Fresh Fruit and Vegetables for Home Delivery Available A La Carte

Stay-At-Home orders and social distancing requirements are our new normal for the foreseeable future. As we adapt to the COVID19 crisis, our services are changing to better meet people’s needs. We are pleased to announce a la carte ordering for fresh fruits and vegetables for home delivery.

 

In addition to convenient and affordable packages, home delivery customers can now select individual items and receive the quantity and mix that works best for them. The minimum order for home delivery remains only $19 and the delivery fee is $5.

The following items are available a la carte:

  • Jazz apples
  • Gala apples
  • Granny Smith apples
  • Dole bananas
  • Clementines
  • D’Anjou pear
  • Avocado
  • Mango
  • Navel orange
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Blueberries (1 dry pint)
  • Strawberries (16 oz clamshell)
  • Red seedless grapes (1 lb bag)
  • Green seedless grapes (1 lb bag)
  • Cherry tomatoes (1 dry pint)
  • Russet potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Onion
  • Garlic (1 head)
  • Carrots (1 cello bag)
  • Celery (1 head)
  • Green bell pepper

As always, our fresh fruit and vegetables are supplied by our trusted wholesale partners. This means our produce is never exposed to the public! Because we are not shopping for produce at the local grocery store, we are not contributing to shortages in our communities.

Thank you for supporting our small business! Thank you for your patience and your grace! We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve our neighbors and keep our employees working during this turbulent time.

Orchard Home Delivery Available in DFW Metroplex!

 

 

Expanding To Meet The Needs of Our Community

As more cities across North Texas enter mandatory Shelter At Home periods, Orchard Home Delivery is expanding to meet the needs of the community. From the addition of fresh vegetables and coffee to partnering with a local pie bakery, we are adapting to the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape.

Serving Seniors in North Texas

Our commitment to serving seniors has led us to create smaller fruit packages and a fresh fruit and veggie combination package that is ideal for couples or people who live alone. Since many seniors are not accustomed to ordering over the internet, we now offer telephone ordering. It is our pleasure to spend several minutes connecting over the phone with people who are isolated and lonely. Call us at 972-295-9091 and we will help you place an order.

A week’s worth of fresh produce delivered!

Serving People With Health Issues

Because we know that the coronavirus can survive on surfaces for an extended period of time, it is vital that people with compromised immune systems avoid exposure. Our fruit and vegetables are supplied by our trusted wholesale partners and come directly to our refrigerated warehouse in sealed cases from the distributors. This means our produce is never exposed to the public! Deliveries are made to the doorstep in a new, recyclable paper grocery bag to ensure adequate social distance is maintained and delivery professionals never enter a customer’s residence.

 

Serving Families with School-Aged Kids

Most families in the Metroplex are suddenly homeschooling since schools are closed for an indeterminate period. Parents are juggling remote work responsibilities and children’s learning needs. Bored and antsy kids are gobbling up snacks at an unprecedented rate. Orchard Snack Box features healthier versions of kids’ favorite junk foods. Unboxing a snack box filled with healthy treats is exciting and fun. It helps break the monotony and boredom of sheltering in place. It also saves parents a trip to the store!

Exciting, healthier snacks delivered to your door!

Serving Other Small Businesses

Orchard Home Delivery is proud to partner with another family-owned and operated local small business, Humble Pies. We are now delivering delicious, freshly made pies across the DFW Metroplex!

Humble Pies is owned by Sean and Erin Jett, a couple Orchard knows through our partnership with Dallas Running Club. Having a particular fondness for pie, Sean and Erin began gathering family recipes, perfecting their product, and finally, brought their dreams to fruition when they opened Humble Pies in May 2018.

“Pie is comforting and reminds us of our grandparents and holidays and family dinners,” says Erin. “Pie evokes memories. It’s simple food that is beautiful.” Order a beautiful, freshly made Humble Pie and get it delivered to your house!

Freshly baked Humble Pies delivered right to your door!

Delivering Locally Fresh-Roasted Coffee

Orchard Home Delivery is also partnering with Addison Coffee Roasters to deliver bags of fresh-roasted ground coffee. This exclusive, high-grown coffee has a bright, lively taste with plenty of fruit, and a hint of buttery caramel in the aroma, roasted to medium and ground for drip. A great all-around favorite, this coffee is perfect to homebrew at your own Café Quarantine. 

