USE INDOOR PLANTS TO BOOST YOUR MOOD AND IMPROVE AIR QUALITY
Having lots of greenery in a home is an obvious and easy stimulant to our overall wellbeing and health. They have tons of wellness benefits, from improving the air quality (by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen) to regulating humidity.
They also provide a natural mood-boosting lift and according to some studies can even reduce stress levels, increase memory retention and concentration, and filter out VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and some pollutants.
Not to mention, they are great and inexpensive design elements as well that can jazz up even the most boring or coldest spaces.
Orchids or aloe vera are great for the bedroom because, as opposed to most plants, they emit oxygen even at night. I love smaller succulents for the home office, snake plant or dracaena for the living room, and herbs for the kitchen for an ultimate wellness kick.
Don’t forget about the bathrooms either, bamboo, ferns, or a philodendron can transform that space into a wellness retreat in an instant.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE HUMIDITY LEVELS
For the most part of the year, my air humidifier is one of the most important items in my home. I cannot emphasize its health and wellness benefits enough. It adds moisture back to the air, prevents skin from being dry or dehydrated, reduces the risk of infections and the transmission of viruses and bacteria, and is also great for sinus health.
DESIGNATE A ZEN SPOT
My favorite spot in my apartment is a small corner nook in my living room. It is next to the windows, so there was ample natural light. It is an area in which I mediate as well as work on days that I work from home. It is filled with crystals, stone, statues that remind me to breathe and take it one day at a time. I feel most productive and serene when I am at my desk in this zen space.
Everyone should have one. Your zen space doesn’t have to be a whole room (though if you have the space, go for it). It can be the corner of the couch or a small nook. It can be at the kitchen counter, in your bathroom with a bath tube and some pampering tools, or outside in the garden. But it must be a happy place, one where you go for relaxation and winding down.
COMFORT ABOVE ALL
In my design philosophy, aesthetic and comfort are equally important and definitely go hand in hand, but there are a couple of things where comfort should definitely be a priority: like with the bed mattress, bedding, and the chairs.
Selecting a good mattress is a serious matter, the quality of our sleep can depend on it. There are many options but, in my experience, no universally applicable solutions – you really have to find the one that works the best for you. A lot of brands allow customers to actually select and try the mattresses for a couple of days, I’d suggest using that option – we definitely did.
The bedding is another important thing to take some time on – especially the pillows. They should be tough, but comfortable at the same time. The fabrics are also important to me, I very much prefer natural fabrics like cotton or linen for the bedroom.
Chairs, and especially office chairs should be chosen with the same care – after all, we spend many hours in them all day and no one wishes for a constant backache. In this case, I don’t even care that much about the design – comfort above all.
The best options are probably ergonomic chairs (chairs that can be adjusted to fit your body), but it’s best to go with the try and test method in this case too.
USE THE POWER OF SCENTS
I take scents at my home very seriously – they are an integral part of my wellness routine. You don’t have to be an aromatherapy expert to take full advantage of the many emotional and wellness benefits of scents. And it’s not a pseudoscience: When we inhale aroma molecules they go through the so-called olfactory bulb that is directly connected to the brain and incites strong emotional responses.
Various scents can impact the brain in very specific and unique ways. Some of them are invigorating, others are soothing and calming. Some of them can actually bring back memories and truly alter our mood.
My absolute favorite wellness home tool is probably my essential oil diffuser. It’s the first thing I go to when I wake up and the last thing I switch off before sleep. I use various scents for the particular mood and vibe I’m going for:
+ peppermint for a cold fresh breeze
+ sweet orange or tangerine for a sweet, spicy pick-me-up
+ rosemary or eucalyptus for a big energy boost
+ lemongrass for a fresh, earthy, invigorating smell
+ lavender for relaxation
It’s such a simple wellness trick that still has enormous benefits on our mood and wellbeing (just make sure you buy 100% pure essential oils, not fragranced oils).
MANIPULATE THE LIGHT SOURCES
Light is increasingly becoming one of the most important elements in home design: Spaces designed around natural light sources, the increased use of light reflecting materials like glass and metal, smart lighting systems to better match our natural rhythm. And natural light (or the imitation of it) takes the central stage.
Something as simple as natural light can provide a tremendous health and wellness boost. There are numerous studies that emphasize that it improves productivity, alertness, mood, and overall psychological health. It’s also incredibly important to our natural circadian rhythm.
Another important thing to pay attention to at home is blue light. This is really not just a simple living fad, it actually can affect our health significantly. Blue light is a specific wavelength that is present in a number of light sources, from the sunlight to light emitting from electronic devices and artificial light (LEDs especially produce a lot of blue light).
Blue light boosts vitality and energy, so it’s important during the day, but can actually be pretty harmful at night as it can suppress melatonin production and totally disrupt our sleep cycles.
That’s why it’s essential to leave blue light out of the bedroom as much as we can, which means reduced exposure to the electronics, like tablets, phones, TV, computers, electronic clocks etc. at night and preferably dim lights. I haven’t tried it yet, but some people say red or pink light bulbs are the best choices for the bedroom because they do not affect our sleep like the blue light ones.
PAY ATTENTION TO COLORS
How we choose the colors for our home is largely a matter of personal taste and creativity. But it can also greatly influence our mood and wellbeing. The power of color is well-documented and can be factored into the interior design.
There are some color trends that are more or less generally accepted: neutrals and natural colors are said to be calming (no wonder most spas are a mixture of white and natural), red is stimulating, green is associated with calm and balance, yellow is energizing, blue is cooling, black is dramatic.
Colors evoke different emotional responses so it is wise to factor in personal preferences when choosing colors. Even if you cannot repaint all your rooms at once, you can choose some signature items with the right colors for the different spaces, all in line with the designed function and the way you would like to feel in that space.
THE SMALL, FINISHING TOUCHES
The things that transform a space into a home are personal and can add to your wellbeing.