To be holistic is to understand that all parts are intimately interconnected and justifiable only in reference to the whole. When you take into consideration the whole body or person, you are thinking and acting holistically. This concept can be applied to design as well.

Interior design for holistic living is about designing for a person’s well-being by supporting their wellness of mind, body and spirit in regard to the environment in which they dwell.

Because holistic living can support our happiness and productivity in our most personal spaces, we must discover why we make the choices we do. By asking questions and being honest with the answers, we can better understand our authentic inner selves, and we are able to benefit confidently when making design and other decisions.

Holistic design delves into our thoughts and feelings in order to accomplish a design outcome that supports, nurtures and brings us success and joy.

Below are 24 ideas and suggestions for taking better care of ourselves during this time of change and uncertainty. These suggestions are designed to offer comfort, productivity and well-being while working from home or anywhere.

Avoid eating at your desk. Step away and enjoy a break elsewhere.

Have fresh flowers or plants by your desk.

Use your favorite writing utensils — pens, pencils paper.

Change your favorite screen savers often.

Stand up every 20 minutes to stretch and walk a few steps.

Whenever returning to your computer, wash your hands and refresh your wrists and the back of the neck with cold water.

When waiting for a call, new screen to open or page to load — take a few slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Don’t wear shoes if you don’t have to.

Wiggle your toes, ankles and fingers as often as possible, and do arm curls at your desk.

Wear lipstick or lip balm to keep lips moist.

Take a drink of water every 15 minutes.

Change the chair you sit on at least once a day.

Alternate working at a standing desk.

When on a phone call, pace as you talk. You can even schedule some phone calls for when you walk outside.

While sitting be aware of your posture and move it often.

Stretch your arms, back and shoulders and notice when you start to slump forward.

Be mindful of your body and move it when and where needed.

Don’t twist your body or cross your legs when sitting at your desk.

Don’t read doom and gloom emails.

Play music you enjoy — let the people you speak to on the phone overhear it too.

Keep lights off, as much as you can and work in the natural sunlight that comes in through the windows.

Open all windows, as long as the weather allows.

Consider taking your work outdoors if possible.

Stick to eating healthy food at meal times and curb snacks unless they are healthy.

Taking the time to consider your behavior and your workspace will help you to make better choices for better outcomes. JN

Barbara Kaplan is an interior designer specializing in holistic living. She currently is working with clients through Zoom to enhance

and personalize their video conferencing messages and to refresh

and redesign homes for work and play. Visit for more information.

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