Now more than ever, the stresses of the workplace are impacting us in ever-increasing ways. Your work setting can create physical stress because of noise, lack of privacy, poor lighting, poor ventilation, and poor temperature control. Emotional stressors can be feelings of helplessness, the belief that you are being judged negatively, concerns about tasks that you are unfamiliar with, negative relationships with coworkers and managers, and fears about your job being at risk.
Since most of us spend at least a third of our time at work, it’s important to be comfortable and feel protected. Without being surrounded by our own personal magic, the workplace can be draining and de-energizing and can lead to workplace conflicts, a feeling of dread about going to work, loss of enthusiasm and creativity, and a sense of not belonging. Creating a small desktop altar, with unobtrusive yet powerful objects, can be the answer to improving your work-life balance.
This altar doesn’t have to take up a lot of space – it just needs to be an area that can be kept clear, with items that are meaningful to you. Choosing colors and symbolism that resonate with you are crucial to a successful altar, and what works for you may not work for everyone. Selecting items that make you feel safe and secure will help you create a beneficial altar.
I would start with a small altar cloth that can protect the desktop. This can be as small as a handkerchief or a small scarf, just pick a color and choose symbolism that works for you. Pick a vibrant color to keep the energy positive in the area. You can change out the colors based on the season, the celebration, or your mood. This “sets the stage” for your altar.
A collection of small crystals in a jar can be very pretty, and you can pick one or two out of the jar that you want to work with that day. Keeping them in a clear bottle reminds you of their presence, and creates an eye-catching conversation piece. This set of pocket-sized chakra meditation stones is small enough to gather and take with you, or set out on your altar cloth as well as keep in a small glass dish. Use them to meditate with during breaks, or touch and hold them during high-stress moments.
Adding a small plant re-energizes the space. Choose a plant that thrives in the office environment, such as lemon balm (also beneficial to mood) or bonsai tree (caring for this plant is meditative and calming). Let the plant serve as a reminder to care for yourself and feed your soul. The health benefits of plants are well known but include reducing carbon dioxide in the air, adding oxygen to the environment, and some claim they can even help improve your concentration and memory!
Essential oils are also easily kept on the altar. You can use these in small dram bottles, or in a roll-on bottle to anoint your wrists or temples throughout the day – perfect for stress relief, headache, or an energy boost when you know you have a project to complete. Helpful essential oils for reducing stress include sandalwood, chamomile, and lavender. For headaches, try peppermint or rosemary. And for a quick boost of energy, try lemon, basil, or ginger – these provide a quick “pick me up” during those afternoon hours when you are feeling drained or sluggish.
A small salt lamp has amazing benefits for an office environment. The ones featured here have a USB connection so they can plug right into your computer or laptop. They are small enough that they don’t take up too much space, and also add a nice ambient light to your workspace. The benefits of salt lamps include cleaning and reducing airborne allergens (remember when flu season hit your workplace last year?), reducing stress and providing feelings of increased relaxation.
A small gemstone figurine or pocket angel can have in a place of honor on your altar. They can range in size and type of stone, but there are many examples here – from Buddha to Bast, dragons, Ganesh, angels, etc., there are many small figurines you can display. There are collections of Buddha figurines, small pocket angels, even mini statues available. Choose a figurine that means the most to you and display it with pride on your altar.
Get a tiny crystal ball or even a small mirror – this can be used for reflection and meditative scrying on your breaks or when you are needing to de-stress. It’s calming to gaze at a crystal ball and let your mind float – this can also spur a creative spark or help you think of a new idea for that project you are working on. There are several colors and sizes available, pick one that suits your mood or that resonates with you.
If you can’t keep an altar space open on your desk, consider creating this very same altar in a decorative box. You can close the lid and tuck it away when you need to, or you can pack it up and take it with you if you need to travel. There are many shapes, sizes and decorative aspects to choose from. With themes like the Tree of Life, Black Cat, simple engravings, carved, with drawers, stacked, etc., you are sure to find one that fits your needs.
Bringing a little magic into your workspace can benefit you by allowing you to feel comfortable and protected at work. Reducing stress helps you physically (lower blood pressure, fewer tension headaches) and emotionally (giving a sense of calm, boosting creativity, and helping you to feel empowered). You can change out the items on your altar based on the season, or to work and focus on different aspects of your life. Celebrating your beliefs and creating magic at work will help you achieve a healthier, less stressful work experience.