Essentials may be a loaded word (or clickbait, sorry) but these following items have been occupying valuable real estate on my desk at work – now home – for good reason.
I’ve always made it a priority to maintain a zen office space given how much time is spent in that 5×5 footprint every day. With work from home orders, it’s all the more important to take care of yourself physically and mentally as you type away. These body care and de-stress goodies are great pick me ups for throughout the day, and I use them to feel instantly calm and relaxed right before jumping on the next Google Meet / Google Hangouts / Zoom call.
1. The essentials
If you’re getting only one thing, I’d say go for a lotion with a scent you love.
I love the Aromatherapy line at Bath & Body Works, especially this Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Lotion that’s been a constant source of stress relief to both myself and colleagues who drop by my desk for lotion & vitamins.
If you don’t find eucalyptus scent calming (or it reminds you of your husband’s cologne like it did to my previous manager), here are other lotions I keep around the house. I may or may not have quite a few more, but it’s not hoarding when you actually use them right.
Lavender Hand Lotion – Crabtree & Evelyn: I like L’Occitane’s Lavender Hand Cream more though.
Pomegranate Hand Primer – Crabtree & Evelyn: It’s unclear what a hand primer is other than a marketing gimmick to buy more products. However, the scent’s great and I use it before sleep.
Stenders – Melon Body Lotion: I love, love, love the smell. It seems like Stenders discontinued the melon scent, but it’s impossible to find this Latvian brand outside of Europe and expensive malls in Asia anyways. I picked it up on sale in Zurich and wish I bought the 2 remaining bottles as well.
Dead Sea Water Mineral Hand Cream – AHAVA: I’m a huge fan of AHAVA and highly recommend many of their skin, body, and dead sea salt products. Here’s my recipe for a lavender eucalyptus salt scrub using AHAVA dead sea salt if you want a treat yourself home mani.
Eucerin and Aquaphor – Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment: Sounds lofty for dry and cracked hand therapy but works wonders. I learned this trick from a dermatologist: if your lotion’s mostly water but you love the smell, use half healing ointment (practically vaseline) and half lotion when applying hand cream.
2. The wellness boosters
If you already have your favorite lotion on hand (heh), then expand your work from home, self-care regimen with these staples of mine.
Peppermint Halo Essential Oil Roller – Saje: Thank you Alex for introducing me to this spa-in-a-bottle godsend for any SOS situation. To rave about it more – I put this on my colleague, manager, and myself before a stressful executive review and we came out feeling like we just left the spa. My colleague immediately ordered two and my manager requested it for the next exec meeting. The only downside is that it’s quite pricy but it lasted me over a year with semi-regular use.
Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Face Mist – Herbivore: Ashley got me into Herbivore with a gift set that included this face mist. I love using it as a daily afternoon refresher. The rose scent is light and smells wonderful.
Aloe Vera Cooling Eye Serum – Nature Republic: The rollers on this are a fun way to relax and soothe the eye areas after staring at the computer for way too long. Funny how I picked this up from Korea but the aloe vera’s from California.
3. The complete spa kit
I’ve actually been enjoying my home office space! If you elevate your WFH situation with some spa elements, it can be a lot more bearable (or even enjoyable).
Avocado and Mint Soy Candle – Anthropologie: this has been sitting unlit on my office desk for several years now. It has a light aroma that gets picked up occasionally, which I find just enough to not irritate any sensitive colleagues. Now that it’s at home, I might actually light it.
Essential Oil Diffuser – Asakuki: Peggy got me hooked on using this Christmas gift from her. I usually stick with lavender and eucalyptus essential oils but have been wanting to try some new scents.
Last but not least, plants! Plants are great decorations for both your physical work environment and digital videoconferencing screen. I wrote about my top favorite houseplants and Katie wrote about our cacti collection from Arizona.
Hope these ideas can help you make the most out of this new normal. A little can go a long way. Maybe you’ll even mistaken yourself for relaxing in a spa when WFH – who are we kidding.