If there’s one thing we could go for less of, it’s stress. Most Americans suffer from some type of stress, whether it be moderate or severe. Recent studies have reported that concerns relating to money, work, and the economy have been major factors in the rising epidemic of stressed out Americans.
Stress isn’t only affecting working adults, it’s also affecting children. Besides their own worries relating to school and social anxieties, their parents’ building stress is looming on them, too. The last thing you want to worry about at the end of the day is coming home to an environment that makes all of your household’s stress even further amplified.
The good news is, there is a lot of power in interior design. By taking a few simple steps, you can turn your home into a stress-free sanctuary for a relaxing end to your days.
Start with the right foundation
Before you even pick a house that you want to turn into your home, you should be very intentional about your selection and be sure it won’t become a cause for increased stress. If you’re used to a more quiet, rural lifestyle, living in a busy city or even just on a busy street could be a challenge for you. The loud noises and bright lights at night will keep you up, and the more sleep deprived you become, the more stressed you will be.
If you choose a fixer upper that requires a ton of work, the added stress of broken appliances, improper structures, and dealing with scheduling all of the needed upgrades could also be detrimental. Before you ever choose a home, be sure to ask yourself all the right questions. Is the location right for you? Are you shooting for something that will end up out of your budget? Starting off on the right foot will be critical to the happiness of your household.
Clear out your clutter
Science has told us that mess causes stress. The excess stimuli in our brain field is simply too much to handle. Seeing clutter around the house can subconsciously stress us out as we process the increasing length of our to-do lists. Clutter can also make us feel guilty for not being productive, frustrated when we have trouble locating items, and road-blocked when we try to activate our creativity.
Take five minutes each day to do the small tasks that are necessary to keep your home clutter-free. It’s as simple as picking up shirts, toys, or other items laying around the home, washing those dishes that have piled in the sink, and taking a moment to dust off your countertops or other high-traffic surfaces. This will be an easy fix that helps clear out your home and mind.
Avoid hectic patterns
Combining multiple noisy patterns won’t mesh well in the home. To keep your cortisol levels low, keep your decor simple. If you want to use a funky wallpaper, pick one wall to have as an accent wall rather than overwhelming the room. When you’re dying for some polka dots and stripes in your decor, keep it simple in the accent pieces rather than using them for the larger theme. The more patterns you start mixing up, the more you will start to nag your anxiety. Stick with neutral color schemes and you’ll help create a sense of calm in your home.
Optimize your bedroom
We spend one-third of our lives in our bedrooms, so they should be somewhere we can fully relax and get the rest we need. Take a toll of your bedroom and evaluate the areas where you could improve your design. Start with your sleeping structure. Do you have a bed that makes you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud or is it more of a nightmare? Replace your bed with one better suited for your sleeping style so you can sleep easy all night long.
Next, think about the feng shui. According to ancient Chinese rules, your bed belongs in a place where you can see the door but shouldn’t be directly in line with the door. It should also be easily approachable from both sides and have a bedside table on each side. Here are a few more quick tips to help you give your bedroom the re-adjustment it needs:
- Leave out the technology – no TVs, computers, or exercise equipment
- Keep with the IAQ clean with an air purifier
- Choose a paint color on the “skin tone spectrum” ranging from pale white to a rich brown
- Use several levels of lighting between candles and lamps
Spruce your place up with some greenery
When in doubt with your decor, you can never go wrong with a few plants. Using plants in your decor not only helps liven up your place, but it also helps eliminate toxins and pollutants in your IAQ. With cleaner air, you’ll be able to breathe easily and be at ease. For the most relaxing plants, choose Aloe Vera, English Ivy, and rubber trees. Each of these plants will help to purify your air and put your mind more at ease.
Let in more light
Sunlight helps boost our moods and bring us out of our funks. If your home is usually dark and lacks natural sunlight, you may start to feel your mood being affected. Humans weren’t made to live in dark caves away from the sun.
Your home may have originally not been designed with this in mind, and your windows could be on sides of the house that don’t see the sun. Consider having a consultation to add or replace your windows. Bigger windows that allow for more sunlight to enter can make a big difference in the energy of your home.
Appeal to your senses
For your highest level of comfort and relaxation, choose decor items that appeal to more than one of your senses. Start with sight. Do your art pieces bring you joy, or do they drag you down? Dark, dreary paintings have got to go. Replace them with a sunny landscape or blow up an image of a place that holds a special memory in your heart.
Next think about your textures. Couches, blankets, pillows, and carpets all receive a lot of traffic and can become rough and run-down after a while. Consider switching these out to start fresh. When it comes to hearing and smelling, find what calms you. Music and aromatherapy have both proven to have calming effects, you just have to find your favorite tune and scent.
When you start from the bottom and revamp your home all the way to the top, you’ll be able to turn your house around into a cozy, stress-free sanctuary that you can’t wait to return to at the end of the day.
About The Author:Laurie Larson is a freelance writer based in NC who writes on home and lifestyle topics.
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