With an ever-increasing busy schedule, most people spend more time in their offices or on the road than they do in their homes. The hustle and bustle of daily life is so stressful, one needs to find a sanctuary devoid of anything that could amount to stress. The home should be the ideal option.
Your home should nurture you, not leave you exhausted. A disorganized home, full of chaos and clutter cannot be relaxing. Keeping your home organized would make it a peaceful and relaxing space, and this would definitely add to your productivity at work. It is therefore important to take the following steps to make your home more relaxing:
Flowers are incredibly soothing both visually and aromatically. They add nature to your home, which helps to clean and oxygenate the indoor air. You should therefore add a touch of green to your living area.
2. Get rid of cluster regularly
Cluster has a way of creeping upon you. It is distracting and instills a sense of chaos and disorderliness. Remove unused or unwanted items and replace them with fancy pictures or potted plants. Tackle the cluster and get rid of the tension and chaos it creates.
Color is key to making to making your home more relaxing. The paint colors you choose can have profound effects on your mood. For a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, you can go with blue, green and grey go well. White and beiges too. Try to stick with natural tones, study and learn more about colors and their moods before making your decision. Bright colors might energize you, but since you are after relaxation, stick to it.
4. Positive feeling
Add memories that excite you or bring smiles to your face around your home. You could add items from fun excursions that remind you of good times and people. These items will give you a boost and feelings of satisfaction as you move through your home.
5. Technology zone
Design your home in such a way that there are designated areas for various activities. Having a designated space for playing video games like FIFA 2017, Mortal Kombat Cash royale gemmes and Car race, or any other kind of tech gadgets will help you move unconsciously from one activity to the other with ease and grace. This will subconsciously cue you for various activities and help you maintain balance and harmony.
6. Decorate your bedroom with real furniture
A chair or even a small stool can make your bedroom feel homier. A recliner or sofa should help you unwind easily and make bath time feel more interesting and intimate. However, watch it, so that bedroom furniture does not create cluster. An easy way to avoid clusters is to use a mounting devise to hold some of your household items. For example, a TV wall mount will save you a great deal of space, likewise a mounted shelf to tore your books and shoes.
7. Pay attention to your kitchen
It’s easy to neglect your kitchen while paying attention to other rooms in the house. Try to maintain one color for all kitchen wares. This would make the space feel more compact and can visually help you to stop being bogged down when in your kitchen. There are many kitchen designs out there that could help optimize your productivity at home.
8. Invest in bedsheets with high thread content
They don’t have to be expensive. Just know that the higher the thread content, the softer the sheets. Also, try to have your bedsheet colors in white, neutral or soft pastels. Replace old pillows with supportive ones and add more pillows to your bed to give it a luxurious feel. Most of all, if your mattress is well worn, consider purchasing a new one.
9. Have a mini living room in your bedroom?
If you have the space, create a sitting area with an oversized chair or couch where you can read or watch television without having to sit on your bed. Have a lamp handy to ensure proper lightening when the sun goes down.
10. Change or rearrange your furniture
Place your furniture at a most relaxing focal point. Keep them together in a comfortable and intimate setting. Consider natural colors or white as bright colors and loud fabrics could be jarring and energizing. The texture should be soft to touch as well as visually.
11. All rooms are important
Pay attention to all rooms in your home, ALL. Even the uninhabited rooms. For instance, it might be the time to start considering walk in shower ideas to optimize your bathroom experience or time to install a platform in a storage or guest room for hiding away your stuff. You will have a more relaxed home by attending to every room and making every space count. Also, try to make each space in your room inspired.
12. Start now
It is easy to be overwhelmed with all these tips. Adding items or redecorating your home can look cumbersome. However, take a moment and reflect on what you would like your home and life to look like, then begin taking small steps daily to create a more calm and relaxing home. No matter how small, take steps to this end.
You know it’s coming…your child is running out of patience and losing their temper. To save yourself and your child the stress, you’d love to head off a temper tantrum before it happens. And that’s why parents everywhere are creating their own DIY calm down corners in their homes.
Calm down corners are special places you can create in your home for your children to go when their emotions become overwhelming.
Remember when you were younger and you had to take a time-out? Well, think of the calm down corner as a more productive and kind version of the time-out. Instead of the punishment often associated with a time-out, a calm down corner is much more inviting and useful to your child.
