, so you can change it up to suit your comfort levels. Also, invest in a pillow – you can get special ones for your lower back and to sit on top of. Chair aside, it’s also really important to ensure you’re not sitting in the same position for too long. Get up now and again to stretch your legs.

3. A staple closet

When it comes to keeping stylish at work, the trick is to create a capsule office closet that makes mixing and matching super easy to do. Invest in quality, timeless pieces that will last you, and keep things fresh with less expensive on-trend pieces to mix up your look with in between. A wool camel coat, a collection of silk power ties, a quality white shirt – these are all good examples of capsule pieces that will see you through season after season.

4. A cute desk vacuum

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A dinky desk vacuum cleaner is a great way of keeping your work area clear of biscuit or sandwich crumbs, and to banish the pesky dust that settles in between the keys on your keyboard. And, as we know, keeping our workspace clean and hygienic is more important than ever right now. Desk vacuums are ultra-cheap and come in all sorts of fun designs, so they’re a top stocking filler present and make the ideal leaving gift for a messy colleague.

5. A {insert your own adjective here} mug

It might be sweet and heartfelt, it could be funny, it may be rude – whatever it is, it’s yours. Yep, we’re talking about the all-important office mug. Just one glance at our humble mug can be enough to make us smile, laugh or giggle. Which, let’s face it, we can often do with throughout the working day. In light of current events, we’d also suggest taking your own set of cutlery into work, as well.

6. Tension-relieving stress balls

Source:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

For the days when ranting at the watercooler with your co-workers just won’t cut it, ensure you’ve got some subtle, stress-busting squeezy toys hidden inside your desk. They actually work wonders for lowering anger levels, and double us as a tool for hand exercises.

7. A calming desk plant

Source:time.com

Inject a little nature into your workspace with a Zen-inducing desk plant. Not only do plants look lovely, they actually clean the air and boost our mood. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, Peace Lily, Dracaena – these all are great choices if you’re not sure where to start. And if you’re not great with real plants, there are some fabulous faux plants out there these days that look just like the real thing.

8. Photographs to make you smile

Just because it’s a work area doesn’t mean you can’t have connections with home to look at! Don’t underestimate the power of having a photo of your spouse or son or daughter on your desk, or perhaps a niece or nephew. If you’re having a seriously bad day, remembering why you’re doing this and who it’s all for can be really powerful. Sometimes we just need to take a few minutes to breathe and reset, and looking at photographs can help us do just that. As an alternative to photos of family and friends, surround yourself with travel pictures, or anything that makes you smile – from inspirational quotes to interior design.

9. Appropriate heating and cooling tools

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Some offices just can’t quite get the temperature right. One day it’s freezing cold, the next it could rival the Sahara Desert. The key is to be prepared for both. Equip yourself with a desk fan for the days you’re overheating, and keep a cozy blanket or a furry throw in the drawer for the times when the thermometer plummets. With this in mind, it’s also good to dress appropriately. Layer up as much as you can, and you can add or take these off as the temperatures change.

10. To pay attention to your wellbeing

As we’ve mentioned, it’s been a tough year. Now, more than ever, we need to look after ourselves and each other. There are some practical tips every office worker can use to help with this. Things like checking in with your colleagues, holding weekly virtual socials and ensuring no one is feeling isolated are all really important. Stress and anxiety levels have been rising at lightning-speed, and making sure you’ve got a good work-life balance is crucial, as well. Try and get out for a walk at lunchtime, be sure to take enough breaks. And fill your free time with happiness-inducing activities, whatever that means for you. It could be something as simple as taking a soothing bath, or setting some time aside for yoga or reading each morning. Just be mindful.

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