Locally-roasted, fresh ground coffee delivered to your door!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working To Save Jobs

Orchard At The Office employs 24 North Texans in addition to being the sole source of income for the founders’ family of 6. However, our business is by no means in a unique situation during this crisis. We are deeply grateful for the support we are receiving from the DFW community. THANK YOU for supporting our small business and please continue to patronize the small businesses in your area. We are determined to emerge from this crisis stronger and kinder. BE POSITIVE AND STAY NEGATIVE, NORTH TEXAS!

Orchard Now Delivering to Homes

During this unprecedented time, we have made the decision to serve our communities by delivering fresh fruit and snack boxes to people’s homes.

Orchard At The Office has delivered fresh fruit to offices since 2010 and we are still delivering to offices that remain open during the COVID-19 crisis. In an attempt to “flatten the curve” and prevent widespread illness, many offices have temporarily closed. Thousands of people in our community cannot safely shop in public.

Social Distancing

Home delivery will allow us to provide fresh fruit and healthy snacks to vulnerable populations like seniors and people with compromised immune systems.  It will enable people who are self-quarantined due to recent travel, illness or possible exposure to COVID-19 to receive fresh fruit that may be out of stock from local grocery store delivery services. It also allows us to continue to employ our outstanding delivery drivers and staff, many of whom have been part of the Orchard team for 5+ years.

Many families are suddenly homeschooling since schools and daycare facilities are closed for an indeterminate period. Parents are juggling remote work responsibilities and children’s learning needs. Getting to the store is much more difficult with several children in tow. Plus, unboxing a snack box filled with healthy treats adds excitement and joy to a monotonous day in self-isolation.

Workplace Safety is Paramount

We are committed to following the CDC Guidelines for workplace safety. Our fruit is supplied by our trusted wholesale partners, not the local grocery store, so our delivery professionals are not exposed to large groups of people.  Deliveries are made to the doorstep to ensure 6 feet of social distance is maintained and we never enter a customer’s residence.

We look forward to serving our customers when their offices reopen and we will continue to serve our community members at home as long as the need exists.

Suddenly Homeschooling? Free Resources to Help You Get Started

Homeschooling due to school closure

Thousands of American families find themselves suddenly homeschooling due to COVID 19-related school closures.  In addition to running a successful small business, our family has been homeschooling our four children since 2005. We have curated a comprehensive list of free homeschooling, educational and recreational resources for K-12 students. Whether you need help explaining an Algebra problem to your high schooler, phonics practice for your second grader or science videos for your middle schooler, there is a site below to help you.

 

FREE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

123 Homeschool for Me

https://www.123homeschool4me.com/home-school-free-printables/

Free printable worksheets and educational activities to help to make learning fun. Resources arranged by grade or subject.

 

ActivEd, Inc

http://info.activedinc.com/covid

Walkabouts, web-based lessons for pre-K to second-grade students that integrate movement with language arts, math, and reading content

 

Actively Learn

https://www.activelylearn.com/post/remote-learning

Actively Learn is a web-based reading platform that helps students read deeply and think critically, with thousands of texts and associated instruction in ELA, Science, and Social Studies.

 

Age of Learning (ABCMouse, Adventure Academy, ReadingIQ)

https://www.ageoflearning.com/schools

 

All Kids Network

https://www.allkidsnetwork.com/

Free educational resources, worksheets, writing prompts, themed coloring pages, craft and snack ideas for parents, teachers & caregivers.

 

American Panorama

https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/

Digital Atlas of America uses online GIS to explore and visualize data with maps.

 

Arcademics

https://www.arcademics.com/

Boost student engagement & fact fluency with our free multiplayer educational games, math games, language arts games, and more!

 

Artrageous with Nate

www.youtube.com/artrageouswithnate

Interactive videos meant to stimulate creativity and hands-on activities at home.

 

Ascend Math

https://ascendmath.com/coronavirus-offer/

K to 12 math instructional resource Ascend Math offers award-winning math instruction that provides an individual study plan for each student. Ascend Math’s study plans are unique to each student, prescriptive, adaptive, and automatically assigned.