And, in time, children come to associate the calm down corner with relaxation. Amazingly, some learn to retreat to it when they feel their emotions begin to bubble over…without your kind reminders.
Sold on the idea? Great! Here’s how to create a fully operational calm down corner with household items.
Since the goal is to remove your child from an overwhelming environment or situation, it makes sense to put the calm down corner in a quiet space. That way, it won’t be in the center of ensuing chaos from siblings or other household activities.
Use a corner in a room that isn’t often used by other children. In fact, a little nook in your child’s room is the perfect place for your kiddo to retreat when things get a little rough.
Remember, the calm down corner is an inviting area…you could even call it fun ! With that being said, you can create a soothing environment made of tiny tents, pillows, blankets, curtains cozy chairs, or even bean bag chairs.
The point is to make it soothing, not stressful. And as your child grows, think about converting calm down corners into learning centers with the use of desks and information your child is interested in.
Here are a few other ideas for what your child might like in their calm down corner:
- Coloring books
- Playdough or Kinetic sand
- Calm down kit (all their favorite activities and soothing toys in a little kit)
- Lava lamps
- Meditation reminders and prompts
- Bubbles for mindful breathing
- Glitter jars (try making one with your child – see DIY videos on Youtube)
- Crafting supplies
- Sound machine (or any device that plays music)
- Lamps with colored or soft light
- Free printable pages for Social Emotional Learning
- Other sensory objects
- Social Emotional Brochures
Your DIY calm down corner can consist of anything around the house that helps your child take a peaceful moment, or five, to themselves.
It’s vital that your child doesn’t see the calm down corner as a form of punishment, otherwise, they may only learn to suppress their emotions.
The goal of this special space is to teach your children social-emotional learning skills…and be able to identify moments where they may need to step back and take a deep breath.
With that being said, never use it as a form of punishment or yell by saying “Get in the calm down corner!”
Instead, calmly usher them to the area, and even spend some time with them learning how to use it, because immediate isolation could have the opposite effect. In fact, showing your children how to use the calm down corner before it’s needed is going to have the best outcome.
Be gentle when teaching your children about their new special space, and always reinforce the idea that taking a break is ok. If they’re hesitant, simply remind them that it’s temporary. And as soon as they’re feeling better they can return to what they were doing.
No time to create a calm down corner? Grab these ready to go kits to get one up in running with ease.
Your office will become your own personal oasis after using tips from these experts.
This year, we spent more time in our homes than ever before, overhauling room after room to cater to our comfort. One such space we paid particular attention? The home office. Whether you already had a designated work area or created a makeshift one, you likely did all you could to ensure the space was inspiring, but calming, too. If you still feel like you haven’t struck that balance, it might be time to consider an alternate route. “It’s so easy to get distracted while working from home, and a lot of people are having trouble switching off after work because there’s no physical separation between their work and home lives,” Eva Eckerblad, the founder of Siblings, says. “This is where aromatherapy can help. We know that scent has a direct connection to our emotions, so during the workday, it can help to use refreshing scents, like citrus and eucalyptus, to create an energized and focused work environment.” Ultimately, even the slightest scent-driven changes in your routine—like adding cinnamon to a morning coffee—can awaken your senses as you work, adds Lynette Lovelace, an aromachology expert and the CEO and creator of Lifetherapy.
Not only can aromatherapy improve your focus on a day-to-day basis, says Amy Jane Stewart, LMT, a reiki level one master and clinical aromatherapist, herbal apprentice, and the owner of Organica Jane, it’s also a great way to reduce stress, pain, and inflammation in your body. So, the next time you simply aren’t feeling productive at home, consider the following advice from our experts, who shared several ways to use aromatherapy to boost your focus.
Light a soothing candle.
“Scented candles with high quality natural and essential oils are a great way to modulate productivity and your mood throughout the day,” Eckerblad says. “Look for citrus-based scents for that boost of motivation and focus during the workday or a calming lavender for easing the mind during irritatingly long Zoom calls.” There is a scent for any mood, she adds, so be sure to test out which iteration works best for you.
Try aromatherapy inhalers.
