Self care also includes your home. This is especially true during this time we are confined to our homes for long periods at a time. Let me explain why.
Our physical surroundings have an impact on how we feel. And how we feel impacts how we think and how we behave. Interior design is not just about pretty aesthetics. It can’t just be functional either. Good design takes into consideration how people should feel in that space.
This is why businesses spend a lot of money to create spaces that engage and influence their employees and customers alike. Just think about all the articles that have been written about Facebook, Apple and Google campuses.
Whenever I pitch Daakor to anyone, I always tell people to imagine walking into a lobby of a luxury hotel. It doesn’t matter what your journey there has been like. You may have had cancelled or delayed flights; or perhaps it took you days of travel to get there; but immediately upon entering that lobby, you will feel relaxed, and at ease.
You feel that way by design. Every detail from the accent chairs to wall coverings to flowers in the vases in that lobby, have been designed to evoke feelings of relaxation and calmness in you, while you’re in that space.
This is not just true for hotel lobbies. Everything from office spaces to government buildings to your favourite local restaurant makes you feel a certain way when you are in that space. It may be to make you more hungry in a restaurant or to focus on your tasks at work or make you want an item in a store. Chances are they designed it with that purpose in mind.
Now that you’re spending so much time at home, how do you feel in your home? Does it make you feel relaxed and at ease? Does it feel like a sanctuary?
If your home is not quite making you feel how you should, then consider some tweaks you can make to your surroundings, to help you feel more calm and relaxed during these trying times.
I’m not advocating on decorating every inch of your home while you’re working from home and home-schooling your kids along with everything else you have to do while we wait for this pandemic to pass.
However, there are a few things you can do quickly and without much investment, to help make your home into a refuge you deserve.
Make your bed everyday.
Experts agree that this is a habit that’s worth developing. Just google why you should make your bed and you’ll see lots of reasons including starting day off right and accomplishing your first task for the day! Who could argue with that!
Tidy your home on a regular basis.
In the era of COVID-19, keeping your home clean is a must. At our house, we tidy up daily at night before bed, by putting away anything that we may have taken out during the day. Because of COVID-19, we also wipe down all door handles, light switches and the like but I will admit we never did this on a daily basis before. We also adhere to a strict cleaning schedule where we do certain tasks on a weekly basis and others on a either bi-weekly or a monthly schedule. Keeping a simple schedule for your cleaning tasks with various frequencies will get you into a good habit and take the overwhelm out of cleaning your home.
Designate areas for work, study, eat, and play.
If you have read my article on LinkedIn on working from home, you know that I stress the importance of having a dedicated space for when you work at home. This could also be extended for other activities like play and study. Having dedicated spaces for these activities mean when you leave that area, it signals your brain that you’re moving onto a different activity or a different part of your day. It also helps you keep things clean as you can tidy up your spaces as you go through the day from one activity to another.
Add fresh flowers to your space.
I don’t know about you but I find fresh flowers in the house instantly lift my spirit. I noticed my neighbourhood grocery store is full of Tulip bunches at this time of the year and what better way to let spring into your home than that! Checkout this blog post that gives you some tips on how to add flowers to your space.
Adopt the practice of aromatherapy.
Smell is an important sense that should not be ignored when you want to make your home your refuge. Just as an example, as I type this article, my home is emanating with the smell of caramelized banana and maple syrup compote I made for breakfast this morning. I assure you that is not something that happens every day at my house but I do make a practice of using a diffuser on a regular basis. You can add a lovely smell to your home easily by baking some chocolate chip cookies or boiling some water with apples and cinnamon.
Embrace the Danish concept of hygge.
In Danish, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. Probably the most common example of hygge I’ve seen is basking in the warm glow of candle light. It can also mean, getting cosy in a corner with a good book and a hot cup of coffee. Essentially, I interpret it as doing things that make you happy around your home.
If you are up to doing some DIY work on your home, here are some ideas you can use to create a comfy, calming retreat of a home with a little bit of elbow grease.
Paint your home (one space at a time).
It’s no secret that colour has an impact on how we feel. Paint is also one of the most inexpensive ways to give your home an easy facelift. Use light, warm colours to create a feeling of coziness and cool, earthy tones to create a feeling of airiness in your space. Also, I said one space at a time to not make this task overwhelming but if you are up to painting a bunch of rooms in one go, all the more power to you! Check out our blog post on how to choose a colour palette, if you’re planning to do some painting.
Introduce more light into your home.
When you have the right light in your space, you are able to create a good ambiance and mood for that space. The most common issue I see in homes is that they don’t have enough lighting. A room should have layers of lighting ranging from a combination of ceiling lights to table lamps and floor lamps, that work together to create ample brightness for the room. The other issue I see is getting the right temperature of light to create the correct atmosphere. If your light emits a bright white light, you risk making your room feel too cold, almost like a factory.
Add plants into the mix.
We know that a walk outside is good for your well being. Bringing nature into your home is a no brainer for many reasons. Indoor plants are known to purify air, reduce stress and improve overall well being.
Create a gallery wall of your favourite people, places and memories.
We are all guilty of having countless photos stored on our phones, laptops and other devices. If you are like most people, I bet there are some blank walls around your home too! Buy some frames, print those photos and plan out a gallery wall that displays all of your favourites photos.