 

Biology Simulations

www.biologysimulations.com

Simulations and virtual labs for biology topics including evolution, ecology, and cellular energetics

 

BrainPop

https://educators.brainpop.com/2020/02/19/free-brainpop-access-for-schools-affected-by-the-corona-virus/?utm_source=organic&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=coronavirus&utm_content=free-access

BrainPop features engaging learning games, animated movies and activities.

 

Brave Writer

https://blog.bravewriter.com/2020/03/13/needing-support-due-to-covid-19/

Free writing resources.

 

Breakout

https://www.breakoutedu.com/funathome

Collection of digital games

 

CanFigureIt Geometry

https://www.canfigureit.com/

Easy-to-use workspace where students can practice proofs while exercising their deductive reasoning muscles

 

CaroneLearning

https://caronelearning.com/covid-19/

K-12 Health and Physical Education courses

 

Centervention

https://www.centervention.com/

We offer game-based interventions that focus on improving social and emotional skills in K-8 students

 

CheckMath

http://www.checkmath.eu

CheckMath tells you where you made a mistake.

 

CircleTime Fun

https://circletimefun.com/

Learn and bond with your 1- 6-year-old.

 

Classroom Cereal

https://www.classroomcereal.com/

Grammar practice in free, printable short stories.

 

Club SciKidz MD

http://www.clubscikidzmd.com/blog/

Daily free science or cooking experiment to do at home.

 

Collisons Chemistry

https://www.playmadagames.com/

System of digital games, grounded in the rules of chemistry, that can be used to introduce, teach, and review key concepts in chemistry.

 

CommonLit

https://www.commonlit.org/

Reading passages for grades 3-12, with reading comprehension and discussion questions

 

Conjugemos

https://conjuguemos.com/

“Use without account” option has vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin.

 

Creating a Masterpiece

https://creatingamasterpiece.com/product/drawing-program-2/

Fine art training program for students ages 5 and up. Drawing Program is free with the code: Corona2020

 

Curriculum Associates

https://www.curriculumassociates.com/supporting-students-away-from-school

Free printable K-8 Reading and Math activity packs (available in English and Spanish)

 

DeltaMath

https://deltamath.com/overview

Free website for teachers and students covering a wide range of math content from middle school through AP Calculus.

Digital Theatre Plus

https://www.digitaltheatreplus.com/education

Access to some of the world’s finest productions, unique backstage insights, practitioner interviews and written analysis.

 

Discovery K12

http://discoveryk12.com/dk12/

Complete online curriculum for pre-k to 12th grade. All main subjects are covered, plus extra curriculum courses.

 

DreamBox Learning Math

www.dreambox.com/at-home

K-8 online math program that looks at how a student is solving problems to adjust accordingly and build a unique learning path for them.

 

EBLI

https://eblireads.com/non-fiction-read-alouds/

Non-Fiction Read Alouds for PreK-12th Graders

 

Everydae SAT Prep

https://everydae.com/?utm_source=resource_sheet&utm_medium=spreadsheet&utm_campaign=school_closures

Everydae is an online SAT math prep program that uses 10-minute micro lessons to match busy schedules. Use code HOMEPREP when you sign up through this link: http://bit.ly/2xrVchc

 

ExploreLearning Reflex

https://www.reflexmath.com/trial

Adaptive and individualized for grades 2-6, Reflex is the most effective system for mastering basic math facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Free 30-day trial.

 

ExploreLearning Science4Us

https://www.science4us.com/trial/

covers Inquiry, Physical Science, Life Science and Earth & Space Science with lessons specifically designed for K-2 students. Free 30-day trial.

 

Facts4Me

https://www.facts4me.com

A safe research site for elementary-level readers.

 

Fluency & Fitness

https://fluencyandfitness.com/register/school-closures/

Provides educational brain breaks to help burn off extra energy. Ages 4-8.

 

Freckle

https://www.freckle.com/

Multiple subjects with differentiation for K-12.

 

GoNoodle

https://www.gonoodle.com/

Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.

 

Handwriting Heroes

https://appytherapy.com/handwriting-heroes/

Multisensory handwriting program that teaches children how to form their letters through animations, stories and song.