Eckerblad notes that aromatherapy inhalers, which are plastic tubes filled with cotton-like swabs coated in essential oils, are perfect for an early morning pick-me-up. “Couple these inhalers with different scents and mindful breathing exercises and you’ll start your day with focus and end it ready for restful sleep,” she says.
Display your favorite plants.
“Plants might be the original aromatherapy and keeping live plants around the home is a fantastic way of bringing natural scents indoors, cleaning the air, and brightening the mood,” Eckerblad says. Some of her favorites? Orchids, roses, and olive trees—but she notes that you should choose the plant of your liking to bring color, a sense of joy, and character to your workplace. Lovelace adds that anything from flowers to freshly cut oranges or mint could be ideal additions to an office space.
Apply natural lotions.
During the workday, mix lemongrass and lavender essential oils with natural lotion and apply the concoction on your neck, wrists, or other stiff spots, Stewart suggests; this will release tension and boost your productivity. Laura Coburn, a certified Ayurveda health counselor and the director of serenity at the Inns of Aurora, says you can also try wintergreen and eucalyptus, since they “are great muscle soothers and a nice treat for your low back.”
Use scented paper fans or roller balls.
A roller ball vessel filled with your favorite scent is just as effective as other aromatherapy techniques, says Lovelace. “Keep it next to your screen,” she suggests. “You’ll find yourself reaching for it often, and it’s even acceptable on a Zoom call.” You can even make a scented paper fan—or add popsicle sticks to postcards as blank canvases for essential oils. “Take a break by fanning yourself or holding the card to your nose,” Coburn advises. “The cards can be arranged in a cup or vase to make an added decoration for your desk. Using cards from loved ones gives you the double boost of the scent and the acknowledgment that you are loved.”
Wrap yourself in perfume-laced fabrics.
Using any of your go-to accessories—like a scarf or shawl—simply dot drops of your favorite scent and wear the piece as you work. “If you don’t want to put oil directly on a scarf, add an oil droplet to a cotton makeup applicator disk or cotton ball and tuck it into the scarf,” adds Coburn.
Create a customized air freshener.
“Make a spray with distilled water, essential oils, and just a touch of witch hazel or fractionated coconut oil,” Coburn says. “Spray the room, letting a little fall onto your hair, so it stays with you.” She suggests putting more drops of oil in this solution if you have a bigger spray bottle.
Test a diffuser in your space.
A diffuser in a workspace has plenty of health benefits. According to Stewart, adding citrus essential oils to a cold-air diffuser supports immune function, since they contain d-limonene, which boost white blood cell creation. Plus, inhaling other essential oils—like peppermint or rosemary—may help memory and focus (they improve blood flow to the brain). Coburn suggests adding four to eight drops of essential oils into your diffuser after adding water into the device.
Kids running everywhere? TV blaring at its loudest and the ping of video games driving you insane? All those constant fights you can hear raging through the door make your head want to explode. Meanwhile, neighbors and friends keep dropping by and your spouse is hiding in the downstairs bathroom waiting for peace to descend. Does this sound awfully familiar? If so, then it might be time to start instituting some peace throughout the household and to try to lead a slightly calmer life together.
Steps Download Article
Be willing to set limits and ensure that your way is followed. This is the first and most important thing that you can possibly do. This means limits as to the times, levels of noise and activity and yes, bedtimes. For the parents too, If the kids have to get their parents out of bed for a ride to school that will be a horrible reoccurring situation every morning. That can easily be avoided by going to bed at the same time as your kids, your sleep is important also but don’t expect to sleep when your kids need rides to school.
Visualize a calmer home. What do you see? Write down the things that you visualize and turn them into goals to achieve in creating your calmer household. In your subconscious mind, you will unearth a true picture of the house that you’d like to be in – always keep this focus in your mind and work towards it gradually.
Sit down and write a list of the things that seem to be creating the most noise and sense of rushing in your home. These are the first things that you will target with your limits. Consider such things as when you are prepared to receive visitors, limiting the noise level of the TV and limiting to computer usage. And put a ban on running indoors for the little ones.
- Kids need toys and entertainment but this doesn’t mean TV and video games. Play Chess, Mahjong, Backgammon instead of video games. An investment in good traditional games or board games may prove cheaper than running a TV or video games console.
