We’re sure, like us, many of you spend most of your time outside your home rather than inside it – and we’re not talking about being in the garden :-). Indeed, a new study has found that people in the UK work the most hours in Europe, at an average of 42 hours a week. So with more and more time being spent in the office or wherever your place of work is, how can you find the time to relax and unwind?
Below we’re going to try to give you some starting points, and the best place to begin looking for this R&R is your home. Your home should be your refuge from the world at large. A place of peace, harmony and happiness. And if you don’t feel as though your problems melt away when you walk through the door, it’s time to take steps to make your home happier…
1. Keep clutter at bay
Clutter is a natural consequence of the way we treat shopping as a hobby or a leisure activity. Every time we spend a rainy Saturday afternoon at a shopping centre rather than a gallery, museum or even a cinema we can wind up with so many belongings that they stop bringing us pleasure and become clutter.
Clutter is the enemy of domestic harmony. It’s visually distracting, its presence can bring added stress in terms of how the home operates and it can even make us feel alienated and unwelcome in our own home.
Your home belongs to people, not things. Go through each room and embrace your inner Marie Kondo. Find and keep items that bring you pleasure (or “spark joy”) and donate the rest to charity or stick it on eBay and make yourself a few pound.
2. Hang artwork and photos that make you smile
While we don’t advocate overcrowding your walls (this, again, can be visually distracting and an impediment to restfulness) that doesn’t mean that they should be left bare for the sake of minimalism. Hang photos and artwork that make you smile, remind you of happy times or simply bring you happiness by way of their aesthetic beauty.
What’s more, take the time to look at them. Explore the little details and minutiae. Take the time to engage with what makes them special. Don’t take them for granted.
If you aren’t a fan of hanging photos and paintings around your home then why not consider a table with some of your favourite family snaps. This is something we have done in our home and it really does make us smile every time we walk past. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest impact on our home!
3. Take aroma round the house
Avoid plugin room deodourisers and tacky sprays. These are terrible for the environment and flood your home with potentially harmful chemical particulates. Instead, apply essential oil diffusers to each room in the home.
Scent and aromatherapy can make your home an even more pleasurable space in which to spend time. Use a nice warm scent like sandalwood or wild orange for the living room. Use peppermint and citrus scents for home offices to aid concentration and make you feel calmer while working.
If you’re having trouble drifting off at night, lavender or sweet marjoram are great for aiding restful sleep while jasmine or rose oil can make your nights in with your significant other extra romantic.
4. Get as much natural light as possible
Natural light is possibly one of the most powerful and important natural mood boosters available. It makes your home even more beautiful, allowing you to appreciate every little nuance of colour and texture while filling you with an enormous sense of wellbeing.
No matter whether you own or rent your home and whatever your preferred style of decor there are always measures you can put in place to get more natural light. Whether you get builders in to install glorious new windows to flood your living space with natural light or whether you simply eschew heavy curtains or drapes for a blind that lets more light in, you can always find ways to reap the benefits of natural light.
It’s the free natural resource that nobody can get enough of (especially at this time of year). Don’t forget that mirror are also useful for bouncing back natural light and making your living space feel airier and more spacious.
5. Don’t be afraid of colours
Finally, even if your decorative tastes veer more towards the minimalist, you shouldn’t be afraid to add a splash of colour here and there. Colours have a potent effect on our psychology, and it’s easy to underestimate just how effective they can be in elevating our moods.
Yellows can make us feel brighter, sunnier and more cheerful while blues and greens can imbue us with a sense of calm. You don’t have to daub these colours all over your walls. Simply adding a splash of colour to soft furnishings like cushions and throws or even through liberal use of house plants can add a dash of colour and cheer to your living space.
If you can’t be happy at home, how can you expect to be happy anywhere else!
Got something to add?
How do you ensure your home remains a happy home and somewhere to escape the hustle and bustle of your working life? Share your top tips with us by commenting below.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial and Lewis.