Just like people, every home has its own quirks and sometimes, we just need to give it some extra TLC to bring out the best of it – and us
After a day full of meetings, there’s nothing quite like the euphoria of putting a podcast on, collapsing on your sofa and unbuttoning the top of your jeans. We house-proud Brits spend 92 percent of our time indoors, eating, sleeping and recharging (both our devices and our minds), so creating a space that we feel safe and comfortable in should be a top priority. With the help of psychologist and wellness expert Emma Mills, we’ve got a few simple tweaks that will make your home a place of zen for both you, and your family.
1. Let the light in
It’s a self-care cliché, but there’s nothing quite like treating yourself to a candle. They are scientifically proven to soothe us and, for true Hygge vibes, they’re best placed in the feng shui areas of south, southwest, northeast and the centre of your home. Candle lovers can get a subscription box from Halcyon Naturals for just £30, and receive different classic candle scent every month (halcyonnaturals.com). In other areas of the house, you’ll need to be mindful of the light that you let in. For your bedroom, it’s worth investing in blackout blinds to help the brain secrete melatonin.
2. Create a no-tech plan
Apart from distracting you from the real world (we’re looking at you, Instagram), your phone can disrupt your sleep pattern and make you feel more anxious. Keep your laptop in a room where you can shut the door, and dedicate a drawer for phones. Making it a rule that everyone needs to store them there during mealtimes so you can talk to one another can help strengthen relationships and boost the mood of the entire household.
3. Refresh your air
Air diffusers and essential oil diffusers have the ability to speed-up the unwinding process after the end of a long day. Scents such as chamomile, lavender and clary sage can help with sleep and relaxation, but diffusers aren’t just good for helping you de-stress, they can also help you to perk-up. Using oils, such as sweet orange, jasmine, rose, scotch pine, sandalwood and vanilla, can help to lift your mood. Feeling a little congested? Reduce inflammation and clogged airways with essential oils such as peppermint, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus. Find oils such as chamomile, orange, lavender (and plenty more) at thepsychictree.co.uk
4. Bring the outdoors in
While you may like to display your green prowess with a windowsill full of succulents, your partner may prefer a lofty looking cheese plant that resides in the downstairs toilet. The good news is that almost any type of houseplant can help to make us feel happier. “Researchers have shown that just looking at pictures of nature can improve your mood,” says meditation and wellness expert Emma Mills, working with thejoyofplants.co.uk. “And in the home, there is a 37 percent reduction in tension when houseplants are introduced.” From boosting your mood to lowering stress, there’s nothing quite like a bouquet of colourful blooms to elevate your home. Try Monstera, Devil’s Ivy and Asparagus Fern. These indoorfriendly plants are easy to care for and will inject a sense of the outdoors. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the leaves of the plant, the better for creating a calm space, so opt for big, leafy varieties when you next browse your local garden centre.
5. Tidy up
It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but clutter can make even the brightest and wellfurnished of rooms seem depressing. Rather than trying to keep your home as mess-free as possible, it’s better to allow areas for clutter – especially if you have children. Having a homework table, or a box in the entrance way of your home where they can throw book-bags and backpacks, means that the clutter you do inevitably have is more controlled, and you avoid those mad-mornings before the school run – bonus!
6. Shape your energy
You may not be the spiritual sort, but understanding the energy of individual crystals can help generate those all-important good vibes. Crystals that help to express positivity and serenity work well in your living room, or communal space. If you’re a first-time crystal buyer, then go for selenite, which is good for cleansing and bringing light into the home, or apophyllite, which is best for soothing nerves (engerymuse.com). Amethyst also works as a stress-relieving crystal, so it can help soothe frazzled nerves – ideal for teenagers who are feeling the stress of impending exams. But, the crystal you can add to any room of the house? Rose quartz is a good all-rounder as its properties encourage self-love and self-care.
7. Correct your colours
Colour therapists, also known as chromotherapists, believe that different colours correspond with different vibrations throughout the body and that if your vibrations are askew, then you can restore and re-balance it by fixing the colour palette of your home. A study, conducted by the hotel brand Travelodge, analysed 2,000 bedrooms across the UK, showed that muted blue was one of the best colours, and considered the most conducive to sleep (travellodge.co.uk). Warm tones like reds, oranges, and earth tones like brown and beige are best for the living room for warmth and comfort. In the kitchen you should try and opt for bright colours, like a soft yellow, which is easier on the eyes and helps to reflect light in poorly lit rooms. Not got the cash, or the time, to start a decorating project? Use furnishings, such as plants, paintings, throws and cushions to add colour, or create a feature wall to showcase the colour of your choosing.