With offices reopening and kids back in school, now is the perfect time to finally return home to its original purpose: a place for much needed R&R.
Step 1: Combat clutterThe old adage holds true: A cluttered space is a cluttered mind.
The number one cause of concern for a stressful home is mess. And when juggling kids, pets and hectic schedules, it can often feel impossible to keep at bay. Experts agree, however, that challenging oneself to stay organized can be the solution to many other physical and emotional stressors.
Step 2: Soothe the sensesActivating – and calming – the senses is an integral aspect of curating a uniquely tailored, relaxing living environment.
To start over with a clean canvas, Carrington suggests creating resting space for the eyes with a new coat of paint in a pale or neutral color on interior walls.
Scent, through the form of aromatherapy, triggers old memories, creates new ones and can provide unparalleled ambience. According to the Sleep Foundation, evidence suggests that scent associated with positivity may even be able to aid in better sleep patterns.
Step 3: Practice mindful livingThe physical elements of a home can help only so much in terms of how a person functions in their space. It’s the culmination of mindset, actions and intentions that determine their true ability to rest and relax. This is where the art of practicing mindfulness comes in.
In its most basic form, mindfulness is the practice of being present and aware. It is a type of meditation in which a person is conscious and patient with the world around them. In practice, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has become a widespread method of reducing stress and negativity from daily routines and reshaping an outlook on life. The practice, though rooted in the mind, can make an impact on how someone interacts with their home.
6 Ways to Be Mindful at Home
1. “Set an intention when you wake up before your feet even hit the floor. Take a few deep breaths and just say, ‘Something great is going to happen today,’ even if you don't know what that great thing will be.”
2. “Make your bed. This is such a mood-boosting habit to get into that sets a great tone of productivity for your day.”
3. “Try to eat mindfully. Take the time to truly appreciate your meal by eating it purposely. Remember, mindfulness is about being on purpose and being aware with acceptance and compassion. So often we will be in a hurry to eat and get distracted, and not notice that moments later our food is all gone. We may not be able to do it for every meal, but when we can, appreciate each bite and notice the colors, smells, flavors and textures of the food.”
4. “Slow down! When we're racing around in our lives, going from one thing to the next, our minds are doing the same thing. When we slow down our physical actions like walking, cooking or doing the dishes, the mind can be a bit more at ease.”
5. “Try to turn off all electronics that would stimulate the brain at least two hours before going to bed. Overstimulating information can heighten the nervous system and may have a negative effect on our quality of sleep.”
6. “Create a place in your home that is a quiet, small sanctuary. Know that it’s your own space. Try to sit for 10 minutes and simply focusing on your breath or whatever else works for you. I have a vast number of meditations that I do and that I teach others. A lot of people think they have to meditate for hours, but that is not necessary. Just start with 10 minutes.”