Write a task chart. This task chart must apply to every single member of the household and it must contain days and deadlines. The larger the job that needs tackling, the longer the time frame you must give it in order to maintain a calm approach to it – bit by bit will get it done rather than rushing around juggling too many things at once.
Tidy the clutter away. Clutter enhances the feeling of stress, rushing and inability to think straight. The fewer bits and pieces in your pathway, the calmer you are going to feel. Not to mention the less cleaning up involved. If the kids must keep so many toys, books, and video games, make a deal with them. They can be kept in storage spaces but if they are found strewn across the floor more than 3 times in a row, they will be donated to the nearest charity store. You must mean this and you must be prepared to do it for this ultimatum to have real effect.
Clean as you create. Cooking creates less mess if you can wash items as you use them in between cooking moments. Same for anything that gets used – retrain everyone to put it back where it came from the moment it has been used. Buy storage bins or baskets with labels if this helps to encourage everyone to do the right thing.
Plan meals. If you are always wondering what to make for dinner, spend half an hour a week (Sunday evening is often a good time) to write out a plan of meals. It doesn’t have to be incredibly specific or you will dull down the cooking process and spontaneity, but at least write “pasta – Mon”, “steak – Tues”, “pizza – Wed”, “sushi – Thurs”, “take-out – Fri”. That way you have an idea of the main meal and can decide on the flavors and style on the night, with the main ingredients at hand.
Ask visitors to respect your limits. Inform visiting family, friends, kids, dogs, and any other guests who regularly traipse in and out of your home that closing time is whatever you set it as. In addition, feel free to set out of bounds hours, such as family lunch times on Sundays. This will enable you and your family to connect together over a special meal or activity without outside interruptions. This also includes taking the phone off the hook and closing e-mail applications.
File it or lose it! As soon as it arrives in the post, the schoolbag or the briefcase, deal with it. Open envelopes and toss them into the recycling immediately. Read the letter, bill, or note and file it. Make bill-paying time once a week and sit down with the file and deal with it in a matter-of-fact way, one by one. If you get school notes, decide when to sit down with your child to discuss these matters, then sign them away and put back in the schoolbag, and if money is asked for, write the check there and then and put it into the schoolbag. These actions will take several minutes, but spending more time on school and child matters is more important.
Set aside calm time. At least once a week, and preferably once a day, set aside calm time for yourself in which you do nothing more than relax and shut out all that is around you. Eventually encourage other family members to join you in this. Select a special corner or room in the house and set it up just for this purpose, with soft pillows and drapes and call it something neat like “Mom’s Relaxation Corner” or “Family Downtime Zone”. Familiarize everyone in the house with this space as only ever being for relaxation by any member of the family at any time of the day or night. It must be away from TVs, music or other sources of noise and disruption. Peace is a virtue and can be hard to acquire in our busy lives. However, there are many simple ways that we have overlooked and should try to encourage in our day-to-day lives.-
Use these designer tips to create a personal retreat you’ll enjoy every day.
Your home is your refuge. It’s where you can feel safe and relaxed when life gets overwhelming. Certain decorating choices help foster that sense of peace, and how you decorate a space can have a huge impact on how you feel while you’re in it. A well-designed space filled with items you love can be calming and relieve stress, while cluttered rooms can have the opposite effect on your mood and mental health. We asked some of our favorite interior designers for their tips on how to transform your home into a personal sanctuary. These decorating ideas will help you create a soothing, stress-free environment you’ll enjoy every day.
Start with a Neutral Palette
Muted, neutral tones are easier on the eye than bright colors. “While I’m definitely one for decorating with color because it can be fun and exciting, I do believe that neutral spaces promote the calmest, sanctuary-like vibes,” interior designer Karin Bohn says.
When decorating with white or light-toned neutrals (such as cream, off-white, or taupe), use plenty of texture to create interest. Flat white walls and smooth white furnishings can readily blend into boredom, so layer in a variety of fabrics and subtle patterns. Add shades of warmth, such as gold, pale tan, or faded yellow, to keep white from looking too sterile.
Create a Cluster of Color
For a punch of happiness and positivity, add in a few brightly colored accessories such as pillows or throws, suggest Meghan Hackett-Cassidy and Erin Hackett of Hackett Interiors. Pottery in a favorite color, vibrant artwork, a jewel-toned vase, and other items of intense color can help attract the eye and focus the mind.
