Home is where the heart is…we’ve all heard that saying but how often do we stop to ask ourselves what that really means?
For me ‘home’ is more than simply four walls, it’s a feeling. It’s the place you go to feel safe, to relax and recharge, it’s the place where you feel you can be 100% yourself…it’s your sanctuary.
Often during winter months, or challenging moments in our life, we can feel extremely low, un-inspired, and disconnected from those around us. To help move through these difficult moments, I find focusing on my home environment is key. Therefore I thought I’d share some of my favourite ways to make your home feel more like a sanctuary, and how incorporating these small changes can dramatically boost your sense of happiness and mental wellbeing.
Here we go…
Remove unnecessary clutter or items that cause you distress.
Now I know this one sounds super simple, but the thing is most of us know this but don’t follow through with it. Your home environment is where you relax and recharge, excess clutter does the complete opposite, it scatters your mind causing a sense of overwhelm, lack of focus, and stress. So to help calm your mind, take the time to go through items that are randomly lying around and causing pile ups, and reduce the un-ecessary by sorting through what you truly need and want.
I know this can feel daunting, so start small. Pick an area you want to work on (e.g. kitchen, bedroom, desktop), and then pick a sub-area within these to start with. For example, the pantry, your clothes draws, random piles of paper lying around. Go through each item and be honest with yourself – do you want or truly need it? Does it serve a purpose? If not, box it up and consider sending it to those who would benefit more from having it in their life, or if it is well and truly past its use by date BIN it (responsibly!!). If it does have a purpose/need/want where does it need to live in the house?
Starting small like this, gives you that sense of accomplishment, and is something you can come back to when it suits without turning the whole house inside out!
Bring the outside in.
I absolutely love being in and around nature. I feel grounded, re-energised, and it has a wonderful knack of bringing me back to the present if I’m feeling stressed or ruminating over something. It’s the same with my house – I love bringing the outside in. Whether it be scattering pot plants around, opening windows, utilising natural light, having a vase of freshly cut flowers on the table, incorporating natural tones and materials into my furniture/appliances, or simply putting images of nature on the walls… it instantly makes me feel at peace and helps me unwind. Studies also show that having plants in your home helps improve air quality by removing toxins, so it’s a win-win really!
Over to you: What is one natural element you could start bringing into your home this week?
Ensure you (and those you share your home with) are woven into the very fabric of your home.
This is by far my favourite consideration. You’re home environment is exactly that – ‘YOURS’, and it should represent you and the people that live there. Therefore, the first thing I ask is: ‘What do I want my home to say about me/my family, and the life I lead?’, and then I look at the different ways in which that can be communicated throughout the house. Whether it be framing some of my favourite pictures, having specific items that remind me of amazing experiences me and my partner have had, having family heirlooms on display, or simply placing things around that I like looking at or interacting with. The simple act of having these meaningful items around you boosts your happiness, and makes you feel more connected to loved ones and the positive experiences in your life.
Warm it up!
One of the key words people use when describing their ideal home environment, is ‘Warm’ – a place where they feel cosy. For me, being warm goes a lot further than simply having a heater or fire place, it’s about having things around you that make you feel warm inside and out. This includes colours, textiles, and scents. For example, I love having throws and big cushions around that I can cuddled up in and that bring a sense of softness to the room, poking twinkle lights in and around different parts of the house, bringing in a splash of colour that brightens up a space, and lighting scented candles. If your looking for a place to start with this, I recommend starting with smell and touch, as they are directly connected to your limbic system which dictates your emotional state, and helps balance out your moods. Some great scents to explore are citrus, jasmine, rosemary, or pine!