There are so many things happening in the world that are out of our control, and that can feel quite stressful and overwhelming for most of us. So in times of uncertainty, it can help to focus on areas of our life where we can bring in more calm and tranquility.
Our home environment has a huge impact on the way we feel. When it’s cluttered or chaotic, it can cause us to feel more stressed than relaxed under our roof, taking a toll on our mental health. But when we take small, realistic steps towards creating a space that feels like our very own oasis, we’re better able to relax even during the tougher times.
Rest assured that you don’t need new furniture, a professional interior decorator, or a water-front beach property to cultivate a home that feels restorative and soothing to you. We’re here to share some simple steps you can take so that you can find a little calm within your home.
6 ways to create a calmer home
- Define what calm is for you. Everyone’s idea of a soothing environment is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all formula here. Maybe you feel most relaxed in modern, minimal environments or maybe you love being surrounded by photos and objects that remind you of people and things you love. Do a little investigating into what types of spaces feel best to you and maybe try adding a few inspiring images to your Hope Board.
- Declutter your space. Constantly looking at piles of unopened mail or heaps of clothes that we “might wear someday” can cause us to feel disorganized and stressed. While doing a full spring-clean for your entire home may not be realistic, try starting with a manageable project like cleaning off the nightstand by your bed or purging one closet of items that you no longer need. I’ve found it helpful to keep a bag by the entryway of my home. My daughter and I fill it with items that we no longer want or need over the span of a month and walk them to a local donation center. Clearing out the clutter helps us to breathe a little easier at home, and passing on items to others feels good too.
- Consider setting up a designated relaxation area. Is there a small nook or chair in one of your rooms that could be used for a moment of reflection, meditation, making art, or cozying up with a feel-good book? Remember that this doesn’t need to be anything fancy. It’s simply a safe space for you to return to when you need some down time. I have a small floor cushion next to my bed that has become my go-to spot for a few minutes of journaling and meditation each morning.
- Create technology boundaries. We’re not here to tell you to banish technology from your home life. Our relationships and responsibilities often require us to be on our phones or other devices, but it can help to be more mindful of how and when we use them within our space. Unplugging from work and other responsibilities at the end of the day allows us to decompress, connect with those around us, and find a little more peace. One shift you can make is designating a certain area of the home or a specific time to be screen-free. Maybe it’s the dinner table, your bedroom before going to sleep, or the relaxation area we just talked about. Creating screen boundaries can lead to healthier routines and allow you to feel more relaxed at home.
- Bring nature in. Doing things like pulling up the blinds to let the natural line shine through, opening the window on a beautiful day to catch a fresh breeze, or adding plants to your space can have a huge impact on how you feel. If you don’t live in a home with a good amount of natural light, consider adding a natural light lamp to your space for a serotonin boost. Plants can help to clean the air and improve our mood. If you’re not such a green thumb, consider easier-to-maintain options like an aloe vera or snake plant.
- Utilize relaxing sounds and scents. Catering to our senses is a powerful way to transform your space. Whether you prefer ambient sounds like ocean waves or a feel-good playlist, filling a room with sounds you love can both relax and energize you. Tapping into scents you like, from a vanilla candle to lavender essential oils, can bring up happy memories and help you to feel more at ease within your home.
If this list feels overwhelming, just start with one small thing. Maybe it’s decluttering a table or lighting a candle. It’s all about doing something that feels good for you in your space. Taking steps towards creating a peaceful home environment can help us to both start and end our day with a greater sense of calm and ease.
By Katie Nave, Copywriter at Sanvello
Katie is a writer and mental health advocate living in Brooklyn, New York. Her essays have been featured in publications including Newsweek, Elle, Glamour, Business Insider, and Motherly. She has served as a producer for the National Women’s March and worked with organizations like Girls Inc. She is currently the Copywriter at Sanvello and you can follow her on Instagram: @kathryn.e.nave.