Maximize the comforting effect of favorite accessories by clustering them together to create a focal point. That way, every time you pass by, you can take in the collective joy of the items. Be sure to choose a place you notice every day, such as a fireplace mantel or entryway console table.
Maximize the Appeal of a Fireplace
A fireplace doesn’t have to be lit to create a comforting atmosphere. Pay attention to the entire hearth to make the most of its relaxing appeal. Add decorative accents to the walls around and the floor in front of a fireplace to create a cozy vignette.
When not in use, brighten up the firebox with a decorative screen, cluster of birch branches, or arrangement of pillar candles. Otherwise, the dark, empty spot can detract from the room’s soothing effect.
Warm an Area with Candles
The soft glow of candles adds a sense of ease to any space, so use them generously throughout your house. “In the morning, I like to light candles in the kitchen and living room and let them burn until evening,” says interior designer Jade Joyner. “It creates a soothing ambience while adding a little luxe to my day.”
Keep a substantial supply of candles (tapers, pillars, or votives) and several favorite candleholders, so you’ll have plenty on hand when you want them. Just be sure to blow them out when you’re not at home or go to bed.
Work with Light
Utilize a variety of lighting types (including natural, ambient, and task lighting) in every room. “Having a bright, lighted room is an easy way to make a space feel more inviting and put together,” interior designer Sara Barney says. “Consider adding in some sconces, a floor lamp, desk lamp, or pendants to bring more light to those darker spaces in your home.”
During the daytime, take advantage of natural light by throwing back the blinds and enjoying the sunlight that floods in. Then, create a lighting scheme for the evening hours that’s just as appealing as nature’s rays with bulbs that cast a gentle, warm light.
Scent the Air
A pleasant aroma is one of the quickest routes to relaxation and a sense of well-being. Interior designer Darla Bankston May suggests burning your favorite scented candles and placing fresh, fragrant flowers in the rooms you use the most. Alternatively, try running an essential oil diffuser to fill the room with your own signature scent blend. “Eucalyptus, geranium, and chamomile are some of my favorites, and they bring a soothing, spa-like quality to any room,” interior designer Caitlin Murray says.
We tend to think of completing tasks around the house as more of a nuisance than a beneficial exercise (“You have how many loads of laundry?!”). Yes, there are probably about a million more exciting things to do than cleaning and organizing. But if you approach it with a different outlook, that disheveled desk drawer could actually be your gateway to mindfulness. You don’t need to go on a meditation retreat to create peace in your life: If you’re looking to cultivate a little calm, try tackling the four household activities below. You’ll have a happier brain (and, as a bonus, a happier house).
Doing the dishes.
No one likes doing the dishes, but it is possible to make it a mindful activity by focusing on little nuances that go into scrubbing your cookware spotless. As author and speaker Laurie Erdman points out in a HuffPost blog, the chore offers the tools you need to open yourself to a beneficial type of multitasking:
From the moment you start to stack the dishes to the moment you hang up the towel, notice every sensation. The sound of the water running, the sight of the bubbles, the smell of the dishwashing liquid, the sounds of the silverware hitting each other in the drainer, the feel of the dishes in your hands, the warmth of the water. Move slowly. Concentrate on the task, instead of your to do list.
Cooking a big meal.
Mindful people create in any way that they can, including mixing it up with meals. Creativity in the kitchen allows you to get in a state of flow, concentrating on the task at hand (mostly because who wants burned Chicken Parm?). As the experts at Headspace point out, “Cooking provides a wonderful opportunity to be present, mindful and aware, as opposed to being distracted, stressed or overwhelmed . It’s also an opportunity to get back in touch with the food that you eat.”
Organizing that junk drawer.
Studies have shown that clutter is a major source of stress when we’re in our homes, so the best way to eliminate it is to mindfully tackle it head-on. Concentrate on the meticulous actions that go into deciding where each pen, notepad and paperclip is placed (and toss out those expired coupons). Your brain (and your drawer) will feel much lighter.
Making your bed when you wake up.
