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Four things to add to your desk at work to make you happy

By Derek Baker, March 25 2019—

It’s the middle of the work week and you’ve been stuck at your desk all day. It’s 2:30 p.m. and you’re hitting a wall but need to find a way to muster some energy to throw yourself into whatever project you’re working on to make the time go by faster. Wow, that forced burst of energy must have made the time fly by and it must be almost quitting time. You look back at the clock. It’s now 2:32 p.m.

It’s that time of the semester where balancing school, work and whatever else you’ve overcommitted yourself to is piling up. But you still gotta pay the bills. Here are a few things you can add to your desk to make it a little easier.

A sun lamp:

A problem with living at a high latitude is that we don’t see much of the sun during the winter. In some people this can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). One proposed treatment of SAD is light therapy. Enter the SAD lamp — despite its name, its goal is to make you not sad.

Studies on light therapy as a treatment for SAD have mixed results. One study in the 1980s found that exposure to artificial light had antidepressant effects for 11 out of 29 participants with SAD. It might not work for everyone but it’s worth a shot.


At the corner of my desk is a little succulent that I am trying to nurse back to health. It’s missing a few leaves and is in rough shape. Aren’t we all?

But can plants help reduce stress? Apparently they can. In this study, a simple stroke of a leaf caused people to experience an unconscious calming reaction. I’m still as skeptical as you, but if this little succulent can make me not want to throw my computer out the window, we’re going to buy some fertilizer.


If you’re lucky enough to work in a more laid-back office environment, maybe you can post some funny shit around your desk. The physical stimuli in an office environment can boost productivity. An office’s aesthetic quality can also boost feelings of well-being and energy. Surround you space with pictures that bring you joy, whether that’s your family or Gritty.

A bottle of water:

Keep hydrated! Not drinking enough water throughout the day can lead to headaches, difficulties concentrating and general feelings of lethargy. Keeping a bottle of water on your desk is a helpful reminder to take the odd swig now and then. Plus, water bottles come in all kinds of decorative styles to jazz up your desk.

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