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Let’s face it, modern living can take its toll. All generations have had their crosses to bear from recession to the outbreak of world war, to both of those things in quick succession. In the past two decades we’ve endured a recession that wrought havoc on the property market. A war on terror that can never end. And myriad technological advancements which have changed the nature of how we do business. It’s been a mixed bag for sure. And while the 21st century has brought us marvelous opportunities, it has also brought us our fair share of stressors.
We can stream a vast catalogue of movies directly into our homes. We can pay for groceries with our cell phones. And we can video chat with people from other continents on the bus to work… But that doesn’t necessarily mean that our lives are easier. As technology becomes more sophisticated and commonplace, the criminal element continues to find new and inventive ways to use it against us. As cybercrime against businesses and individuals becomes proliferate.
The modern world throws a lot our way. Many of us are working harder and for longer hours than ever before. Corporations repress worker wages to protect their profit margins. Leaving us struggling to make up the shortfall. As inflation pushes the prices of day to day necessities ever so slightly beyond the reach of our wages. As such, many of us are working colossal amounts of overtime. Working second jobs or even developing a time consuming but potentially lucrative side hustle alongside our day jobs. In an age where work always seems to ask more of us than we can give, technology is a double edged sword. And threats seem to lurk around every corner. Is it any wonder that we find ourselves needing succor and sanctuary? Fortunately, there’s one place where we have always been able to get it… The home.
They say that your home is your castle. (Well, to be technical, the phrase says that an Englishman’s home is his castle but it’s just as true for men and women around the world). And for many of us, the home is exactly that. It’s a fortress within which we barricade ourselves against the outside world and the myriad anxieties that come with it. It’s a place where we can leave the troubles of work, politics and the economy at the door and concentrate on what matters. Quality time spent with the family and reflective moments of quiet solitude in the place you have chosen to make your own.
Yet, while the home is a place where we can (and should) feel safe, protected and relaxed, not all of us have a home that’s as conducive to relaxation and the relieving of stress as can be. Fortunately, there are a great many ways in which any home can be made a temple of relaxation. An impervious shield against the troubles and woes of the outside world. Whether you have the budget to make serious renovations or simply want to add a few flourishes that will aid mindfulness and rest. There’s an easy to implement solution for you.
WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME STRESS FREE AND MORE RELAXING
1. The secret powers of plants and flowers
Most of us have the odd houseplant and maybe get flowers every once in a while for special occasions. But plants and flowers should be a constant presence in your home. They are natural stress relievers. Oxygenating your living space while also filling it with their subtle natural perfumes. You won’t find that you need cloying plugin room deodorizers when you have these beautiful and fragrant companions in your home. If you work from home, it’s essential that you have some well placed plants in your home office space. These will aid concentration while relieving the stress of freelance life.
2. Let nature in
It’s commonly known that time spent amidst nature is conducive to mental health. Walking among trees, wading in streams or striding up mountains are a source of a serene sense of happiness. That’s why people who have access to luxury hotels still choose to go camping. But there’s no reason to stop inviting the benefits of the natural world into our lives as soon as we close the front door of our home. Using natural materials in your decor is proven to have a calming and soothing effect which aids psychological well being. Unfortunately, for the sake of convenience and financial savings, many of us have surrounded ourselves with cheap man made materials in our homes. These not only lack the aesthetic appeal of the natural world but lack the mental health benefits that come with it.
The good news is that there are myriad ways in which you can bring the soothing quality of natural beauty into your home, no matter what your budget.
If you’re thinking of making some serious changes in the kitchen or bathroom, for example. What better way to give the space a sense of heritage than with a marble counter top or bathroom sink from World Stone Group. Materials like marble, granite and quartz have a natural elegance to them. That makes them very visually appealing but there’s something special about their antiquity. These slabs of stone have seen ancient civilizations rise and fall and will still be here long after we’re all gone. There’s something magnificent about that.
Wood is another versatile natural material that can have a positive effect on our mental state. But we’re not talking about boring old plywood or *shudder* MDF. Driftwood is an easy and affordable material to source that can be transformed into beautiful home furniture with just a little imagination. Attach flat sheets of MDF to a large trunk of driftwood. And you’ve got yourself a corner shelf that will be a great talking point for visitors. Slice it down the middle and you have the makings of a gorgeous coffee table that’s full of character.
Even if you’re on a very low budget, you can still benefit from the visual, tactile and psychological benefits of natural materials. Even changing your bedding or your sofa’s accoutrement can make a difference. Many of us use bed sheets, duvet covers and sofa throws made of synthetic materials like polyester. Again, while these may be affordable, there’s a part of our subconscious mind that is ill at ease with materials like these. We have not evolved to understand the way they feel against our skin. As such they feel kind of… wrong. Swap these out for natural cottons and linens. You will sleep easier at night and have far more relaxing times on the sofa.
I wanna rock!
Of course, if your budget won’t stretch to new counter tops or bathroom suites, there are plenty of other ways to let nature into your home. If you like the positive energy that stones and minerals can bring to the home, consider saving some shelf space for gorgeous decorative rocks, crystals and geodes. Not only are they pretty to look at, exuding a serene sense of calm. They can even protect against EMF (Electro Magnetic Frequency) waves which are proliferate in today’s modern homes. Which are home to many electronic devices and can be potentially harmful to human health.
Compartmentalize your tech
There’s absolutely no denying that the technological wonders of the 21st century have benefited us as a species and have likely benefited you as an individual. Whether it’s enabled you to set up your own business or side hustle using ecommerce. Or enabled you to cultivate a following with your blog, YouTube videos or Instagram pictures. Or simply enabled you to keep in touch with far away relatives. But for all its wonders, modern technology can take its toll on our mental health when it encroaches too much on our day to day life. If you fail to get to sleep before 2am because you’re bringing your laptop or iPad to bed with you and bingeing Game of Thrones at night. This will inevitably take a toll on your psychological wellbeing.
Aside from the obvious source of distraction and lack of restfulness that this technology implies, electronic devices also radiate blue light. This blue light can throw off our body’s natural rhythms. Preventing us from feeling tired when we should be winding down for the day. It can also damage our vision and lead to muscular degeneration. Thus, you should designate no-go areas for technology (even your smartphone). These should be places where you can relax, rest and center your mind, free of the myriad distractions of technology.
Oils are essential!
Scent is an often overlooked but hugely important element of decor which you must embrace to create a truly relaxing and restful home. There are many essential oils which can be left in diffusers around the home to create a sense of restfulness and relaxation while also helping your home to smell really nice. Lavender is an obvious choice. Although its popularity among elderly ladies may not make it the perfect choice for millennial homes. Frankincense has a warm and spicy scent that is also very restful. And jasmine and ylang ylang are also great choices, especially for the bedroom.
Whatever your budget and whatever your time constraints, there are always ways in which you can help to make your home a stress free environment.