Last year a lot of us had to spend more time at home due to the pandemic. Many of us are working from home more, and in general we tend to spend a lot of time inside given how temperamental the British climate can be!
Now more than ever we’re aware of our living space and what we like and dislike about it. Therefore it’s important that we optimise the space we live in so we actually feel good when we’re in it. We promise this isn’t as complicated as it might sound, and we’ve provided 4 simple ways below to improve wellbeing in your home.
A key element to our wellbeing is natural light. Being outside in the sunshine has a lot of benefits for our physical and mental health, so it makes sense that bringing sunlight into our living space is beneficial too.
You should fully open your curtains or blinds in the daytime to let as much light in as possible. If you’re having building work done to your property, think about where you could add windows or skylights to maximise the amount of natural light that comes in.
If you work from home, you should try to position your working space near a window to benefit from the natural light. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain's release of the hormone serotonin, which boosts our mood and keeps us calm and focused –always handy when working! The only thing to bear in mind is not to have the window behind you as the glare on your computer screen won’t do any favours for your eyes.
Fitted lighting in the home is just as important as natural light. Some lighting can feel quite brash and clinical (think fluorescent strip lighting you see in a hospital) which isn’t what you want to go for. It’s definitely worth doing your research when it comes to lighting products as there are so many available, and they can come in different tones too.
For example, you might want wall sconces or lamps with a warmer tone in the bedroom, to provide a relaxing ambience and help you fall asleep easier. For somewhere like the kitchen where you need to focus on preparing food and want a bright happy space for entertaining, you might look to have cool toned downlights fitted.
As well as sunlight, our wellbeing can benefit greatly from bringing more of the outside in. An easy way to do this is to have some plants around the house – they can provide lots of benefits to our health, and look nice whilst doing it!
You might want to research some of the following options:
- plants that produce oxygen and improve air quality ‘air-purifying’
- plants that magnetise toxins and draw in bacteria and mold
- plants that produce essential oils e.g. the scent of lavender is said to help anxiety and depression, whilst chamomile can help insomnia
- plants that are natural humidifiers, like Jade plants, which can help if you suffer with dry skin or itchy eyes
The great thing about houseplants is that there are so many to choose from, ranging in size, shape and even colour. If you’re concerned about maintaining them, you can specifically look into low maintenance plants - there are some that thrive in humid environments like the kitchen or bathroom and you don’t even have to water them!
Tidy house, tidy mind. We hate to be cliché but there’s a lot of truth to this saying! A simple declutter can make a world of difference to our wellbeing. Not only can clutter make us feel stressed out (ever tried to find something in a rush that is lost amongst a sea of stuff?), it can often be the cause of relationship strains with those we live with.
This quote by textile designer William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” definitely rings true here!
Decluttering doesn’t mean you have to live a completely minimalistic lifestyle. You can still have things on display that you like or that bring personality to your home, but ask yourself whether there is anything you have that you don’t use or like anymore.
Be mindful of areas like the hallway which can often be neglected, as we don’t see them as rooms we spend time in. However walking into a calming, organised space can instantly improve how we feel when we return home. Put footwear onto a shoe rack, hang up coats on some coat pegs or under the stairs, and don’t leave your mail piling up on the sideboard.
If you feel you have a lot of clutter in your home but the thought of sorting it overwhelms you, just take it one room or area at a time. Bit by bit you’ll start to feel the weight lift off your shoulders! You could even earn some money by selling some of your items, or help a charity with a donation.
If you're not like Mrs Hinch and cleaning isn’t a very enjoyable task to you, stick on your favourite music and just tackle it bit by bit. It’s definitely worth it as it is scientifically proven that after cleaning a room in our homes, we have lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in our bloodstream. This can lead to better sleep and even stronger immunity!
Some cleaning products can cause issues like skin irritations or respiratory problems, and even severe risks like chemical poisoning. It’s worth looking into alternatives such as plant-based cleaning products which greatly reduces the number of chemicals in your home environment and they often smell nicer too! If you want to be frugal there are plenty of cleaning hacks online if you want to find ways to clean with things you already have in the home, like baking soda, lemons, or vinegar.
Feeling happy and comfortable in your home is so important. If your home just doesn’t spark joy for you anymore and you feel it’s time to move, Leaders can help. Not only can we help you sell your property, but we can help find the right future home for you too. Start today by finding out how much your property is worth and get an instant, no-obligation valuation.