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Your surroundings can have a marked effect on your emotions, your moods and even the way you view the world. Most people need a personal sanctuary in their lives, a sort of place of peace and calm where they can divest themselves of negative thoughts and relax and recharge at the end of the day or at weekends. What better sanctuary than your home? But before your hone can ‘qualify’ as your personal sanctuary there are hurdles to be overcome and also key ingredients for success.
We provide some tips and suggestions to start you off in turning your home into your ideal man or woman cave!
One of the greatest (and common) obstacles to feeling relaxed and peaceful at home is clutter. Paperwork, books, bills, newspapers, books, clothes and shoes scattered about or heaped in untidy piles are not conducive to calm.
Overcrowded surfaces and overflowing cupboards create a psychological burden that you’d be better off without. Even if you have to do it gradually, sort through your clutter and get rid of what you don’t want. It will make you feel lighter.
To maintain your calm and harmonious space once you’ve cleared the clutter, create some simple rules for yourself and other family members. For example, allocate 10 minutes at the end of each day for tidying and putting things back in their designated place. Or promise yourself that you’ll tidy your main living area before you go to bed.
Straighten out cushions, take any glasses, cups or plates into the kitchen, put books back onto the bookshe]ves, tidy magazines or papers, and move items of clothing, shoes or toys to their proper ‘home’.
Opening windows and doors to ventilate your home is one of the best ways to improve air quality (this is also dependent on the country and month you are in).
This is particularly vital in modern, energy-efficient homes which are designed to keep temperature even, often at the expense of fresh circulating air.
Good ventilation is vital to a healthy indoor environment. even opening windows for as little as 10 minutes a day will help.
If you suffer from allergies, you need to keep your home as fresh and dust-free as possible. The more dust, the more food there is for dust mites, which are a major source of allergies.
When you have time for luxurious soak, make it extr special by using scented candles. Bathing by candlelight is such a delightful way to relax. For extra soothing atmosphere, try dimming the lighting as well.
The bathroom is the place to indulge your senses – therefore, try adding scented oils to your bath or warm aromatic essential oils in an oil burner.
Individual colours affect our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing in different ways, often at an unconscious level. In colour counselling, a popular therapy, practitioners work with people instinctive response to colour to help them deal wilh crises.
The colours you choose in your home can create a distinctive atmosphere, so it worth getting to know their purported properties and powers.
For instance, the colour
– Blue is considered to be calming, relaxing and serene, and it is often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms.
– Green is encourages unwinding but has enough warmth to promote comfort and togetherness and believed to relieve stress by helping people relax.
– Yellow amplifies the happiness as it captures the essense of sunshine.
– Purple is associated with luxury and creativity as it espouses sophistication.
– Orange represents a somewhat energetic mood and therefore evokes excitement and enthusiasm.
– Red, the colour, is quite often touted as one of the more intense colour and has been shown to raise blood pressure and speed respiration and heart rate.
Cultivating plants that act as natural air filters, such as gerbera, ivy, lady palm, spider plant and peace lily is an effective way to improve air quality.
Research by NASA in the 1980s, investigating on how to keep air fresh inside space capsules, showed that these plants, among others, help to combat the damaging effects of the three most harmful household pollutants :
Benzene – found in polystyrene foam, and also used in making an enormous range of products including computers, cooking utensils and household fabrics.
Formaldehyde – usually found in shampoos, bubble bath and household cleaners.
Trichloroethylene – sources include aerosol products, paints, varnishes and air fresheners.
Textural elements such as rugs, upholstery curtains or blinds, bed linen, cushions and throws all add to the ambience of a room.
Interesting and creative accessories help to make a home your own, whch is key to relaxation. Choose fabrics that are soothing to touch, such as velvet and suede, or add a little luxury with a few silk cushions that shimmer with reflected light.
Wool or cashmere throws that you can snuggle under on cold weather or nights will make you feel extra cosy and comfortable.
Moving water such as those made by water fountain produces health-giving negative ions, as well as preventing the build-up of algae.
Honeysuckle and jasmine both give off a heady scent especially at night and, best of all, they only need occasional pruning.
A small statue, half hidden in a border or proudly positioned on a plinth, can add an artistic element and a well placed mirror can give the illusion of a larger space.
You can try to grow herbs like parsley, mint, lemongrass, rosemary, basil, thyme or coriander either in pot or alongside your flowers. As well as scenting your garden, they will certainly enhance your dishes as well!
If you have a large garden, you can create a restful, secluded area by screening it off wth a trellis where you can use it to train a climbing rose to beautilul effect. Here you can place a wooden bench or arbour seat, creating a special place in which to enjoy tranquil moments.