Stress is the ultra-toxin. It brings with it a whole host of physical, mental and emotional problems into our lives. We use the word “stress” to describe every painful, frustrating, irritating, sickening and otherwise ugly thing that happens in our day. Stress builds upon itself like a vicious cycle. Working long hours because you have so much to do and not enough hours to do it is stressful. Not sleeping because you are over-thinking and over-tired becomes more stressful. Now, you have over-slept and don’t have time for your morning routine not to mention breakfast, and the stress keeps piling on and on. If you have no refuge from stress, no calm space to go where you can unwind, the stress cycle becomes really hard to break. We all need a quiet place to meditate, take a nap, read, sleep well and eat a quiet dinner, yet these simple things can get pulled into the stress vortex, too. If you can take some of the stress out of your home, you will take stress out of your life. We need a place that is a safe in the storm, a place to be comfortable with ourselves and the great news is if we can purposefully unwind the stress in our homes, we might be amazed at how our lives can calm down too.
- First before we can really do anything, our homes need to be clean. A stressed home is full of noise, lacking comfort, because of overly cluttered spaces and unkempt rooms. This can quickly completely drain you of the excitement you feel when you have finally made it home for the day and defeat the purpose of what our homes are supposed to do for us. Staring at unfinished projects and mounds of good intentions only serves to add more pressure and stress after we have already maybe had a very full day of it. So take the weekend if its needed to really deep clean and purge as many spaces as possible, cut your losses on some of those unfinished projects and plan to start fresh and clean. You will be amazed at what this alone can do for your mental clarity.
- Secondly, consider adding an oil diffuser for aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being. The inhaled aroma from these “essential” oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum. It is used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function. There are a wide number of essential oils available, each with its own healing properties. (source) I personally have an oil diffuser in my kitchen, my office and my bedroom because it gives me such joy to have beautifully smelling spaces in my home. I use them to cleanse and purify the air, and to add sweet pleasing aromas throughout the house.
- Decorate in blue. Famously calming and peaceful, blue can have very different effects on a room depending on its temperature. Designers often like warm blues in social spaces, like the living room, the kitchen, or the dining room. Shades known as cool blues―like cobalt, turquoise, and ice blue―have yellow in them and tend to recede, or back away, which can help a small space look bigger. Color experts explain that cool blues encourage calmness (which is nice for a bedroom) and focus (say, in a home office). Sometimes cool blues can go a little further and be cold. But in a bathroom, where you want a crisp, clean vibe, that can be a good thing.
- Add a water element. Even just a small amount of running water anywhere but the bathroom or bedroom will create calm and build momentum. There is no better way to bring the energy of water element to your home than with a fountain. A good fountain or water feature will not only create better energy in your space; it will also calm and refresh your own energy.
- Use Curtains and Low Lighting Did you know that the light in your home (or anywhere else, for that matter) can have an effect on our emotions and our moods? Curtains are softer and more fluid, and often thicker and more substantial than most blinds or shades. When we see soft textures, we feel “softer.” This translates into less tension, rigidity and stress. Differences in intensity of light affect home design. A good interior designer will be able to add ambience in different rooms with lights and window treatments. When soft light is used, shadows are reduced and there is a restful feeling.