renovated bedroom

Corona has been hard in so many ways. It can be a struggle with multiple members of the family working/schooling from home, it can feel overwhelming and cramped in our homes. During this pandemic, the space in the home needs to double up on its function. Bedrooms become offices too and dining tables and kitchens replace the classroom. This can make us feel desperate for more space, depressed that we can’t move or extend/renovate.

I have collated some thoughts and ideas here for you.  There are hopefully some useful suggestions and tips (that don’t cost the earth) that you can implement to make your home make you feel good.

Firstly, allow some fresh air in. Make the most of the winter season when you can open the window and there is a breeze. Create a cross breeze in your home, by opening the windows and internal doors, even for a short time in the morning and afternoon to purify the air in the room so that you are breathing in fresh air, eliminating stale and stagnant smells and helping you to feel more alert. The winter calls for a new throw or blanket and a warm pair of slippers. Indulge!

Buy some plants. They not only look good, but there is well-known research that shows that plants improve concentration and productivity, reduce stress levels, and also boosts your mood. If you don’t manage with real plants, (not everybody does), there are some great fake options that look very real. As a colleague friend put it, ‘fake is better than dead.’ Even just the colour green can have a calming effect and be a positive addition to your home. So, go green. Plants such as herbs and lavender add fresh scents too.

Think about lighting. This can really change the feel of a room and there is lots of research out there about the effects of blue-light on our brains, especially in the evening and night. Too much of it can affect the levels of the hormone melatonin and in turn affect our quality of sleep. I like to use as much natural light as possible during the day and warm artificial light in a room for the fixtures. If you don’t want to change all the bulbs and light fixtures or put them on dimmers, perhaps purchase a couple of nice lamps to add some soothing ambient light to your space and use those instead of the general lighting in your room for some wind down and chill out time at the end of the day.

Do you keep knocking into the same table every time you walk past it? Or trip on the rug every time you enter the house? Sort it out or get rid of it. Fix things that are broken around the home. Make sure your room set up works for you and it is easy to move around your furniture and flow through a space. This means leaving enough space between furniture and making your space ergonomically comfortable. Also, why not invest in a comfy reading chair and make yourself a quiet reading corner for you to enjoy? Or buy an office chair for yourself if you are spending hours at your desk?

Declutter. This has been said many times before, but it wouldn’t do this piece justice if I didn’t reiterate it here. Encourage everyone in the house to make their bed in the morning and clear their desk space in the evening. When we are working all day at home, it is important for well-being to compartmentalise and physically put work away, put it in a drawer or a closet. This helps to relax and encourages a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t mean you can’t leave anything out, but be particular about you want to see around you. You could display favourite framed photos, vases or books, but think less is more.

To summarise, think of how your senses are experiencing your home. It’s about not seeing mess and dust-collecting clutter, but pleasing items and enjoying pleasant scents in your home. Having a quiet space in your home or even listen to music that makes you feel good. Make your space clear and comfortable and meet your needs.

Just to complement everything I have mentioned to make your home make you feel good, try to get out too. In the winter, it is warmer outside than it is inside our stone houses. Get outdoors for a walk or exercise and catch the sun while its out, this too will do your wellness a world of good.