How to make your home feel more calm and relaxing amid the stress of Covid
There are few simpler pleasures in life than putting your key in the front door after a long, stressful day at work, and stepping into a clean, calm home, where you know you can plonk yourself down on the sofa with a cuppa and catch a few moments of peace and relaxation.
But over the past year, for many of us that simple pleasure has gone out of the window. Due to working from home and home-schooling, a quiet, clutter and stress-free environment is a long distant memory.
Hopefully some semblance of normality isn’t too far away, but whether you’re still working from home for the moment or trying to remember how to recreate that tranquil oasis you once enjoyed, here are a few simple top tips for making your home feel calmer and more relaxing.
Bring nature indoors
A touch of greenery and colour can lift any space. Your living room doesn’t need to resemble the Amazon rainforest, but a plant in each room will work wonders for the look and feel. Even the simple act of watering and nourishing a plant can have a calming effect.
You don’t have to be Alan Titchmarsh, but do take a few minutes to do a bit of research before heading to the garden centre. Work out where you might have space for a plant in your room and how much light and shade that area gets. You can then find a plant to suit, ensuring it survives more than a few weeks!
Tap into your senses
Our sense of smell is an incredibly powerful memory jogger. A particular scent has the power to transport you a whole world away from reality, which can be ideal at times of stress or unrest.
Find a scented candle or diffuser which perhaps reminds you of a particular holiday or a time from your youth – or even something as simple as cut grass to make things feel more summery. Pine, coconut or vanilla are wonderful, fairly neutral options, while lavender and cinnamon are also popular choices.
Tackle the dust-collectors
If there’s one thing that’s not conducive to calmness it’s ‘stuff’. Trying to relax on the sofa with a glass of wine and good book can be quite tricky when you look up and see piles of clutter on every surface.
A good clear out is always cathartic, so start there and once you’ve removed all the old letters and dried-out pens lying around, you’ll be in a much better place to begin organising what remains.
Find ways to keep things tidy and organised. Perhaps put that nice photo on the freshly cleared bookshelf instead of the coffee table, or buy a binder to keep all of your bills and receipts neatly tucked away.
Let there be light
Natural light goes a long way to lifting our mood. It may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many of us don’t make the most of it.
Try to avoid placing furniture in front of windows, or having too much clutter on windowsills. If privacy isn’t a problem, ditch the net curtains. There’s also a neat little trick you can employ of placing a mirror on the wall opposite a window, which will then reflect the natural light and sunrays across the room.
Create a space to escape
Not everyone has the luxury of a spare room to transform into a calm, wellness space full of candles, plants and yoga mats. But even a small corner of a room can be enough to escape for a bit of peaceful ‘me time’.
A snug chair next to a big window, a few comfy cushions and blanket can be just the ticket when it comes to that separation between home and work, allowing you to unwind and de-stress in peace.