We’re declaring January 2021 mental health month given the constant trials of the past months. Without filling our own cups, it is unrealistic to expect us to start a new year with the vigor and thoughtfulness that our community challenges merit. The issues that we face today are vast and can feel overwhelming – addressing institutional racism, homelessness, political instability, and more – and so it is critical to equip ourselves with support and fortification before returning to the work. Start your 2021 with these items:
- Chair Massager.
You are likely sitting at your desk for many more hours than before with the removal of the separation of home and work. You may be sitting at a dining room table, or possibly not even at a table as you try to get your work done. Your body is surely feeling the tension and holding it in drains energy and can slowly erode your health. Consider making your chair a bit more comfortable with this chair massager.
- Ember Coffee Warmer or Milk Frother.
Just because you might not be going out for lunch or coffee anymore doesn’t mean you need to skip the coffee break. Make it a special moment by making yourself a café-worthy beverage. While making your coffee or chai tea, be sure to take a deep breath, close your eyes, and take a moment to breathe in the aromatics. Even an at-home coffee break can shift our focus from emails, screen time, and video calls by elevating our other unused senses.
- Wireless Headphones or Elevated Desk.
Whether you are still working in an office or from home, anything you can do to encourage movement while multitasking will serve your physical health. We love wireless headphones to allow you to walk while on calls, either around the house or around the neighborhood, as well as this elevated desk so that you can stand while working.
- Something Green.
Not only do plants serve as a much more aesthetic background for your zoom calls, but also can help clean your air (in home air can actually be several times dirtier than the air outside), and also are shown to have an effect on our wellbeing. The small responsibility of regularly watering a plant can help you maintain routine through 2021 during days that may otherwise seem to blend together and can also create a sense of accomplishment.
- Blue Light Blocking Glasses.
Exposure to the blue light emitted by tech screens, particularly during evening hours, has a studied effect on our wellbeing. Blue light shifts your circadian rhythm, which drives your sleep. Poor sleep is associated with a number of health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Avoid this issue by wearing blue light blocking glasses when on your computer, tablet, or phone.
- Miracle Cube Timer or Stretchly Download.
Our mental health suffers on both ends of the focus spectrum – when we hyper focus on work and don’t leave space for restorative breaks and when we get too distracted and squander time away on social media, not actually feeling like you took a break. Both the timer and the software download address these extremes by helping to create structure around your task and break flow.
- Instant Pot Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker.
Without the division of work time and home time in 2021, it can be easy to skip meals or to find time to prep a healthy meal. This multitasker works well for ensuring you have a healthy meal waiting for you, regardless of when you had time to prep it. If mornings are slower for you, the slow cooker function allows you to prep meals before the work day. Alternatively, if there always seems to be a rush at the end of the day to get dinner up, the pressure cooker function allows you to quickly pull together a meal. Most importantly, this encourages you to make healthier choices by prepping your own meals, rather than relying on takeout.
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