It takes about a minute, but your day and your mindfulness practice will benefit from pulling up those sheets. (Admit it: Just imagining your bed made sort of makes you feel like you have your life together). Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and Real Happiness At Home, explains that making your bed — while seemingly menial — also allows you to focus for just a short period of time and set yourself up for zen. “[M]aking your bed is a step that’s quick and easy, yet makes a big difference,” she wrote in a happiness blog. “Everything looks neater. It’s easier to find your shoes. Your bedroom is a more peaceful environment. For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm.”
This GPS Guide is part of a series of posts designed to bring you back to balance when you’re feeling off course.
GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others’ stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing “secret weapons” that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.
– Is Aromatherapy Good for You?
– Can Essential Oils Make Your House Feel Better?
If you want to create a calm and relaxing environment, there are many ways to do it. One of the most popular methods is using aromatherapy. Essential oils have been used in aromatherapy for centuries because they can be harnessed as powerful tools that promote physical and emotional well-being. So given we are candle makers, why is essential oil in candles so good for us? It all has to do with our sniffer.
The nose is a complex organ that can be compared to an antenna that picks up scent molecules from our environment and then transfers them into the brain. This allows you to perceive smells. Do you know why your sense of smell is so important? It’s because it helps you avoid dangers, find food and drink, and discover new things. Without a good nose, life wouldn’t be the same!
These essential oil blends might not keep you out of danger, but they might help you achieve your goal of creating an atmosphere where peace reigns supreme!
Lavender is an excellent example of a profoundly calming essential oil. Lavender’s aroma has been shown in studies to produce feelings of relaxation and well-being, promoting calmness on both the physical and emotional levels.
Orange essential oil is another useful oil that can be used to promote a calm atmosphere. The sweet, citrus aroma of orange essential oil helps to uplift mood. It is said to help with feelings of depression while also reducing anxiety and stress. In fact, an in-depth study in 2017 in aromatherapy showed potential to be used as an effective therapeutic option for the relief of depressive symptoms in a wide variety of subjects.
Patchouli is another calming blend that can be used in aromatherapy. It is said to help you let go of mental tension and worry by promoting balance on an emotional level.
Basil oil is reputed to have a very calming scent that helps promote feelings of serenity and peace. It may also help with health issues like insomnia, anxiety, or depression and boost energy levels due to its refreshing aroma.
Rose oil helps with uplifting one’s mood and promoting self-love within oneself. It is also used for skincare treatment due to its rejuvenating qualities. Studies show at an emotional level, subjects in the rose oil group rated themselves as calmer, more relaxed and less alert than subjects in the control group .
Lemon is one of my favourite smells. It’s fresh and light but still has a bit of zest to it! This bright and citrusy scent is perfect for fighting fatigue! Said to relieve anxiety, balances moods while uplifting the spirit and energizes.
Science is really unwrapping the facts when it comes to aromatherapy. For example, Peppermint essential oil benefited brain performance with demanding cognitive tasks during an extensive study on its impact on Brain Function .
A similar study in 2018 showed Bergamot essential oil aromatherapy on mood states, parasympathetic nervous system activity; the primary aim of the present study was to obtain the first clinical evidence for these psychological and physiological effects.
We recently partnered with Angel Sent Aromatherapy to make our limited edition candles. For those that don’t know, I am the founder of Angel Sent from some 13 years ago. Insider fact- We like to use Bergamot as a bottom or middle note to our blends to accentuate and strengthen the depth of an aromatherapy experience.
The evidence is in, and it’s clear that aromatherapy works to promote a state of calm. Suppose you want to experience the benefits for yourself. In that case, we recommend checking out this month’s Ponderings Pinterest collection on Aromatherapy recipes.
Want to try out one of Angel Sent’s latest essential oil candle blends? Check them all out here!
Disclaimer; Ponderings makes no health or medical claims in this article, please see a qualified medical practitioner for all health advice and concerns.
Further references and reading;
Hongratanaworakit T. Relaxing effect of rose oil on humans. Nat Prod Commun. 2009 Feb;4(2):291-6. PMID: 19370942.
-Kennedy D, Okello E, Chazot P, Howes MJ, Ohiomokhare S, Jackson P, Haskell-Ramsay C, Khan J, Forster J, Wightman E. Volatile Terpenes and Brain Function: Investigation of the Cognitive and Mood Effects of Mentha × Piperita L. Essential Oil with In Vitro Properties Relevant to Central Nervous System Function. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 7;10(8):1029. DOI: 10.3390/nu10081029. PMID: 30087294; PMCID: PMC6116079.
