I used to think that the view from my seat having an effect on my ability to write made me some sort of diva (sigh, I can’t possibly put pen to paper until I have just the right wallpaper, fountain pen, artisan water and/or meditation music…sigh) and that me being a diva let me off writing, whilst also beating myself up for being a crappy diva, win/win for my jerk brain.
Recently my job has involved significantly more time in front of my computer screen. During the first two months of this my back began aching every afternoon, my stress levels shot up and I moved from amateur to professional procastinator both at work and home.
I knew something had to give and in my case the easiest thing to change was my environment. I moved from sitting at a desk all day to standing at a desk all day, but in a different room (with a greener view from the window). I am not giving credit for every good thing in my life to these changes, but allow me to wax lyrical about standing desks for a while. There have been many studies done on the benefits of standing, rather than sitting, at work but I can only speak from my own experience.
My back doesn’t ache in the afternoons now. If I start to feel stressed, instead of surfing pointless websites to distract myself, I can literally walk out of the room, turn around and walk back in. The simple acts of motion, and walking away from the laptop, take away the power to stress that I had given to that inanimate object, and procastination becomes easier to manage as a natural consequence of being less stressed and no longer in pain.
This process started me thinking about what other changes can be made to improve quality of life. Not everyone is able to change their work-spaces, but adding a plant if possible has also been shown to improve health (I am not sure I believe ALL of the claims made about houseplants and their super-powers, but there does seem to be something in it). Looking at something green and living reduces stress and anything that can do that is good in my book.
But I think is the most important aspect to this is what you remove rather than add.
1) It is far easier to resist temptation if the object of your desire is out of easy reach.
2) It is harder to beat yourself up if you remove the weapons.
3) You are the sum of the people you associate with.
KNOW THAT YOU HAVE CHOICES.
1) If you are comfortable in your home do you really want to get dressed and put on shoes and mascara to trudge to the shops for chocolate or cigarettes? If you don’t stock those things up you will run out. Far easier to stay home and find a new Netflix show to hate-watch.
2) Are you really a pathetic bitch for not finishing your 5K run at the gym, or are you using the language taught to you by others? Shouldn’t you really be congratulating yourself for getting to the gym in the first place?
3) I’m not saying you should cut off contact with every negative person you know (I am saying that really but…baby steps) but is there one particularly toxic individual, who always manages to make you feel bad, small and helpless? Dump their ass. (If it is safe to do so. If it isn’t ACTIVELY seek help, life is too short and precious to risk on those people).
So I managed to go from my previously aching back to utterly changing your life forever via a standing desk and a houseplant…who knows what magnificent adventures our everyday objects will take us on today?
Photo credits: https://www.stephensid.com/comfortably-standing-desk-chair/standing-desk-chair-design/