Bringing Wellness to Your Workspace
We talked to two design experts—Jessica Romm, the editor-in-chief of Domino Magazine and interior designer Stephanie Horton— to find easy ways to turn your 9-5 surroundings into a wellness haven.
Considering how much time we spend at work, it’s ironic how little we pay attention to making the space good for our well-being. From the recycled air and the fluorescent lighting to the uncomfortable, spine-crushing chairs, the typical office set-up can really do a number on your health, not to mention your mental state. To remedy this situation, we talked to two design experts — Domino Magazine editor-in-chief Jessica Romm and interior designer Stephanie Horton — to find easy ways to turn your 9-5 workspace into a wellness haven.
First, purify: Pollution, dust, chemical fumes—a lot of unhealthy things lurk in the air. While you might not be able to change the HVAC system, you can detox your immediate breathing space with a mini filter system like WSTA’s rechargeable desktop version. If you work from home, consider investing in a high-quality purifier: Molekule’s design-chic unit is coated with a catalyst that breaks down pollutants on a molecular level.
Don’t sit: Trade in your stiff chair for an exercise ball chair—use it for the entire day or shorter intervals—to work your core and improve your posture while you type and file reports. To ensure you keep your alignment in check, Lumo Lift is a tiny gadget that clips onto your shirt and vibrates if you start slumping. And the Move app will remind you to get up and stretch (and suggest relaxing moves, too).
Bring in a botanical element: “Fresh flowers and plants always make me feel calm and happy,” says Romm. Plus, that greenery is helpful for improving air quality. Try an online service like The Sill, which delivers Instgram-worthy succulents and houseplants (plus beauitful planters and display vessels). Friendly reminder: don’t forget to “take care of the plants,” says Romm. “There’s nothing more depressing than dead office plants!”
Inhale healing scents: In a home office, a scent diffuser can add a subtle uplifting and energetic vibe. Vitruvi’s porcelain model uses sonic technology to slowly release essential oils into the air (orange, rosemary, and lavender help stimulate and focus your mind). In a shared workspace, you can always use Saje’s revitalizing essential oil rollerball on your wrists or mist on WILL’s energizing facial spray for a mid-day boost.
Stay clean, stay calm: A clutter-free desk sets the tone for a relaxed, mentally sharp day. But it’s easier said than done. “When you are busy, papers pile up and it’s hard to find time to purge,” says Horton, who is proponent of the KonMari method. “Does it spark joy? When in doubt, throw it out.” Organize what must be saved in pretty trays; Romm likes ones from Hay and ascribes to a simple end-of-the-day rule. “Never leave your desk a mess,” she says. “No matter what, make sure to start each day with a fresh, clean slate.”
Picture it: Romm is obsessed with the magnetized wall in Domino’s midtown office, installed by Visual Magnetics. “We write on it with dry erase markers during brainstorming sessions, create inspiration boards and use colorful accessories to create different vignettes every day,” she says. “It’s total office magic.” For a budget-friendly option, Horton is a fan of “a giant, oversized cork bulletin board” for pining up things that trigger your creativity or just feel fun and inspiring.
Get in the healthy habit: To ensure you stay hydrated through the day, it’s worth it to buy a super pretty water filter that you can store on your desk (where it doubles as sculpture or artwork). To minimize germs on table surfaces and your keyboard, rub things down with Green Work’s disinfectant wipes, which are compostable, made with natural fibers, and free of harsh chemicals.
Zen out: Last tip to keep you productive and content on exhausting, long days: “Turn on music!” says Horton, who streams playlists to her Sonos speakers. Or pop in some AirPods and listen to your daily meditation apps or podcasts without the stress of getting tangled up in wires. #Namaste.
Kari Molvar is a beauty writer and backstage reporter who has covered everything from high-performance skincare to hands-on makeup applications. She started her career in beauty as a senior editor at Allure and has since written for Vogue, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and the Wall Street Journal among other print and digital publications. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two (DIY-obsessed) young daughters. Follow her @Kari_Molvar