 

HippoCampus

https://hippocampus.org/

Explore over 7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas

 

i-Ready

https://www.curriculumassociates.com/supporting-students-away-from-school

free printable K-8 Math and Reading packets for students

 

IXL

https://www.ixl.com/membership/teachers/trial/closure

Comprehensive K-12 curriculum.

 

Izzit

Izzit.org

FREE, high-quality educational materials

 

K-5 Math Teaching Resources

https://www.k-5mathteachingresources.com

K-5 math resources clearly sorted by grade and standard that are easy to download and print at home.

 

Khan Academy

https://www.khanacademy.org/about/blog/post/611770255064350720/remote-learning-with-khan-academy-during-school

Free, award-winning online education program.

 

Kids Discover Online

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe8FeuVh5AwwY5S5gkSN7Dw_tWpRneVdq1FhGyYvCO1N83cug/viewform?vero_id=kdo1880662&vero_conv=DkrC-H3AHXmsRWwMpvELoS067gYxZI3gCO2Am6Tx-g30eb3QJC5zS57pJ5UxI_RMPRKPShL2NkZRP0avfhAK4LV0J5ZwSgb0jQ%3D%3D

Award-winning library of science and social studies materials.

 

LearnAwesome

https://learnawesome.org

A repository of links to learning resources organized by topics and formats.

 

Little Twisters Yoga & Emotional Wellness

https://littletwistersyoga.com/online-store/

Free at-home kids yoga lesson plans

 

Magic Spell by Brainbox Games

https://brainbox.games/

Magic Spell is a carefully crafted spelling adventure

 

Marco Learning

https://marcolearning.com/

Free full-length practice tests, free lesson plans, and free study guides for AP students.

 

Massolit

https://www.massolit.io/

Over 2,800 short curriculum relevant video lectures designed and delivered by top university academics covering English Literature, History, Classics, Psychology, Philosophy, and Government and Politics.

 

MathCelebrity

https://www.mathcelebrity.com/online-math-tutor.php

Automated online math tutor. Enter your math problem or search term, press the button, and see the step-by-step work and answer instantly. 2nd grade through college.

 

Math Playground

https://www.mathplayground.com

Provides hundreds of math games, logic puzzles and educational resources.

 

Minecraft: Education Edition

https://education.minecraft.net/

Game-based learning platform that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive digital environment.

 

MobyMax

https://www.mobymax.com

Find and fix learning gaps.

 

Music Theory

https://www.musictheory.net/

Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators.

 

Mystery Science

https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning

Free, easy science lessons for remote learning.

 

New American History

https://www.newamericanhistory.org/

Digital learning resources and tools developed by Dr. Ed Ayers for American History/Geography/Current Events.

 

Nitro Type

https://www.nitrotype.com/

Students improve the foundational skill of typing by competing in fast-paced races against users from around the world.

 

NoRedInk

https://www.noredink.com/

Develop better writers. Includes diagnostic tools and assessments, targeted skills practice, a writing platform that guides students through the drafting and revision process, and instructional resources for teachers.

 

Novel Effect

https://noveleffect.com/

As you read out loud from print books (or ebooks!) music, sound effects and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice.

 

Olive Book

https://www.olive-book.com/pages/the-olive-book-home

SAT and ACT test prep for visual learners – no screen scribble, no tripod teachers, comprehensive content.

 

ParagraphPunch

http://paragraphpunch.com

Teaches students how to write a paragraph online

 

PBS Learning Media

https://kera.pbslearningmedia.org/

Free, PreK-12 digital media service featuring 30,000 learning materials aligned to state and national standards, including 25,000+ videos, interactive lesson plans, media galleries and more.

PebbleGo by Capstone

https://pebblego.com/free-pebblego-capstone-interactive-access-school-closures?fbclid=IwAR0ldr6TT3grhEDzJ_fEpYvNGG13kqYo5ogwEqYneW7QBkX8L4u7cEIS0nE

Curricular content hub specifically designed for K-3 students. Packed with informational articles, ready-made activities, and literacy supports for students of all abilities, it boosts engagement and fosters independent learning in core subject areas.

 

Phonics Hero

https://www.phonicshero.com/

Phonics Hero teaches school-aged children to read and spell with systematic phonics. Using a step-by-step approach, the 850 games teach children the 44 sounds, the reading and spelling of words, and how to conquer sentences. Available on tablets and computers.

