- There are easy ways to make your home feel like a more calming space for relaxation.
- We spoke to therapist Mark Loewen, cleaning expert Melissa Maker, and interior designers Annie Santulli and Artem Zverev about small changes you can make to your home to make it feel calm.
- These experts recommending decluttering, adding plants, and turning off electronics like TVs to prepare your space for relaxation, among other things.
- Here are seven simple things I did to make my home feel like a more relaxing space that you can do, too.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
We can’t control many things in our lives, but we have some control over how we set up our home, therapist Mark Loewen told Insider.
We spoke with four experts about how to prime your home for relaxation, and they gave us seven simple tips for doing just that.
Here’s what a therapist, a cleaning expert, and two designers think about making your home a more calming place, from decluttering to opening the blinds.
1. Set a timer and declutter your most stress-inducing space.
Having a clean, clear space sets the stage for you to be calm, Melissa Maker, cleaning expert and founder of Clean My Space, a Toronto-based house cleaning service, told Insider.
“When I’m in my messy state of mind, I’m never calm – I’m agitated, frustrated, but when I take the time to do the work, I can be so much more relaxed in my space,” she said.
Mark Loewen, therapist and founder of Launchpad Counseling, told Insider that clutter gives our minds more visual information to process.
“By freeing up space, you are giving your mind a break, too,” he said.
Once you’ve identified the most stress-inducing part of your home, Maker said to be sure to notice the clutter in the space that you may see past on a daily basis.
Then set a time limit for how long you’ll spend cleaning it and turn off your phone’s notifications to stay focused.
As you clear the space, you can work from top to bottom and left to right to stay on task.
2. Make things that calm you easy to access.
If you don’t have time to declutter, Loewen says you can quickly start to feel more relaxed by making calming things in your home more accessible.
For example, “if you like lighting candles, keep a lighter right next to them,” he said. “This way lighting a candle doesn’t require a trip to the kitchen.”
3. Bring some plants into your space.
Consider adding plants, Loewen says, because studies show that just looking at nature has a calming effect on our brains.
4. Open the blinds to see outside and let in natural light.
For the same reason, Loewen encourages people to open their blinds while they are inside. “If you’re working from home, consider sitting in a spot where you can look outside,” he said.
Interior designer Annie Santulli told Insider that one of the most important visual ways to reduce stress is by adding natural light.
“I suggest using soft, bright, translucent window coverings to allow as much natural light in every room,” she said.
4. Pay attention to how electronics make you feel, and then turn off the stress-inducing ones.
Loewen suggests turning off the TV when you’re not watching, and pay attention to how the noise of the TV makes you feel, especially while watching the news – does it make you feel stressed or calm?
If it makes you feel stressed, Loewen recommends swapping out TV for calming music.
5. Fill the room with pillows and blankets.
Santulli recommends surrounding yourself with soft fabrics in your home.
“I like to add a faux fur or velvet throw blanket,” she told Insider. “You can wrap yourself in it and have a soothing way to occupy your hands.”
Throw pillows can be calming too, she said.
7. Divide your space into sections for different activities.
Artem Zverev, co-founder of the architectural and design studio YoDezeen, recommends separating your space into different sections for different uses.
“This approach will compensate for the lack of social activity,” he said.
Dividing up your space doesn’t have to be a difficult process – I pinned a tapestry to my ceiling to transform half of my bedroom into a home office.
- Read more:
- I’m a reporter who’s going to be working from my Brooklyn apartment for at least the next 6 months. Here’s exactly how I rearranged my bedroom to make it work as an office.
- 7 therapist-approved tips for making the most of a mental health day while your home is also your office
- 2 couples who have turned vans into tiny homes share how to make a tiny space feel big enough to live in
- A Texas man bought an old ambulance from a landscaping company for $US4,500 and spent $US10,000 converting it into his dream tiny home. Here’s how he did it.
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