“Home is where the heart is.”
It’s also the place that causes some of the greatest stresses in life. Think about it – when the microwave oven dies…stress. When the kids leave their toys on the ground and you step on a little, sharp piece in the middle of the night…stress. Piles of papers are growing everywhere…stress. When you’re upset and the freezer full of food calls your name…stress. When you’re fighting with your significant other or roommate…stress.
Your home shouldn’t be a cause or source of stress, even if life is stressful. It’s time to make your home a safe haven, one that will promote peace and tranquility. It doesn’t take hiring a feng shui master to make it happen, just a few easy do-it-yourself steps.
- Find your “happy place” Pick one spot in the house – a comfy chair, a nook, a special room – that’s just for you. No intruders or distractions allowed. Use that space for quiet “me” time. Add a sound machine that plays the calming sounds of nature, perfume the air with your favorite essential oils or incense, and light a candle.
- Toss the temptations If your usual response to stress is to eat, then get into the kitchen and clean out the “trigger foods.” Those are foods that you can’t stop eating – where an open bag is an empty bag. Go through the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, as well as your “secret stash” and dump all of the temptations. You’ll thank me later.
- Paint a relaxing color Calming colors, like purple, green, and blue (the lighter shades, of course) can actually help to lower your blood pressure. If you can’t re-paint the whole house, then just focus on a room in which you spend a lot of time, like the kitchen or bedroom.
- Unplug it You may not hear it, but there’s “buzz” in the air and it’s coming from all of the electronics you leave plugged in. Now I’m not saying you should unplug the fridge, but make sure to disconnect smaller appliances and electronics when not in use (i.e., toaster, hair dryer, cell phone charger, computer). All of that electronic stimulation can cause extra activity in your brain and prevent you from reaching a state of calm. This is especially true with electronics in the bedroom – the TV and computer. Get them out and I promise you a better night of sleep.
- “Green” the air A house full of beautiful and colorful plants and flowers not only reduces stress, but actually cleans the air of any chemicals floating around, especially those from household cleaners, cigarette smoke, and paint on the walls.
- One-spot-fits-all Do you have trouble remembering where you put the car keys? How about your sunglasses and cell phone? Have an organized place, like a basket and a wall hook, right by the front or garage door, where you can dump the above-mentioned items right when you walk in the door. You’ll have no problem finding them when it’s time to leave again, reducing the stress you feel when frantically looking for them.
- Make your bed every day I know it seems silly, but the state of your bed is a true reflection of your life. Messy bed, disorganized person. Take 2 minutes in the morning (if that much) to pull up the covers and toss on the pillows. We’re not looking for hospital corners, just a smooth finish.
- Time yourself It’s no fun to do the mundane tasks around the house, like folding laundry and sweeping the floors. Rather than force yourself to do too much at once, set an kitchen timer for 15-20 minutes and see how much you get done during that time. When the bell rings, you’re done. Tomorrow is another day.
“When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s love over-flowing” – The Wiz. And with a more organized and calm home, that’s exactly what it will be.