 

Pinna

https://pinna.fm/

Screen-free, ad-free audio streaming service custom-made for kids 3-12, featuring podcasts, audiobooks and music. Use the promo code PINNA4KIDS  To activate, create an account and enter the code in step 2 of the signup process. Two months for free.

 

Positive Physics

https://www.positivephysics.org/home

An online physics problem and video bank designed for conceptual, standard, honors or AP1 physics.

 

Prodigy

https://www.prodigygame.com

Prodigy is a curriculum-aligned math game for grades 1-8.

 

Readers 4SC

readers4sc.org

A critical thinking activity that incorporates novels and famous books, argumentation, and key themes together. Lesson plan, suggest topics per book, and publishing students’ work on the website are all free.

 

ReadWorks

https://www.readworks.org/

Online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12.

 

Red T Media

https://marketplace.mythinkscape.com/store/redtkids

Critical Thinking resources for K-6 students

 

Rock Hall EDU

https://edu.rockhall.com/

Free resources like videos, playlists, essays, lesson plans, writing prompts, and digitized materials from our Library & Archives.

 

SelfCad

https://www.selfcad.com/

3D CAD web application.

 

Shurley English

https://www.shurley.com/

The Shurley English program for grades K-8 provides a clear, logical, and concrete approach to language arts. The Shurley English Digital Edition will be offered to teachers and students for free. This offer includes complete video instruction for each lesson through our Shurley English Digital Assistant: SEDA. No code required.

 

Sight Reading Factory

https://www.sightreadingfactory.com/

SightReadingFactory.com makes practicing the important skill of sight-reading easy, effective and fun! This cloud-based service allows you to customize and generate unlimited sight reading examples instantly, on-demand for music educators, students and hobbyists of all ages and abilities. Free through June 30, 2020.

 

Smore Magazine

https://www.smoremagazine.com/product/smore-magazine-subscription-digital/

STEM magazine for ages 9+. Offering a Free Annual Subscription to Smore Digital (6 issues) until March 31st, 2020 with the use of code FREESMORE.

 

Spelling City

https://www.spellingcity.com

Spellingcity.com is free right now with code VSCFree90

 

Starfall

https://www.starfall.com/h/

Provides hours of engaging educational content for pre-school and grade school kids. It uses animation and sound to engage children in the learning process.

Storyboard That

https://www.storyboardthat.com

Powerful visual communication made easy

 

Storyline Online

https://www.storylineonline.net

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books.

 

Sworkit

https://app.sworkit.com/collections/kids-workouts

Kid-friendly workouts — choose from Strength for Kids, Agility for Kids, Flexibility and Balance for Kids, Warm-Up for Kids, Cooldown for Kids, Stand Up and Move.

 

Teaching Textbooks

https://www.teachingtextbooks.com

Math program for grades 3-12. First 16 lessons free with free trial.

 

Turnitin

https://www.turnitin.com/static/revision-assistant-walkthrough/

An online writing tool that you can access for FREE to help mitigate any gaps in your writing instruction and practice. 60-day free trial can be accessed here: https://go.turnitin.com/l/45292/2018-08-07/bgyfwq

 

Twig Education

https://www.go.twigeducation.com/covid19-us

Twig Science Tools is an award-winning supplemental resource with short videos in English and Spanish, visuals, and hands-on investigative activities.

Typing Club

https://www.typingclub.com/

Learn to type.

Typing.com

https://www.typing.com

Learn to type.

Vidcode

https://about.vidcode.com/lovemyvidcode/2020/3/9/in-support-of-schools-facing-health-related-closure?fbclid=IwAR0BvW4KVBRN6rb4tTC4F-poF61Uco1hBlttmme6A2m7uBtMEqXIhBls_CM

Teens learn to code.

Writing Legends

https://www.writinglegends.com/

Teach writing with the benefit of technology. Free of charge through July 31, 2020.

Wonderopolis

Wonderopolis.org

Short videos and readings that answers various burning questions for students. There are vocabulary challenges and comprehension questions.

Zearn

https://www.zearn.org/

Top-rated K-5 curriculum builds deep understanding and a love of learning math for all students.

