Stress blights our lives. It is a product of a busy life and although a certain level of stress can fuel us on to bigger and better things when it is out of control, it swamps us.
How do you create a home environment that reduces stress and dampens anxiety?
Here are five top tips…
Tip 1 – Give yourself every chance of being able to store stuff away
‘Stuff’ accumulates. It can be seemingly random items clustering together at key places in our home. This doesn’t create the relaxed space we are looking for. It leads to a lot of clutter in the eye line and is far from the welcoming atmosphere we want when we arrive home.
Storage solutions need to be…
- Practical – from shoe racks at the front door to small baskets to hold smaller items, any storage solution needs to offer a practical solution.
- Suitable – for some items, a box with a lid is essential, for others, a pretty basket may work, or shelving… as well as practical, it needs to be an appropriate and suitable solution too.
- Accessible – and finally, if you cannot easily access items, the storage solution, whether it is a box in a cupboard or a shelf in the hallway, just won’t get used. It needs to be easy to use and to grab things from.
Tip 2 – Focal points that lift the spirits
The hallway is an important space in any home, from the bachelor pad to the family home. It is the space that you and anyone else first see when they walk in.
But it is a transient place, somewhere we don’t linger and this causes sparsity in our attention to detail in the hallway. It can lack colour, depth and texture and so if you don’t try this tip anywhere else in the home, try it in the hallway.
Create a feature wall, enjoy a patterned wallpaper that you love or invest in a piece of artwork or a wall accessory such as a mirror for this important space – but it needs to make you smile!
Tip 3 – Structure a space
When you dress a room, on what criteria do you decide to include furniture in it? Why is it you choose that particular colour of rattan corner sofa for the conservatory, or why you have the fitted bookshelf in the bedroom?
Sometimes, we add things because we think they should be there like the rattan corner sofa is a staple of the conservatory or the bookshelves in the bedroom. But unless it services your need, it is not adding structure to a room but detracting from it.
In other words, structure rooms so that they suit your needs for that space. If you read in the bedroom or have a collection of rare books, then a fitted, bespoke designed bookshelf makes sense. Or if you use the conservatory as social space, the rattan corner sofa makes sense but less so if you want to use it as formal dining room…
Tip 4 – Hold back on bold colours and patterns
Big, bright colours may be ‘cheery’ but they can also be too much, exacerbating your anxiety and stress, Lighter colours can make a space feel cold and so layering patterns is a way of adding depth, texture and detail…
But all these things combine to create a less than restful space, right when we need it most. Use fewer patterns and take care with your choice of colours – what feels relaxing to you?
Blues are known to lower blood pressure, green is great for creativity but also relaxing and calm and a light yellow helps to lift your mood to a sunnier disposition but what about other colours and their effect on mood?
Tip 5 – Textures are key
As you relax back onto the sofa, a chilled glass of your favourite tipple in hand, what do you want to physically feel around you?
Maybe it is the softness as you stroke the cat or the deep pile of a shaggy wool rug in-between your toes… texture and what we physically feel against our skin is important to allow the mind, body and soul to unwind.
Softer textures work wonders, as does feeling warm when it is cold, and cool-to-touch fabrics when it is warmer. Add layers of wool throws to your sofa or your bed, don’t rule out deep pile shaggy cushions and rugs either.
Your home should envelop you as you arrive home, soothing the stresses and strains of the day. Does your home do that?