Everyone needs some time to relax and recharge, but that’s easier said than done. Between busy days, messy homes, and anxiety at high gear with no way to properly chill, it’s easy to let things get out of hand. But what if there were simple things we could do to make our homes more relaxing and welcoming to ourselves?
That’s what we’re looking into right now. As someone who spends a lot of time at home, I can swear by most of these – they’re the reason I’ve been (mostly) sane throughout these years of working exclusively from home.
This is super important now that the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to stay home. Obviously it’s for our own safety, but with so many changes regarding work and school routines, we often find ourselves with a lot in our hands at once. I hope these tips prove helpful in making your home a place where you can actually recharge your energies, instead of draining them!
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. – Eleanor Roosevelt
1. Set up welcoming areas to unwind
Look around your home and try to find your favorite corner to relax. If you don’t have one, then choose a spot and make it yours. It’s very healthy to create a small corner that you can use for relaxing, whether that’s reading a book, listening to some music, sipping a warm cup of tea… whatever is the most relaxing for you.
Having that place for that one thing helps the area feel more inviting and therefore more relaxing when you decide to indulge it. For example, as someone who works from home all the time, I like to have a special corner in the house where I take my laptop to work on creative projects and hobbies. It feels good to have this change of environment since I can physically leave my office behind a closed door and have fun elsewhere!
2. Let nature in
Houseplants help in making any room more welcoming as they break the industrial look our homes can have sometimes. But most importantly, they also improve indoor air quality which makes for a much more comfortable time and makes it easier to relax at home.
3. Let sunlight in
Our bodies are hard wired to react to sunlight and changing lighting conditions. There’s a reason we tend to be more active during the day and lay low during the night – it’s just the normal cycle of life.
Make sure to let sunlight in, especially in rooms where you’re the most active, as this helps in giving you energy and creating a better daily routine for your biological clock. It’s a fairly straightforward but very effective tip on how to make your home more relaxing.
The purpose of decluttering is to take burdens off your mind. It’s easy to think something can remain messy for as long as it needs to because you can just get to it later, but in reality, this is just placing a burden in your mind every time you walk past it.
Home is always a chore-heavy place in most days, so decluttering and keeping things organized a little bit at a time instead of all at once makes things a lot easier.
5. Invest time on a hobby
I remember when hobbies were fun. Especifically, I remember taking the time to learn how to play the guitar, learning a new language out of interest, and trying to draw different things… It might seem strange, but actual hobbies are very hard to find in this day and age.
Wake up call: not everything has to be monetizable. Not everything has to advance your career, not everything has to become a life-long commitment that you either excel or fail at.
Some things can just be hobbies.
And they should be fun.
And a great way to recharge yourself is to take some time off work and chores and focus on an activity you find fun and rewarding. It can be anything from painting to gardening, from playing piano to writing – anything you can practice every now and then to feel like you’re spending your time on something that matters to you and that makes you feel better.
And hey, if you’re currently pursuing a new hobby to latch on to, here are a few ideas – all of these can be practiced from home and even learned from the internet for either very cheap or completely free:
- Learning a new language
- Learning to sing
- Learning a new musical instrument
6. Create a meditation space
If you’re into meditation or simply want to try it, one of the first things you should do is to create an actual meditation space. Sure you could just sit anywhere, but having a proper space for meditation will help in always having your mind in the right place when you sit down to do it, and it’s by far one of the best ways to relax at home.
Even more importantly, meditation requires a quiet environment free of distractions – including visual ones. If you’re like me, any noise or movement can put you off a good meditation session, so make sure you have a proper place for it, even if it’s your bedroom or living room rug.
7. Make time for the kids
Maybe the kids won’t notice how bad the pandemic is – maybe for them being off of school is great… but usually at this younger age, it feels very strange to not be able to see your friends and not be able to go anywhere. For that reason, it’s important to make them comfortable at home, let them have a place and time to have fun, and participate in activities with you.
You can teach them new things like gardening, try fun outdoor activities in the backyard – anything to keep them happy and entertained while they can’t leave the house.
8. Take breaks to eat
My absolute greatest pet-peeve is people who don’t stop to eat. To be honest, I don’t even mind if you don’t eat on the table (which is already a pet-peeve for some people), but I find it unacceptable when I see people who keep working or trying to finish tasks while they’re eating.
It’s a very 21th century mentality – no time to lose, right?
Well, you should definitely rethink it. It doesn't matter how busy you think your life is, you can afford to take a 10-minute food break. Make it 15 minutes. Half an hour. You can afford it. Just take some time to sit down, listen to some music or watch a video you like and just eat.
Multitasking is sometimes necessary in life, but not all the time. Take a snack break!
Reading a good book is not exactly out of fashion but I feel like it’s severely underrated even to this day. In this age of constant screen glare, push notifications, and bite-sized sentences, you can do your brain a huge favour by feeding it something a bit more flavourful!
10. Color palettes
The job of color palettes here is to make everything look more organized and planned out, but there’s a secondary reason why they’re so useful: color psychology. You’ve probably heard of it before, but colors can subconsciously manipulate our emotions in subtle ways. Paint with bright and happy colors for a happy environment!
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