So much has changed in these past few years. The general appearance of the working world has taken on an entirely new identity, with nearly a quarter of Americans working remotely since the start of the global pandemic.
If you’re in this percentage, then you’re spending significantly more time at home. You might find yourself nitpicking your environment now that you’re spending more time in it–finding details of every size that you don’t like.
You might even come to realize that your space is not as relaxing as you’d once imagined. It’s never too late to fix it, and now could be the perfect opportunity to turn your home into the zen-filled space of your dreams.
Declutter Your Home to Declutter Your Mind
The most important step in creating a relaxing environment is to remove any potential stressors, mainly any mess or unnecessary clutter. Create a habit of starting your day by making your bed, followed by a ten-second-tidy of your space.
Pick up any laundry or other mess from off the floor, then wipe down your surfaces and sweep or vacuum. Making an effort to do this at the start of every day will both help you to maintain a cleaner, less stress-inducing space and will help your mind reset and prepare for each new day.
If you struggle with clutter, just remember the saying “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” Instead of throwing your keys on top of the first surface you stop at once you walk through the door, where you’re guaranteed to lose them, create a designated spot for them–either a dish by your entrance or a hook to hang them up on.
They will feel less like clutter if they aren’t just strewn about in a different spot every night. If, despite being organized and having a designated spot, your belongings still feel like clutter when they’re out in the open, then consider hiding them away.
Invest in a set of drawers or cabinets where you can tuck away anything that still feels like clutter–like video games or dog toys. Just be sure to pick something that fits in with the style of your space, otherwise, it will stand out and continue to be a source of stress.
The Power of Sunlight
You might have already known about serotonin–a hormone in the brain–and the role that it plays in regulating your mood and emotions, but did you know that sunlight can actually stimulate certain parts of your retina to cue your brain to produce more serotonin, making you feel happier?
An easy way to add more sunlight to your home is to upgrade your window treatments to a double curtain rod set, that way you can let light in through sheer curtains during the day, allowing you some privacy from passersby, and you can close your heavy curtains over the windows when you go to sleep at night, keeping sunlight from waking you up too early in the morning.
If you live somewhere where sunshine is rare, or you struggle to get sunlight during the winter months, then you might consider investing in a light therapy lamp. Light therapy has been proven to help in cases of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), where people become depressed during the winter when there’s less sunlight.
Light therapy lamps stimulate your retinas the same way that sunlight would, tricking your brain to produce more serotonin. It’s recommended that you keep your light therapy lamp nearby on your desk while you work, to combat the anxiety that can be caused by the blue light rays emitted from your computer.
Reconnecting With Nature
You might’ve heard about the recent movement of biophilic design, the use of natural elements in architecture and interior design. It’s believed that including natural elements in your space can help lower stress and boost your mood.
You can do this through the addition of more natural light, or plants, but biophilic design can be incorporated into your home through less obvious methods.
When selecting furniture or accent decor for your home, try to focus on finding pieces made of natural wood, stone, or leather. Look for decorative pieces in botanical prints to add a pop of color to your home in the form of a fun and relaxing pattern.
If you’re up for a bigger project, then consider replacing the carpets in your home with natural, hardwood floors. Hardwood flooring is much more versatile when it comes to interior design than carpet since hardwood floors can be dressed up with rugs to match your style.