The thing about life is that it’s all happening… all the time. And when everything feels important and urgent, I find myself struggling to focus. The result is a version of me that’s not present but instead anxious, distracted and defeated. Fortunately, there’s a place that can help shield you from the world’s uncertainties and stressors: home. With some easy tweaks, your living spaces can up your joy and tranquility (we promise!). Here are 7 tips for maximizing calm throughout your home.
Balance the five elements. Feng shui is all about bringing humans into harmony with their surroundings. According to this ancient Chinese practice, an imbalance of the elements in your home can reveal imbalances in your emotional life. So look around and see what’s missing. Need more fire? Incorporate more lighting or candles into your abode. Want more water? Consider adding an aquarium, more reflective surfaces or shapes that recall ocean waves.
Hang mirrors based on your height. This easy fix can have a wonderful effect on your self-esteem, as mirrors hung too high can make you feel inadequate and unable to measure up (no thanks!). Be mindful to hang your mirrors in a way that reflects or expands upon a peaceful view, like a window or uncluttered surface.
Select wall colors according to mood. In general, bright colors are energizing, and softer hues are calming. Blue walls have been shown to lower blood pressure, while red walls can raise it. For an expansive feeling, try white. For a burst of creativity, try a rich purple. For reduced anxiety, try green, which is one of the most restful colors for the eyes.
Play with different textures. Incorporating a variety of textures into your abode can help you live more in the moment since a juxtaposition of rough and smooth, hard and soft engages your senses. Plus it recalls the variety of textures found in nature. For an instant dash of warmth in a room that tends to feel cold, try adding an area rug, plants or fabric lamp shades.
Clear your surfaces. Unsurprisingly, physical clutter can lead to emotional clutter. As a mother of young kids, I get it: Maintaining uncluttered surfaces in a busy household can feel impossible. Our kitchen counter is the place where everything seems to collect. Most days, I resolve to clear it off once the kids are in bed, which gives me a sense of order and control, making for a more relaxing evening and a more peaceful morning the next day.
Pick a pain point and fix it. I recently spilled a smoothie all over that busy kitchen counter (and, in turn, everything on it). Yes, this was a total mess, but it was also an opportunity to clean and reorganize. I repositioned the toaster and knife block so they’re easier to access. Now I feel calmer and happier when I use them because I was able to assess what wasn’t working and address it.
Aim for wabi-sabi. This Japanese concept of perfect imperfection is what makes a house a home. The crack in your favorite vase gives it more character. That water glass sitting out on your nightstand is nourishing your body. Everything is imperfect, incomplete and ever changing — and that’s a beautiful thing.