The last two years haven’t been easy for most of us. One way or another, we’ve been affected by COVID-related stressors. As things start to look up, our focus may shift away from ourselves to our jobs and family, but we still need to make some room for our own health. The best way to do this is by creating a calm and therapeutic environment by adding the following.
Photo by Jason Boyd
1. Start With the Foundation
Look around your living space, including the walls, windows, and doors, and think about what you could add or subtract from the room to make it more relaxing. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any room, but be sure to stick to a neutral colour. Whites, light greys, and beige tones reflect the light instead of capturing it, making the room feel airy and welcoming.
What about the drapes, artwork, and or shelves? Do they clutter up the room, or do they make you want to dive into your cosy, sectional sofa? Do they go with the rest of the house, or do they clash and stand out? When thinking about your new renovation project, consider how each piece flows, how these additions make you feel, and what purpose they have in your life.
2. Minimalism Over Clutter
Neutral colour schemes work best with neutral decor that has few elements. Some people thrive on clutter, but others feel oppressed in their own space, so it’s better to keep needed items, storage, and sentimental items over niknaks. Consider getting rid of things you never use or combining multiple items into one, like an entertainment unit over individual speakers or radios.
If you’re not ready to part with something, stick it in storage or a closed box. The less you have out, the less you have to clean, which will simplify your life in the long run.
3. Pillows, Rugs, and Blankets
There’s nothing cosier than snuggling up in bed with a bunch of pillows and warm blankets. Replicate that warm, fuzzy feeling throughout your home by adding accessories like cushions and throws across your chairs and couches. If you don’t have carpeted floors, buy floor rugs that feel great and warm up the room by insulating you from the cold linoleum or hardwood.
4. Stick to Natural Materials
Plastic furniture is cost-effective, easy to clean, and comes in many fun colours. While plastic has many positives, it misses out on the peace and positivity natural elements can bring. Furniture made from wood or bamboo has been known to relieve stress, make us feel calmer, and increase cognitive abilities. Plus, natural products tend to look better and last longer.
Synthetic products aren’t great for our overall physical health, as plastic can leach off toxic chemicals. The best calming spaces benefit our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
5. Plant Power
Adding plants to your home offers plenty of positive health benefits, including improved focus, productivity, and efficiency. A 2002 review of research on plants concerning illness concluded that patients with greenery in their rooms needed less pain medication and had shorter hospital stays than average, likely due to their stress-reducing properties.
Some plants can even improve indoor air quality. The rubber tree, Boston fern, and spider plant are all effective at removing toxins from the air, which can help you sleep and improve your mood. Place your plants in natural materials, like clay pots or wicker baskets, to get the most out of plant power. If you have wood or bamboo furniture, your plants will fit right in with your look.