After a hard day, where do you go to relax? Personally, I go to my fave giant overstuffed slouchy chair, making sure to have my phone and a glass of red, and call the cat over! Instant happy place. But what if you need a few more tips on how to create YOUR happy place, even it's teeny tiny? Read on!
1. Keep the lighting low.
You probably know intuitively that bright, harsh lighting doesn't seem very relaxing. Replace your bright bulbs in your space with 40 or even 25 watt bulbs. The bonus? You'll be saving money on your electric bill too! Double score! Displaying twinkly lights and lighting candles is an even more cozy way to light up your happy place. The more the better!
2. Focus on Neutral Colors.
Researchers say that bright and saturated colors have the tendency to increase heart rate and arousal. You may have noticed that the carpet in your gym is probably red or a very saturated warm color like orange or magenta. It's no accident! On the other hand, hospital walls are usually painted the most soothing shades of muted blue and/or grey. they want the patients to be as calm as possible.
3. Bring the outdoors in.
Indoor plants are a fantastic way to bring in some relaxing, organic elements into your space. Besides the color green being relaxing, your space may be home to some nasty indoor air pollution: things like mold, cleaning products, paint and mildew. Plants are clean air MACHINES by replacing carbon doixide with oxygen. Don't you feel yourself breathing easier already? But before you rush out and buy some foliage, remember to keep the lighting needs of your plant friends in mind. Luckily, there are LOTS of plants that can live in very low light conditions. According to NASA, the Snake Plant (or Mother In-law’s tongue as it is also known) is one of the more effective houseplants for improving air quality and has the ability to absorb toxins in the air, including nitrogen oxide, xylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. This is what it looks like:
4. Get rid of the clutter.
Piles of books, magazines, tasks you've been ignoring for ages, and being reminded of chores undone will harsh the relaxing vibe you're trying to foster. Clearing away unnecessary items is vital for embracing a calming atmosphere. Either throw them away or donate those things. I'm a big fan of donating, so it's double win.
5. Relax with sounds.
Have you ever had a massage and the soothing sounds of the beach and softly crashing waves is playing in the background? Extra relaxing! My favorite relaxing sounds are natural and organic. Birds singing. Forest sounds. Kitties purring. You can either buy a dedicated machine for this purpose, or get an app for your phone, or if you want to just go quick and free pull up a YouTube video on your phone with calming sounds. I've even used one that was just white noise from a box fan! there are thousands available on YouTube.
Any way you slice it, creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere in your space is an essential component of self care. Let me know in the comments below what is your favorite one, or let me know if you have a fave method that isn't mentioned here. Happy relaxing!