It’s no secret that your environment can affect your mental health. And since we are still spending more time at home these days, it’s so important to create a space for yourself that is calm, inviting and stress-free (or close to it!). But between cohabitating, working from home, and the seemingly endless amount of cleaning – that is sometimes easier said than done. Curious to hear what ideas others are doing to keep their homes low-stress, we decided to take a reader poll. Thanks to our community, here are 10 (reader approved) ways to create a calming space.
Reader Approved: 10 Ways to Create a Calming & Stress Free Space
1. Invest in lighting
“Lamps!! Ambiance lighting.” - Kim D.
Lighting can really make or break a space – and it’s also a really simple way to change a space. Something as simple as switching out a cool-toned light bulb for a warmer one can make your room more calming. Similarly, if you are in a room with poor natural light – a few additional lamps can really help to lift your spirits and create positive energy.
2. Surround yourself with objects you love
“Intimate objects I collect through thrifting & vintaging” -@ktoyote
If your home doesn’t look like you live in it, you aren’t likely to want to spend time there. Personal objects and sentimental items can really help add a lived in quality to a space and make it feel more inviting, warm and cozy. Whatever the objects are – if they bring you joy, you are likely to feel happier and more at peace in your home.
3. Create a dedicated space for relaxing
“Meditation area! It’s been amazing. My own room where no one else is allowed lol.” - Ellen B.
“I have my own craft room with a TV and everything I could ever want to create” - Jodi W.
Many of us are still working, exercising, home schooling, and basically everything else at home – which can make it a more challenging environment for relaxing. Creating a dedicated space where you unwind can help you to destress after the work day and mentally transition from day to evening.
You don’t need a lot of room to make this happen, you can probably make space for it with a few new boundaries. For example, if you like to unwind in the evening by watching some tv on the couch – just don’t use that space for other parts of your day (like working).
4. Finding Alone Time
“Waking up in the morning before the kids and having some coffee & leisure reading” - Brigitte T.
Let’s face it, sometimes we just need to find some time to be alone. And being alone at home can feel especially rejuvenating. We love them, but between roommates, significant others and family members – finding alone time may be easier said than done.
This will look different for everyone. A morning person might start waking up before their partner, while a night owl might wait for family members to go to sleep. If that’s not practical for you, try drawing yourself a luxurious bath a few days a week or sending your partner out on an errand to sneak in a few moments to yourself.
5. Clean Up
“Clear the laundry off my bed” - Dora
“ORGANIZATION”- LaToya Lewis
It may not be the most fun, but cleaning up a little can do wonders for your psyche. There is a peacefulness to a clean house that really does reduce stress. No time for a full clean? Take 5 minutes to tidy up – going through the mail, putting away clutter, or wiping down your kitchen counters. Then, look around and take a deep breath. You’ll be happy you did.
6. Take a break from screens
“No TV in the bedroom” - Jill P.
Have you checked your screen time lately? Between our computers, our phones and our tvs it is easy to be almost constantly glued to a screen, which can be harmful for your eyes, your posture and definitely your sleep patterns. Reduce the stressful effects screens have on our bodies by taking a look at your habits. Can you keep screens out of your bedroom like reader Jill? Can you keep the tv off in the morning and read the news instead?
7. Use Calming Colors
“Soothing paint colors, soft throws, reed diffuser, tiny fan”-Kaylin
The colors we surround ourselves with have a huge impact on the energy of a space. Neutral colors or softer hues (like light blue or green) have a calming effect. When choosing colors for a room, try to avoid pairing colors that clash or overly vibrant hues. Of course, if bright colors make you feel happy – then by all means incorporate them into your home – but you might want to try balancing the bright with some neutral tones to keep your space from becoming overwhelming.
8. Rearranging your space
“Tidy and rearrange furniture” - @loz_creamasco
“A room divider, a lamp with a warm glow, a stack of books, cozy duvet, and a pile of pillows” - Tara
Sometimes, what you really need is a change of scenery to make you fall in love with your home again. Since vacations or new homes aren’t always possible, redecorating or rearranging may be the next best thing. Shift your furniture around, or, add a room divider to create new spaces like our reader, Tara.
9. Incorporating Plants and Flowers
“Art, dried flowers, plants!” - Anna P.
We’ve talked before about how houseplants can boost your mental health, but that isn’t the only reason to keep them in your space. Plants and flowers can also brighten up rooms, help to purify the air, and add extra character to your space. It’s a relatively low-cost way to boost creativity and productivity, while also reducing stress.
10. Setting the mood
“Turn the a/c down, grab a cozy blanket, cup of hot tea, & snuggle up for a good movie” - Deanne G.
Despite our best intentions, stress is bound to make an appearance in our homes at some point. If all else fails, we think Deanne’s advice about setting the mood is a great way to let go of the day and bring peace back to your home. Speaking of setting the mood – there’s nothing quite like the little luxury of putting on a pair of pajamas after a long day.
PF MAG is dedicated to thoughtful, not-so-simple living. Founded by Amy Voloshin as a stationery and sleepwear brand, Printfresh has grown into far more than that. Our articles provide discerning perspectives on all things lifestyle, including fashion, wellness, design, travel and home decor, as well as interviews with some of the people who inspire us most.