As Oprah Winfrey once said, “Your home should rise up to meet you as you enter it.” In a way, your home is like a member of the family. It’s where lasting memories are created and the place you should feel most free to be yourself. If you’re not surrounded by a sense of calm each time you walk through the door, you might want to consider these practical tips and relaxing routines for at home.
All day long, you’re rushing from one task to the next. Slowing down? That might have to wait until you’re back home. But how can you make sure your house can inspire relaxation and that much-needed time to unwind once you’re there? Your home is a reflection yourself, so it’s best to fill it with the things you love. Because when you’re surrounded by an atmosphere that brings you joy, emotional and physical well-being aren’t far behind. We share practical ways to upgrade your home’s relaxation factor and recommend some practices for living more soulfully.
Relaxation upgrade #1: Feng shui for beginners
Chances are you’ve already heard about this Chinese organisational philosophy, but have you ever thought of applying it to your own environment? Feng shui is all about balance between the elements (fire, earth, metal, water and wood) and isn’t nearly as complicated as it might sound. For example, if you often feel yourself getting stressed, feng shui suggests that you install a water feature, because water represents relaxation. But it’s also flexible: if your living room can’t accommodate something like this, try painting an accent wall in soothing blue for a similar effect.
Relaxation upgrade #2: Wabi-sabi your way to peace
Imperfection is perfection: that is the core principle behind wabi-sabi, a Japanese concept that inspires you to find beauty in things that are aged and/or flawed. “Wabi” means simplicity and humility and “sabi” means the passage of time and beauty of age. Next time you notice a small crack in a vase, don’t get stressed—appreciate that the vase has a history and a beautiful story behind it. Not everything needs to be repainted and renewed.
Relaxation upgrade #3: Embrace the lighter side
Light has a tremendous impact on our biological rhythms, so how you light your home is important. Getting as much natural light into your home as possible has been connected to higher productivity and better sleep. So, open those curtains and save the darkening ones for the bedroom, because natural light is healthy and good for the soul.
Relaxation upgrade #4: Nature inside and out
Do a quick scan of your house: how many plants do you see? Houseplants are not only a lovely interior design touch, they can also help detoxify your home. When the weather cooperates, gardening can be an excellent way to live with more intent as well. Any attempt at bringing a bit more nature into your daily life will yield positive results.
Relaxation upgrade #5: Create a space for your favourite hobby
You have a room dedicated to sleeping, a room dedicated to eating—why not create a place devoted to your favourite activity? If you’re an avid reader, choose a cosy corner, buy the comfiest chair you can find and light the area well. Are arts and crafts more your thing? Make a space to store and practice all your handiwork. Even when you’re not using it, just knowing it’s there and waiting for you is enough to help you unwind.
Now that you have a few ideas about fixed things you can do to make your home more relaxing, here are some home routines you can incorporate to ensure you’re getting the most out of your down time at home.
Recommended routine #1: Take the time to eat a healthy and delicious meal
We’re all guilty of treating our kitchen like a snack shop now and then. Open the fridge, select junk food and veg out on the couch. But taking the time to cook a healthy meal and truly savour it is so much better for our well-being. So, use your kitchen and your dining room for more than just a quick pit stop or a place to put your laptop. While eating, pay attention to all the senses: how your food smells, how each ingredient tastes and the pleasant feelings the meal evokes. Don’t just have dinner, have an experience.
Recommended routine #2: Let scent be your lullaby
When you have trouble sleeping, a bedtime routine can help. Because fragrance has an enormous impact on our mood and well-being, try lighting a scented candle with a calming scent on your nightstand before bed. The fragrance will help send a signal to your brain that it’s time for sleep.
Recommended routine #3: Unclutter and unwind
Your house is clean, but is it uncluttered? Sparkling floors and windows are nice, but if you have lots of unnecessary things lying around, this can make you feel overwhelmed. Are you really going to read that magazine that’s been sitting there for 3 months? Take a cue from organisational master Marie Kondo and take inventory. If you have no use or emotional connection to something in your home, give it away or bin it. Doing this on a regular basis will really cut down on the clutter and make you feel like your house is filled only with things that actually mean something to you.
Recommended routine #4: Music is the answer
Much like scent, music has the power to influence our mood. Sometimes, just putting on your favourite track is enough to make you feel more at peace. And if you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve created a special Spotify playlist filled with songs by laidback artists such as Jack Johnson and Laura Markling to get you started.
Recommended routine #5: Schedule some do-nothing time
Here’s the honest truth: as much as we might feel pressured to make every moment productive, there’s value in simply doing nothing for a while. To slow down, take a step back and just live in the moment. This can mean anything from taking a luxurious spa-quality bath to watching the birds fly about in your garden. Whatever you choose, remember that you’re not actually doing nothing; you’re using the time to recharge for the future.