One of the best feelings in the world is coming home to a relaxing space. There is nothing quite like walking through the front door where you are met with pleasant smells, a beautiful aesthetic, and the knowledge that you can just sit down, take a deep breath, and decompress.
On the other hand, coming home to a messy, chaotic house after a hard day makes stress worse, and if you work from home, it is hard to feel centered and productive if your space isn’t calm and peaceful. Walking through the front door only to be met with uninteresting or cluttered visuals and the feeling that you can’t sit down because you have so much to do is no fun. It also creates chronic stress from never having a calm, peaceful space where you can unwind.
If you are looking for ways to create a more relaxing home, I’ve got you covered. I’ve spent the better part of the last five years slowly working these solutions into my home routine, and I’ve seen a massive improvement in the way I feel during the day and in the amount of work I’m able to accomplish working from home.
The following are 5 ways to make your home more relaxing so you can feel more productive and centered throughout your day, whether you work from home or just want to come home to a peaceful house after your day at work.
1. Play Relaxing Music
One of my favorite ways to create an immediately serene atmosphere is to play relaxing music. Listening to the right type of music improves your mood, increases focus, and helps you with memorizing new information.
Classical music, meditation music, nature sounds, non-lyrical electronica, low-fi hip hop beats, nature sounds, or instrumental versions of popular songs are great ideas for creating a relaxing environment.
You can always play the music on your T.V., computer, or phone, but I recently purchased the Amazon Echo Dot and it has made a big difference in my writing productivity throughout the day. There is something about being able to turn on relaxing music with a simple voice command that I love. Unlike my phone, the Echo is built to project sound out into a room, so I find that it helps me create a relaxing area in a more well-rounded way.
Whatever method or type of music you choose, playing relaxing melodies in your home helps you set the mood. Listening to calming sounds helps your brain decompress and allows you to focus on the task at hand, whether that is working, cooking, or sitting down and relaxing after a hard day.
2. Diffuse Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils in your home is the perfect way to create a peaceful atmosphere where you can relax and breathe in pleasant aromas.
Essential oils are concentrated extracts from popular aromatic plants like lavender, chamomile, neroli, peppermint, and jasmine. They produce intense scents that are used in practices like aromatherapy, which utilizes smells to affect your mood. The idea is that certain scents stimulate smell receptors in your nose. These receptors then communicate to your brain, bringing on a positive emotional effect.
Essential oil diffusers heat a mixture of water and essential oils of your choice and disperse it throughout the room, creating a fragrant space. They are easy to use and typically last a few hours with a full tank of water. As a bonus, diffusers are designed to add to your home’s relaxing atmosphere with soothing LED lights in different colors.
If you are just starting out, opt for a diffuser and essential oil starter kit for an affordable price. That way you don’t have to invest in a diffuser and essential oils separately. Or, you can always choose to buy the diffuser that speaks to you and grab different oils until you learn what scents you like and don’t like. Try a few common essential oils for stress relief like lavender, lemon, cedarwood, and ylang-ylang.
3. Clear Away Clutter
One of the best things you can do to make your home more relaxing is to clear away the clutter. No, I’m not talking about Marie Kondo get-rid-of-anything-that-doesn’t-bring-you-joy cleaning; I’m simply talking bout making a concerted effort to get and stay organized.
A few years ago I looked around my home and felt exasperated. It seemed I was always behind in cleaning up. Everywhere I looked there was clutter. So for a few weeks, I made myself clean out and organize every space that frustrated me. Once I made a space for everything, I was able to stay on top of cleaning on a (mostly) daily basis. Having a place for everything made the very act of cleaning less stressful.
Research shows that people work more efficiently and experience less stress in decluttered environments. To make your home a relaxing space, take some time to organize those spaces that give you constant stress. Perhaps you grab a cute cubical storage container for books and knickknack or a handy spice-organizer for your kitchen drawer. Or maybe you simply go through your closet and donate old clothes, shoes, bags, or your kids’ toys. Whatever action you take, you’ll feel great and create a more relaxing space.
4. Indulge in Your Aesthetic
You feel most relaxed in your own aesthetic. It is hard to feel at home and at peace when you don’t enjoy what you see on a daily basis. Whether it is an old couch, ugly paint on the walls, or just a lack of cohesive decor, the wrong aesthetic can cause you to feel off-balance and not relaxed. The solution is to indulge in your preferred aesthetic to create a space with everything that makes you feel happy, alive, and serene.
If you’re anything like me, however, you’re probably wondering how you are going to 1) pay for a complete redesign of your home and 2) how to coordinate such a feat. Not to worry. While we all want our entire house to match our preferred look, you can start out small. I suggest starting with your bedroom. When I restyled my room, I got rid of old mismatched blankets, ugly furniture, and random wall hangings. I looked at Pinterest for visual inspiration and put a bit of money into a new white and gray-themed room. The result is that I felt much more calm and happy in my space.
If you want to start even smaller, go with a meditation/prayer closet. Ideally, you use an actual closet space to create a small haven for yourself but you can also designate a small corner of your room. Then, decorate the space with comfortable furniture, tapestries, inspirational wall hangings, and a mood-setting lamp, like this Himalayan Salt Lamp, to create your very own sacred space where you can relax, journal, or read mindfully without distraction.
5. Bring on the Greenery
You may have noticed a rise in the popularity of in-home plants in recent years. Succulents in adorable pots are experiencing a renaissance among people all across the country. The trend is wonderful for making your home peaceful and relaxing.
The American Psychological Association reports that nature has a soothing effect on the human brain and that even looking out the window at greenery during the day can reduce stress and perk up cognitive functioning. Plants can also help control humidity and filter the air in a room.
The use of indoor plants, like succulents, herbs, flowers, broad-leaved grasses, or ferns, brings nature to your space, offering you a dose of positive energy throughout the day. There are several ways you can create a relaxing atmosphere with plants, including:
- Starting a small herb garden in your kitchen
- Placing succulents of all types and sizes on shelves near your window
- Setting up a gorgeous plant stand to support larger ferns, grasses, and leafy plants
- Hanging plants or vines from macrame nets
- Buying a large pot and growing a tropical indoor tree or plant
However you start incorporating plants into your home, they will give your brain an uplifting sensation and keep you more positive and relaxed.
Turn Your Home into a Relaxing Oasis
Turning your home into a relaxing oasis is easy. You can get your hands on a few gorgeous green plants to set a positive mood, design a space around your preferred aesthetic, organize your troublesome spaces, turn on an essential oil diffuser, or start playing relaxing music to set a calm, peaceful tone.
If you feel overwhelmed by which idea to try first, it may be beneficial to think about which of your senses helps you feel the calmest.
If you have an emotional reaction to music, try playing a classical, spa, or meditation station ad notice how it makes you feel. Experiment with different stations and types of music to see which kind has the best effect on your mood.
If you are someone who loves scents, get an essential oil diffuser and try out different oil combinations. Notice if you feel more serene when diffusing lavender or lemon, rosemary or jasmine, and find the one that works for you.
If you love nature, you may benefit most from starting a collection of indoor plants to bring the calming senses of nature to you. If you are constantly frustrated by messes or an undesirable aesthetic, opt for clearing up the clutter or redesigning a small in your home to lower your stress levels.
Whatever you choose, each of these ideas for making your home more relaxing is guaranteed to move you in the direction of a peaceful, serene home.