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Most of the rooms in your home buzz with activity—the living room is always ready for a party or family gathering, the kitchen is the busy work center of the home, and the bathroom caters to your every basic need. There’s just one household space designated to calm and comfort you—the bedroom. Bring the peaceful feeling in and keep the hustle-and-bustle of the rest of your house out by following these tips to create a relaxing bedroom that will restore your energies.
Nothing says relaxation like a luxurious, comfortable bed. This is one area of the bedroom where it doesn’t pay to scrimp—so start with a quality mattress that gives you proper support. Your mattress makes the difference between a good night of sleep and an unrestful eight hours of tossing and turning, so choose the best you can afford, and turn and maintain your mattress as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent sagging and wear.
If a new mattress isn’t in the budget, add support and comfort to your old one with a mattress topper. Soft sheets, a warm blanket, and a thick comforter come next. Finish with several accent pillows, shams, and a throw blanket, and you’ll have a bed that welcomes you into relaxation like the one shown here.
Color It Calm
The most relaxing bedrooms are decorated in cool colors that bring to mind a peaceful day near calm waters. Look at the soft blue bedroom shown here—pure relaxation, yet not a bit boring because the white furniture, patterned sheets and ornate touches on the headboard add plenty of interest without shouting out for attention. When choosing the palette for a tranquil room, the best choices are shades of green and blue, followed by gray. You don’t want bright tones—stick with mid-tone or pastel shades that add plenty of color without working your eyes too hard. You can use dark accents of navy blue, hunter green or pewter gray as well, but for the most peaceful feel, decorate mostly in soft colors and white.
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Ryan McVay / The Image Bank / Getty Images
You don’t need the greenest of thumbs to grow a plant or two in your bedroom. Living plants bring a sense of life, tranquility, and health that can’t be matched by other bedroom accents. Choose one large plant for the corner, or several smaller plants grouped on your dresser or nightstand—stick with easy choices like pothos, Chinese evergreen, syngonium or peace lily, water them weekly and open the curtains for daytime light, and you’ll have thriving bedroom greenery to soothe your mood.
Light It Soft
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Ciaran Griffin / Getty Images
Overly intense bedroom light isn’t relaxing—it’s reminiscent of an operating room. While you do need suitable lighting for reading in bed, dressing and nighttime routines, leave the brightest bulbs and the strongest overhead ceiling fixtures to other areas of your home. In the bedroom, stick with 3-way bulbs or lamps with dimmers so you can adjust the intensity to your needs. When it’s time to relax, turn the lights down low enough to take the edge off, but bright enough so your eyes don’t need to strain.
Ditch the Electronics
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It might be tempting to bring your laptop to bed, play a few games on your smartphone before lights-out or drift off to sleep with the television on, but all of these electronic devices have enough light to trick your brain into believing it’s time to wake up, not relax. Plus, electronic entertainment is often stimulating enough to ward off sleep. Make it bedroom policy that electronic devices go off at least an hour before bedtime, or keep them out of the room altogether. The exception is an e-reader that isn’t backlit, such as the Kindle.
Clean of Clutter
There’s no way to relax in a messy bedroom. If you do nothing else, clear out clutter to make your bedroom more restful. Take a day or two to get rid of anything you don’t need or love, put anything that belongs elsewhere in the house back in its proper place and cut down collectibles and artwork to just a few meaningful pieces. That doesn’t mean your bedroom needs to be stark and without personality—use small touches of color and pattern to add interest, and display a few photographs or treasured pieces that make you feel good when you see them.
Treat Your Senses
When you soothe your senses, your body and mind relax as well. Bring sensory delights into your bedroom to create a spa-like, peaceful environment. A few candles by the bed—make sure you blow them out before falling asleep—a bouquet of fresh flowers in a pretty vase, a reed diffusor wafting the delicate fragrance of vanilla, rose, lavender or jasmine; and a sound machine to block out traffic noise or household hubbub is all it takes to make your bedroom a relaxing retreat that you’ll look forward to entering all day long.