Whether you have a nine to five, morning rat-race, evening commute, rush home to make dinner, get the kids to soccer lifestyle or not, we all want to come home to a space where we can relax and take our minds off the stresses of the day. Take a holistic approach to improving your mental and physical well being by incorporating some of these design upgrades in your home.
It’s too easy to get distracted by the things that occupy our spaces, especially when there’s no room to sit. Maria Kondo has struck a major nerve with many by instructing us to get rid of things that don’t make us happy. Duly noted. Donate to Goodwill, sell on Nextdoor or Craigslist, and create enough space to have a seat so you can think. Try some organizing to get a handle on the clutter that maddened you last year. Allow yourself to let go of the things you don’t need, and embrace the things you love, thus lightening the load plaguing your mind and your heart.
Go Au Naturel
By this we don’t mean naked, though whatever you do in the privacy of your own home is your business. We’re referring to the use of natural materials like wood, marble, and stonework. Wood provides a sense of warmth and coziness, while the smoothness of marble promotes a sense of calm. Think of indoor flooring and outdoor decks, marble tiles in the bathroom, decorative stone paving in the garden. Look more towards natural fibers like wool, cotton and linen for upholstery and accents in your home. But be wary of using too much of one thing—you don’t want it to overpower the relaxing theme you’re trying to achieve.
Gardens, you say? How does yours grow? Gardening can be a stress relieving activity, and there are many ways to get started if you haven’t already begun. Scent in the garden is only one of the many benefits you can achieve with this newfound hobby, especially when you include scents like lavender that promote calm and tranquility. Or, if you’re the type who enjoys the satisfaction of saving money and have a semi-green thumb, consider veggie gardening as a way to promote your sustainability and supplement your food stores. Either way, bringing elements of nature into your life will be a valuable addition to your wellness.
Don’t forget the little things that can lead you to the path of wellness. Sometimes, all it takes is a little change like new paint to freshen up the walls, or rearranging the furniture to a more functional and comfortable setup. If you’ve already accomplished those feats and are looking for something else to promote your sense of peace, have you considered putting in a sunroom? Also called a solarium or conservatory, it can be a bit too cold or too hot during the extreme months without specific adjustments made to the interior. During the milder months, it creates additional living space that welcomes the sun and its healing properties, and can be planted to bring the outside in.
If you don't have a sunroom, consider amplifying the light in your space by using large windows and white surfaces to keep things feeling bright and refreshing.
Of course, this is easier said than done. We're exposed to pollutants whenever we walk out the door, but there are some things we can do to limit our exposure inside. Designing an entryway where you can deposit your shoes and outer layers before bringing them into the house can help. Choosing hardwood flooring over carpet that contains materials that may slowly release toxins into the air for a long time will help the air quality dramatically.
Also, making your own natural cleansers rather than purchasing commercial ones can reduce those toxins. If you’re a gardener, committing to using only organic fertilizers and banning pesticides from your yard will help many beneficial insects out there. That should make you feel good shouldn’t it? Talk about wellbeing! And don’t forget to bring in the plants to clean the air in your home.
Who knew sitting could be so detrimental to our health? It can lead to weight gain, increased blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels, to name just a few of its health concerns. We suggest you include your home office when evaluating ways to support well being in the home, like installing a standing desk to upgrade your space, and maybe better lighting and shelving while you’re at it.
Create A Space for You
If you were successful with the decluttering, maybe you find yourself with a little extra space. Dedicate that space (or another one somewhere in your house) to yourself. Space where you can sit quietly to read, meditate, or just decompress after a stressful day can work wonders on the mind. Give yourself a gift, a place where you can recharge and remind yourself of what is important to you and to this world.
Look Out Onto Your World
Do this from your dedicated “You” space, or from inside your sunroom. Keep those windows clean and bright so you don’t feel jailed within the confines of the room. You want to ease your mind, not worry it with dirty windows. And keep the seating in an area that receives good light so you are inclined to inhabit that space rather than avoid it.
Create Space for Social Interaction
With your furniture now rearranged in a way that provides good flow, include spaces for lingering, where family and friends can relax and socialize. Intriguing artwork, books, or even plants can provide these hang outs, providing mental and social health for all involved.
Mask the Noise
City noises are hard to combat, and can be detrimental on a person’s sleep patterns and overall mental health. Sound-deadening sheetrock installed on walls leading to the outside, and installing better windows and window coverings can help. If that isn’t enough, try incorporating soothing sounds that to mask some of that sound pollution until that pair of noise-cancelling headphones arrives.
The daily grind can be deflating to our mental and physical health, but there are ways we can equip our homes to help us deal with all that stress. Proud of one you've come up with? Share it with our readers in our site's projects area!