Returning to a harmonious home at the end of the day (or any time of day, honestly) is something that doesn’t always (or usually) seem possible. There are accessible ways to make your space relaxing, however, and they don’t require lots of money or time to put into place.
“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.” — Mark Black
Crafting a cozy living space isn’t a superficial concern, but another element of self-care that’s often overlooked. There are many factors in life that elevate stress, of course, but wherever you call “home” is a good place to initiate positive change.
Even the busiest homes can benefit from subtle conscious adjustments in the overall look and feel of a space. A full renovation isn’t required for peace in the home, nor do you need to become a minimalist; a few simple steps might be enough to melt stress instead of induce it.
It’s a kind of self-care practice, to create a space where connection and relaxation is the default.
Since I’m in the process of moving into a new apartment, I decided it was an appropriate time to reconsider how I can come home to a “sanctuary” of my own. Here’s a healthy dose of inspiration to encourage each of us to try something new, for the sake of our sanity and peace of mind.'Home' is wherever we feel safe and comfortable enough to slow down. Click To Tweet
The essential idea that I’d like to illuminate in this post is that we can create a space where we feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed enough to take deep breaths and enjoy our own company. Owning our power to make a difference in our environment surely starts at home, within ourselves.
That being said, there are lots of practical ways to make your space relaxing.
We don’t need to uproot our lives to love going home, though we might be urged to open our mind and actually try new things (even if we think they’re “too obvious” to really matter—usually, those are the very things that do make a world of difference).
Here are a few suggestions to empower your next transition and promote peace at home.
20 Practical Ways to Make Your Space Relaxing (That Don’t Require You to Rearrange Your Whole Life)
- String twinkle lights. Hang a string of soft white or colored lights around a window, over your cabinets, or adorning shelves. When it’s time to do dishes or settle down before bedtime, turn off the main light and enjoy the subtle ambiance of accent lighting.
- Incorporate calming, loving pictures. Adorn your walls and shelves with pictures of loved ones, fond memories, scenic views, and anything that brings comfort to your eyes.
- Put fresh flowers in windowsills. Flowers are a sight for sore eyes, and their fragrance makes for a welcoming space. If you’d rather stick with potted plants, here are 14 house plants that don’t require a green thumb, and here are 10 plants that promote positive energy.
- Group plants together. Rather than scattering plants around the home, experiment with grouping them to create a bigger impact. You can also do this to hide views that aren’t necessarily pleasant on the eyes.
- Group small items together. Keep your clutter organized, even if it means you have to find new ways of utilizing unused space around you. These distressed shadow box shelves just go to show that there are so many unique ways to make your space relaxing.
- Stick with warm lighting. Opt for softer, energy-efficient bulbs. Diffuse warm-hued tones in the home with colorful or tea-stained shades. Turn on a Himalayan salt lamp for a subtle, calming, earthy radiance (while also removing impurities from the air).
- Use crystals. For longer than any of us can recall, crystals have been used for their healing and energetic qualities. Even if you don’t believe in the power of a crystal, they look nice and bring a bit of nature indoors.
- Keep books in sight. Surround yourself with stories you love (not work-related books, unless that’s calming to you). Incorporate them into your existing decor, playing with height for visual interest.
- Use essential oils. To improve your energy, health, and even help you sleep better, use an essential oil diffuser, create your own desk diffuser with pink salt and a candle, or just dab some oils on your wrists when you get home to ease the transition.
- Burn dried herbs. Also known as smudging, the burning of herbs is a practice dating back thousands of years that’s traditionally used as a ritual to invite change, cleanse energy, and clear the air of impurities. Sage is a popular herb to smudge with, as is pine, lavender, and rosemary.
- Place silk pouches with herbs around the house. Dried herbs, flower petals, essential oils, barks, and spices are wonderful ingredients for your potpourri and herbal sachets. Place inside cabinets, in drawers, in coat pockets, or in shoes for a whole host of aromatic benefits.
- Burn naturally-fragranced candles. Shy away from chemicals and perfume-y scents, and opt for soy-based or beeswax candles fragranced with natural essential oils. You can also make your own, illuminating corners and filling your home with subtle scents you love.
- Open the windows. It’s amazing what a little oxygen-rich air can do for a stagnant space. Cracking open the windows is probably one of the easiest ways to make your space relaxing and refreshed, plus it can promote overall health, improve sleep, and keep energy levels up.
- Incorporate blankets into your decor. “Throwing” soft, chunky blankets on couches, chairs, and beds creates a surprisingly cozy effect, given how simple the idea is. Even if you’re not using them, extra blankets lend a softness to the space and make nights in a lot more inviting.
- Choose cushions and pillows with texture. Ruffles may or may not be your thing, but you can select accents that have depth and intrigue regardless of your taste.
- Use area rugs for softness underfoot and a layering effect. In my opinion, warm feet are happy feet.
- Buy some oversized plush bath towels. If you can make a small investment and wish to do so, buying some plush bath towels might be the direction you want to take. It might be that you want to start small in one room, and the bathroom is what could use the most love.
- Listen to music at home. It’s pretty profound how integral music can be to our health and state of mind. The right kind of music can ease pain, enhance learning and memory, fight fatigue, and promote sleep. While you’re doing chores is a wonderful time to put on some tunes.
- Deliberately unplug from your usual sounds. Whether it be the television, radio, or go-to playlist, consciously tune in to the soundtrack of nature. Pick a certain time of day to unplug, and read a good book or go outside (a little fresh air can make reentering the home that much more pleasant).
- Create a comfort station. This area (which could consist of a small table and chair) doesn’t necessarily have to be about your taste buds, but dedicating a little nook for your coffee, herbal tea, apple cider, or hot chocolate might be exactly the way you want to cheer up your home.
Please share your thoughts, all the simple ways you make your space somewhere you love to be, and any tips or inspiration with me in the comments.
Share these suggestions with a friend who is moving, who could use a change or has just experienced a shift.
Give your home its soul, and be yourself (that might be the best way to enjoy the space you occupy).