Work, kids, money, the news…there’s no end to the things that can cause us stress in any given day. That’s why it’s essential that when we walk through our front door at the end of the day, our home welcomes us with a sense of calm and serenity—the safe, comforting place we can rely on no matter how crazy life gets.
Easier said than done? Not with these simple, clever strategies. Try a few of the following and your home will instantly take on a more peaceful vibe:
1. Dim the lights. Lighting immediately affects our mood, so avoid turning on your harsh overhead lights and opt for softer-lit table lamps instead. Or use your dimmer switches, if you have them, to keep the lighting at a lower temperature. You can also light a few candles or scatter fairy lights or lanterns in unexpected places.
There’s no need to wait for the holidays to use lighting in subtly creative ways.
2. Incorporate music. Connect bluetooth speakers in several rooms and choose the music that calms you or boosts your mood, whether it’s Mozart or Motley Crue. Music is a great way to turn off the noise of the day and help you unwind.
3. Use scent. A soothing scent sends triggers to your brain to relax, so find one that does the trick for you and make it part of your evening ritual—or morning, weekend, etc. Scented candles will do the trick, as will essential oils that work with a diffuser. Skeptical? Think about the last time you went to a spa; while the massage or facial probably felt great, the way the room smelled was probably a big part of the relaxation experience. So why not recreate a little of this right at home?
4. Add plenty of soft touches. To properly de-stress at home, we must feel ultra-cozy, and while comfortable furniture is a prerequisite, additional touches can go a long way, so be sure to have plenty of warm throws, plush toss and floor pillows, as well as ottomans for resting your weary feet. The idea is to make sure your home is a place that will embrace you with comfort.
5. Minimize technology. While your home may be replete with all the latest devices and smart home technology, be sure to carve out time—especially when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed—to put technology on hold. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, avoid the television, and spend time reading or journaling, or indulging in a forgotten hobby, such as painting or carpentry. In order to facilitate this type of tech-free time, make sure your home has an inviting space for such activities, i.e., an oversized chair with a reading lamp in a TV-free room, a workbench in the garage, or a drafting table in the spare room.