PREPARE FOR HOMESCHOOLING SUCCESS

Your basic homeschooling kit should include internet access, a computer or tablet, a printer with plenty of ink, printer paper, colored pencils, markers or crayons, spiral notebooks and pens. To minimize frustration and delays, consider printing lessons or packets for a week at a time the weekend prior.

Special thanks to the companies above for generously sharing their programs, resources, materials and intellectual property during this unprecedented time of crisis.

Finding Calm in the Storm

Modern life offers us so many serious issues to worry about and few of these complex problems have easy solutions. Coronavirus, the stock market, travel plans, tax season, health scares and aging parents top the list of worries for many. In addition, the constant flow of information coming through our screens often means there is no escape from worrying subject matter. How can you protect your mental well-being from the constant onslaught of frightening scenarios? Additionally, how can you panic-proof your organization and promote calmness?

Techniques to Champion Calmness in Your Organization

The many challenges and unknowns in life will continue to confront us. If we can cultivate calm minds in our companies, we will be better able to respond with clarity and recover from adverse events more quickly. Just as panic can spread through a room, an organization or a country, calmness can be contagious if it is promoted.

Nurturing Serenity

Calmness is the mental state of being free from agitation, excitement, or disturbance. Life’s challenges prevent this from persisting as a constant mental state, but calmness is a practice that can be learned and employed during demanding times.

Close your eyes and picture a calm person you know. What is it about this person that tells you they are calm? A calm person may speak in an even, unperturbed tone of voice. Their shoulders are relaxed, and their faces are neutral and serene. A calm person may pause for a moment before replying to a question or comment. They are often considered “the voice of reason” in chaotic situations.

There are many benefits to cultivating a calm state of mind in your organization. When the mind is calm, people can think more clearly and are less likely to make mistakes. Employees have a greater capacity to be empathetic and tolerant of others, allowing them to see the big picture in conflicts. When people are calm, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing are in the normal zone, reducing the risk of health complications. The mind is also more capable of creative problem solving as crisis mode thinking pushes people to make situations black or white issues when reality contains countless shades of gray.

Calm the Mind with Meditation

Meditation is a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. For some, the idea of meditating can be overwhelming and intimidating. There are many different types of meditation so try several until you find the style that works best for you. Encourage employees to meditate at their desks for several minutes each day to reap the benefits of quieting their minds.

The Effects and Benefits of Meditation 

Research has shown that meditation can have both physiological and psychological effects. Some of the positive physiological effects include a lowered state of physical arousal, decreased respiration rate, decreased heart rate, changes in brain wave patterns and lowered stress.

Some of the other psychological, emotional, and health-related benefits of meditation include:

  • Improved stress management
  • Improved mental and emotional well-being
  • Better symptom management for issues including anxiety disorders, depression, sleep disorders, chronic pain and high blood pressure
  • Improvement in working memory and executive function
  • Improvements in verbal fluency and visual-spatial processing
  • Improvement in mood

Create a Tranquil Workspace

Your five senses supply your brain with a tremendous number of stimuli every second of the day. Take a moment now to survey your sensory surroundings. What do you see, hear, smell, taste and feel in your current space? How frequently are you receiving alerts from your email or phone? Is your desk a mess? Are noisy coworkers a constant source of irritation for you? Are you sitting in an uncomfortable chair at a desk that is too low for your laptop? Is your office freezing cold?

The path to calm in the office begins with your workspace. Take a few minutes to organize your area, adjust the height of your chair and change the settings on your digital distractions. Perhaps it is time to invest in noise-canceling headphones. Adorn your desk with a couple of items that bring you pleasure to see. Leave a warm jacket or lap throw in your office for days when the ambient temperature is uncomfortably cool. There is a multitude of quick, inexpensive ways to make the place where you spend at least 8 hours a day more comfortable, inviting and calming. Give yourself and your employees permission to create personal spaces to enjoy.

Reset with a Deep Sigh

Research shows that sighing functions as a physiological resetter. When you find yourself feeling anxious, frustrated, or agitated, tap into your body’s own stress-relief mechanisms–sighing. Focus on your breath. Inhale deeply and exhale fully. This allows you to refocus both your body and your mind. Encourage staffers to reframe sighing as a positive action that relieves stress instead of as a sign of frustration or impatience.

