Our lives are stressful. Whether it’s stress from work, school or community priorities there’s a good chance you experience some form of stress throughout the day. We can’t completely avoid stress, but we can set ourselves up ensure it doesn’t take over our minds and our bodies.
Your space at home should be your refuge from the stresses of your day, a sanctuary of sorts. Growing up my mother always referred to her room as The Sanctuary. I always felt this wave of tranquility when stepping through the threshold of her room, but it wasn’t until I was older and living on my own until I fully understood what she meant by The Sanctuary. My mother was a single mom with a stressful low income job but somehow held it all together so gracefully. Her sanctuary had a lot to do with her ability to hold on to that grace.
When you create a peaceful space at home you’re making the decision to set boundaries in your life. It allows you to leave whatever stress you endured throughout the day at your doorstep. By setting these work/ life boundaries you’re decreasing the chances of burn-out. Creating a more peaceful space isn’t about redecorating your home to look like a zenned out yoga studio. With a few simple changes you can easily increase the tranquility in your home.
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This one might be everyone’s least favorite on the list so let’s go ahead and get it out of the way. Your home doesn’t have to be spotless, but removing the excess clutter has a much more calming effect on the mind than you may think. For most people a cluttered environment induces stress, lack of focus, and lower self esteem. A cluttered space can clutter our minds and take a toll on our mental health. This article from WebMD goes into more detail about the effects of clutter on mental health.
Start by picking up things on the floor or tables that don’t belong there. Take an inventory of the things in your space. What makes sense? What doesn’t? We all have items that we no longer need or want in our homes. When decluttering a good rule of thumb is to only keep the things you truly love. You can sell your unwanted items on a marketplace app or donate them to a local church or shelter.
Make It Natural
Most of us sit under florescent lights all day. Research is now showing that extended exposure not only has negative effects on mental health, but also on physical health. The flicker of these lights has been shown to cause migraines, tics, and seizures in those who are sensitive to lighting. They can also stimulate stress in the body. Read more on this here.
Natural lighting not only helps balance stress levels, it also helps promote natural sleep patterns through the circadian rhythm in our bodies. Instead of turning on overhead lights open blinds and curtains in your home to allow a free flow of natural light inside. (Hello lower electric bill!) Once it begins to darken outside choose lamps with soft warm colored light. Table lamps and floor lamps with soft light bulbs set a peaceful ambiance to your living space. Keeping lots of overhead lights on until you get into bed triggers overstimulation and stress that interrupts proper sleep.
Add Some Green
Houseplants are an inexpensive way to add peaceful décor to your home. They help to ground us by bringing mother nature indoors. Even if you don’t have a green thumb you can reap the benefits of low maintenance plants like Pothos and Snake Plants. These are great for beginners and are very forgiving when it comes to surviving. A quick warning: houseplants can turn into a pretty incredible hobby. My grandmother gave me my first houseplant years ago (a Pothos) and it very quickly evolved into a hobby. This has resulted in about 35 plants around my house.
Houseplants help to purify the air in your home by releasing oxygen. A study in 2007 also found that houseplants help to reduce anxiety and depression. This article from Healthline goes much deeper into science backed benefits of houseplants.
Calm The Senses
We all love a home that smells good but many of the air fresheners in our home are toxic. The toxic chemicals in many of our beloved air fresheners are linked to negative effects on the central nervous system causing depression, dizziness, anxiety and migraines. Some studies have also shown changes to hormone levels.
Aromatherapy with essential oils is the best way to calm the senses and refresh the scent of your home. Essential oils have been used for hundreds of years as ancient medicine. Making this change is as easy as replacing the plug-ins in your home with an oils diffuser in each room.
Make sure you are buying high quality oils for your home. The brand I trust most is Eden’s Garden. It’s not an mlm like many other oil companies and it’s owned and operated by females. If you’re a beginner to oils their Relaxation Set is a great starter set for your home, but my personal everyday home oil is their Tranquility Blend.
Aromatherapy for your home is not just about the scent of essential oils calming your mind it’s also about purifying the air in your home.
Tech Free Zones
The overstimulation we are exposed to throughout the day can be one of the highest triggers for stress. You may not even realize how much the stimulation from tech is effecting you. Modern technology is not bad, it’s how much of it we are consuming everyday that’s bad for our health.
Make an effort to set up some boundaries with technology every afternoon. Whether it be time slots or rooms in your home that are tech free. Our rules at home involve no tech at meal times, no tech an hour before bed, and keeping the bedroom completely tech free.
Creating a peaceful space doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. All you need is a little dedication and mindfulness. It may take some time to adjust to some of these changes, but within time you may be surprised to find how much of an impact these simple changes can have on your overall happiness.