Thursday, May 17, 2012

Creating a Personal "Zen" Spot at Work

Work spaces can be soooo boring and blah - especially if you have a cubicle.  I have a cubicle.  In a hallway.  Granted - this cubicle is a vast improvement upon others I've had over the years and the surrounding spaces are quite nice.  But working in a cubicle can have its own stresses beyond that of your work - there's the excess noise from those around you, lack of privacy, everyone can overhear and critique every phone call or conversation, the tendency for people to yell across the walls, etc.  

About a year ago I decided to create a little area in the corner of my cubicle that would bring me a feeling of relaxation to help de-stress.  I also wanted something to provide a sort of white noise that would be pleasant.  I was scouring the sales and found this cute little tabletop fountain on sale.  I happened to have a 20% off coupon that was good even on sales items so I got this little gem for less than $7.  

I scored some of the $3 houseplants at Walmart when they were marked half off and re-potted some but left the little palm in its original cheery container.  The little zen garden tray I found at Dollar Tree just last week for $1.  It came with the tray, sand, rake and rocks.  The ribbon on the wall says "Who I Am Makes A Difference!" and was given to me by a former boss.  Just to the left of that are pictures of my kids.

The elephants are a thing we use around the office to reward each other for going above and beyond our normal job duties.  We nominate each other to receive the small elephants as a pat on the back for a job well done.  Once we get 15 of the small elephants, we can turn them in for a large one.  Its turned into a friendly competition.  Each time we earn an elephant we also get our business card put in a drawing.  Once a month there is a drawing and a couple of $25 gift cards are given away.  Its a great incentive and reward to make sure we are doing our best, not just the bare minimum we have to do.  (Also, my daughter likes to play with them when she comes in with me.)

My little "zen" spot has been a great conversation piece and our "big boss" even loved the fountain so much he bought a bigger tabletop rock wall fountain for the corner of his office.  And it does help to turn around and take a deep breath and just enjoy the flickering light and soothing sound of the water trickling for a few minutes when I'm frustrated.  A hidden bonus is I've discovered that it helps keep extra moisture in the air (which can be a problem in a lot of offices) so I don't have as much of a problem with dry sinuses and skin when the fountain is running.

Think about taking a little time to create a "zen" spot in your work space.  Think of the things you enjoy and find relaxing and soothing to your eye and incorporate them in a small way so you can take just a moment to "get away".  It really does help you take a deep breath and decompress.

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