Get Some Fresh Air

Uncomfortable temperatures and poor air circulation in a room can increase feelings of anxiety or frustration. If you’re feeling tense and the office is hot and stuffy or too cold, go outside for a few minutes. Fresh air and a change of scenery can interrupt anxious thoughts and help you become calmer. Consider holding meetings outdoors when the weather is especially nice.

Start a Gratitude Journal

Focusing on gratitude helps counterbalance negative or fearful thoughts. Encourage employees to take a few minutes several times a week to write down reasons to feel thankful or appreciative. Being as specific as possible, focus on the people to whom you are grateful instead of on a generic list of things. Be grateful for any negative outcomes you avoided, escaped, prevented, or turned into something positive. Create a Gratitude Board or Good News Board in the breakroom where employees can share their thankfulness for colleagues.

Diffuse Lavender Oil

Lavender increases relaxation, encourages sleep and helps relieve anxiety. Lavender interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA to help quiet the brain and nervous system activity, reducing agitation, anger, aggression, and restlessness. If permitted, diffuse lavender at your desk to reduce stress. Other ways to benefit from lavender include applying the diluted oil to pulse points or adding a couple of drops to cupped hands and inhaling the scent.

Listen to Music or Soothing Sounds

Listening to music can be a powerful tool in relaxing our minds and bodies. Classical music has shown to have beneficial effects on heart rate and blood pressure, and it can decrease the levels of stress hormones. Nature sounds such as babbling brooks, ocean waves, rolling thunder or ambient forest sounds are also potent stress reducers that can help you calm your mind. Consider creating a playlist of music or sounds you find relaxing. Encourage employees to listen to music through earbuds at their desks.

Social Media Boundaries

Social media can be a great way to stay connected with friends, colleagues and family. It can also be a source of negativity and misinformation. Consider deleting social media apps from your phone and limiting scrolling to 15 minutes in the evening. If you are not ready to step away, consider unfollowing pages or people who consistently post content that disturbs your peace. We can love people and not enjoy them on social media at the same time.

Limit News Consumption

It is vital to stay informed but that does not mean you have to listen to or read the news several times a day. Download a podcast about your hobby or favorite show to enjoy during your commute. Catch up on some reading with audiobooks. Unfollow blogs that feature sensational content or employ fearmongering tactics. Choose a couple of reliable sources for news and limit visits to once a day. Avoid leaving the television in the breakroom on a news channel.

Breathing Techniques

Breathing exercises are an excellent tool for defusing tension, relieving stress and regaining focus. They require no extra space or specialized equipment and can bring about a dramatic change in a few minutes.

Box Breathing

Box breathing is a breath exercise you can practice anywhere when you are in need of calming.

1.     Breathe in slowly and deeply for a count of four.

2.     Hold that breath for a count of four.

3.     Exhale slowly through pursed lips for a count of four.

4.     Rest with empty lungs for a count of four.

5.     Take two normal breaths.

6.     Repeat box breaths.

There are several free apps people can utilize for practicing box breathing. As you become more comfortable with box breathing, you can increase the amount of time you perform each step, working your way up to 8 seconds. Lead several rounds of box breathing at the beginning of a meeting to promote calmness.

Breath Meditation Step-by-Step

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair with your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Feel your body where it comes into contact with the chair. Notice the physical sensations associated with sitting in the chair-feelings of pressure, warmth, etc.
  3. Gradually turn your attention to the process of breathing. Notice wherever you feel the breath most clearly, whether in your nose or in the rising and falling your chest or abdomen.
  4. Allow your attention to remain focused on the sensations of your breathing. (There is no need to control your breath. Just let it come and go naturally.)
  5. Every time your mind wanders, gently return it to the sensation of breathing.
  6. As you focus on your breath, you will notice that thoughts and sensations continue to appear. Simply notice these as they emerge, and then return to the sensation of breathing.
  7. Repeat this process during the time you set aside to meditate.

A Better Way Forward

Promoting behaviors that relieve stress and encourage calm minds is an inexpensive, effective way to improve the well-being of your staff. Facing unpleasant, frustrating or even terrifying events with calmness does not make them disappear. However, choosing a calm response gives us the opportunity to assess the situation, formulate a thoughtful plan and care for those around us in a way that unites instead of divides.