*contributed collaborative post
The world can be a stressful place. No matter who you are, what you do and with whom you share your life, none of us is exempt from the stress and anxiety that have become the default setting for the human condition in the 21st century.
Each of us is now plugged in to a constant stream of data from all over the world via the little plastic and glass rectangles in our pockets. We’re all an near-constant tenterhooks in this era of political and economic uncertainty. And that’s before we even start to worry about all this coronavirus business that seems to be all anyone’s talking about at the moment.
If you’re looking for an oasis of calm and relaxation, the home is the best place to create it. After all, your home is supposed to be your haven. Your refuge from the world and all its problems. A place where you can relax and unwind in the company of those whom you love most. Here are some ways to transform your home into a haven of calm…
Make it minimalist
You don’t want to rob your home of character. But the more visually busy our homes, the more distracting they can become and the more prone they are to becoming cluttered. And clutter can create a range of mental health issues. Try storing more and displaying less. You may be surprised at how much more at ease it makes you feel.
Keep it natural
We have a wealth of choices available to us when it comes to decorating our homes. But believe it or not, when we surround ourselves with synthetic materials it can actually exacerbate our stress and anxiety. Synthetic materials look and feel “wrong” and this can create a sensory dissonance that prevents us from feeling completely relaxed. On the other hand, natural materials like wood, cotton, stone etc. can help us to feel more relaxed in the home and garden. Think cotton throws, pillows and wooden furniture in the home, wooden fence panels and rockeries in the garden. And, of course, try and bring as much of the outside inside as possible with lots of lovely house plants and flowers.
Surround yourself with calming colours
The effect that colours can have on our psychological state cannot be underestimated. Maintaining a calm and neutral colour palette in your paint scheme and interior decor can help to lend a calming effect for your living space. Blues, greens and dusky pinks can all have a calming effect while yellow is known to have mood boosting properties.
Implement “no go” areas for device use
Smartphones, tablets and laptops are all technological marvels… but we can get highly over reliant on them. Consider setting up no-go areas where nothing more technologically sophisticated than the printed world shall be allowed. And since using digital tech can impinge on our healthy sleep, the bedroom should be one of those spaces.
The essential scent of calm
Finally, your sense of smell can also play a large role in helping you to feel calm. But don’t waste your money on expensive plug in deodorisers which are laced with harmful chemicals. Instead, simply use a diffuser with a few drops of essential oils for a subtle, calming scent. Think jasmine or lavender for the bedroom, sandalwood for the living room and a fresh citrus for the kitchen.