By Libby Hagedon, Account Executive
After Tiger King, Love is Blind, sourdough starters and whipped coffee, the pandemic blues started setting in around April or May of 2020 as our whole team continued to work remotely. And with two young kids under my roof, my patience was thin and anxiety was high. To quiet the storm, I researched how I could make my workday better. Here’s a list of things that have brought me small joys and great breakthroughs in this wild season of life.
- Monitor Riser with phone charger
This purchase helped me out two-fold. First, having a monitor riser is key for setting up your home office ergonomically. It needs to be at eye-level and not create any stress. Also, it has a cordless charger for your phone – a great place to park it and focus instead of endlessly doomscrolling on Twitter.
- Kinetic Sand Desktop Zen Garden
This sounds silly but stick with me. According to Buddha Groove, Zen gardens provide a reminder to stay mindful. They also promote stress relief, increased focus, and stimulate creativity. But the Kinetic Sand brings another layer – it’s very malleable, and it’s easy to make into satisfying shapes like spheres that you can smash with a fist. For fun.
Remember this stuff from the 90’s? As an adult, it’s still fun to play with! I find that when we’re brainstorming, having something in my hands helps keep my mind occupied and focused on the task in front of me and lets my mind think more creatively. It also leaves no residue or scent on your hands, and has a good “squish” to it. Like a Rice Krispie Treat that doesn’t get sticky. Plus, the bright colors are fun.
- A Spotify Premium subscription
Music is an important part of my workday. It helps me find my flow, write with intention, and stay focused. With Spotify Premium, I can find a never-ending, always growing library of music to explore, with playlists of everything from classical music by UK Contemporary pianist Alexis Ffrench to the newest release from Lake Street Dive.
- Chirp Wheels
Did you see 5,000 ads for these on Instagram like I did? I succumbed to the ad and purchased the three pack of Chirp wheels. Let me tell you – I use them every night. After sitting at a desk most of the day, it’s a great stretch and massage for the spine.
- Imperfect Foods Subscription
Leave it to the Millennial to automate anything that’s a minor inconvenience (we have toothbrush subscriptions, makeup sample subscriptions, dog toy subscriptions, toilet paper subscriptions and clothing subscriptions), but signing up with Imperfect Foods has been a saving grace during the pandemic. I get a box weekly full of produce that was a little too ugly to be on the grocery store floor, but still a perfectly edible vegetable. I can choose what to include in my box and do most of my grocery shopping through the Imperfect Foods website, which has a wide variety of produce, meats, and packaged goods that use imperfect pieces, like covering broken pieces of pretzels in chocolate. I’m a fan of their Snacky Snacky Mix Mix.
Let’s hear it for houseplants in 2020 – good for our health, in so many ways. Houseplants remove toxins from the air, cleaning it and helping us breathe better. They can also help increase your productivity (by 15%!) and actually help us feel more relaxed and calm. Plus, they’re pretty! Last year, I added a peperomia, rubber tree, snake plant and ZZ plant to my home, and I have to agree with the science – I do love having them in the house.
- Cold Brew Coffee
Coffee is an essential worker. Instead of driving through Starbucks every day, making cold brew at home quickly became a staple for my household. If you’re brewing for one or two, I recommend this cold brew maker, with an infuser and spout. If you’re brewing for an army, or are an adult working from home with two small children, you could do what I do, which is brew it in five gallon buckets. Three cheers to coffee, friends.