Studies indicate that being relaxed can boost creativity – that is, that ‘overworking’ your brain can in fact be counter-productive. Given the challenges of managing your time effectively as a writer, it is therefore important to ensure that your dedicated writing space at home is one in which you feel able to unwind. Luckily, there are a few simple priorities you can make in order to make your writing space your own relaxing writing retreat.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Make sure you are sitting in a way that helps you feel relaxed and comfortable. Pillows can be helpful in this respect, with their softness and different types of comforting fabrics. They might also help relieve any tension in your neck; just make sure the pillow is the right level of thickness to keep your neck and spine aligned correctly. Whether you use some cosy cushioning or a wooden chair, identify what sort of seating helps you feel comfortable and relaxed (and therefore more creative). Position yourself in this way when it comes brainstorming ideas or making notes. For periods of sustained writing at a desk, however, make sure you use a chair that is comfortable, has an adjustable height and provides sufficient back support. Using a writing space that is ergonomically poor can increase your susceptibility to developing musculoskeletal problems.

Make the area as clutter-free as possible

Research shows that clutter increases the stress hormone cortisol and negatively impacts productivity. With this in mind, remove as much clutter as possible from your writing area, making sure the floors are clear. Also remove any distractions such as electronic devices or noisy ornaments such as clocks. Keep decor to a minimum. Consider, perhaps, having a small houseplant in your eyeline. This can boost positive feelings and productivity. Creating a sense of space and bringing in natural elements will give you more of a chance to focus and produce work that you are happy with.

Think carefully about color

It can be easy to overlook the significance of the colors used in a room. Color has been shown to have an impact on our state of mind and productivity. Pale blues elicit feelings of calm, while moderate amounts of yellow and orange can increase energy levels and creativity. Too much red, meanwhile, has been shown to increase blood pressure, which is obviously not conducive to creating a relaxing atmosphere.

Simple steps can help your creativity

Whether you have a room or a dedicated nook in which to write, try to make it as relaxing a space as possible. Work out what makes you feel relaxed and try to incorporate these things into the space as much as possible. When time is precious and a deadline is looming, you will be grateful for having invested the time into making your workspace as conducive to writing as possible. Enjoy your mini writing retreat from home!

Jane is a freelance writer and editor. She has written for both digital and print across a wide variety of fields. Her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and well-being in their everyday life. And when she isn’t writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a good book, at the gym or just spending quality time with her family.