Soothe stress and promote balance with practices that encourage a harmonious home.
The health of your home correlates to your own mental health, energy, and outlook. This is especially important now more than ever because with the rise of remote workforces, homes are doubling as offices, and even tripling as gyms or yoga studios. Creating a home that looks and feels good isn’t just about tidying up (though it includes that too!). As you head into 2022, here are eight simple things you can do to create a more calming environment.
Clear the Clutter
No questions about it, clutter creates chaos — which is the opposite of calm. If you have too much stuff, you’ll have too much stimulation in your environment, and you’ll also spend a lot of time shuffling it around. An easier solution is to completely clear it.
Beyond that, studies have shown that clutter causes a lack of focus and increased stress, which is an especially big issue if you’re working from home. But how do you even decide what “clutter” is? That can be a very personal decision, but a good place to start is getting rid of anything you don’t use, need, or love. This can include furniture, decor, gifts, clothes, books, old magazines, and papers (mail, receipts, etc.).
Start by dividing your things into four boxes: donate, discard, keep, and store. Your goal is to find a home within your home for everything in your “keep” box. And don’t forget to be mindful of surface clutter, which is easy to accumulate. Either keep flat surfaces clear or limit the amount of items on display. This will create openness and bring a minimalistic calm to your space.
Give Every Room a Role
With more and more people working from home, it’s increasingly important to give every room a role. By designating rooms for various activities — such as working in the office and reading/sleeping in the bedroom — you subconsciously allow yourself to have better focus in your office perhaps, or even enhanced comfort in your bedroom. Plus, you’ll create more ease and purpose within your home.
Even if you’re not working from home, a dedicated space for doing productive tasks such as paying bills, catching up on emails, making your shopping list, etc. gives you a tangible symbol that it’s focus time. This could be done from a small writing desk in your living room; it doesn’t need to be a fancy setup.
When it comes to your bedroom, be especially mindful. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, allowing you to escape from the busyness of your day-to-day schedule. As tempting as a TV may be, the blue light from this can affect your sleeping patterns. Instead, opt for some soothing plants, colours that calm you, and your favourite books or photos of fond memories.
Embrace the Power of Plants
Nature has a healing effect that promotes tranquillity, so bring the restorative qualities of green pastures indoors. Plants add verdant pops of colour while also bringing a sense of aliveness to your space (they are living, after all!).
There are many houseplants to choose from — add an aloe plant in your kitchen window (they love the sun), or try any number of succulents throughout your home for a low-maintenance botanical feel. Snake plants and pothos are both beautiful options, too.
Of course, pet owners should do research before bringing home any new plant as some plants are toxic to certain animals.
Harness Natural Light
Natural light aids in adding openness, airiness, and serenity to your home. Plus, a naturally lit room boosts productivity, improves mood, and creates overall more tranquillity than an artificially lit environment. Luckily, incorporating natural light into your home is easy to do — just open the blinds or curtains. Take it a step further by hanging sheer, billowy curtains that add movement and enhance the airy feeling.
If a room lacks light, perhaps due to the direction the room faces or if it has few windows, or you simply want more brightness, you can use reflective surfaces to enhance light. Strategically placed mirrors and lacquered pieces will reflect sunlight, thereby doubling the amount of natural light in your home.
Create Wellness Areas
People’s homes have transformed into places of productivity. No longer is home only meant for restoration after a long day. To have a greater sense of separation between down time and work time, it can help to take giving every room a role a step further.
To do so, create a special space where you can journal, meditate, read, and escape. This space doesn’t need to be anything over the top. The key is to set up an area where you can have quiet time and prioritise your mental health.
This can be as simple as transforming a small corner of a room into a cosy nook with a comfortable chair and small side table, giving you a specific space to relax and unwind. Bonus: Make it a tech-free zone!
What are your tips creating a tranquil space? Let us know in the comments