Have you ever had one of those soul-crushing days – or weeks – at work and just want to get home? Those days that make you want to curl up in a ball in the back of your closet? The stress of work, or other daily responsibilities, can sometimes push you to the limits. Instead of blowing your top, create a relaxing room in your home where you can gather your thoughts. Follow the tips below to give yourself a healing place to unwind.
You might have felt the effects of certain colors on your moods without even knowing why. Bright reds, oranges and yellows may have made you feel tense, while blues, greens and browns had a calming effect on you. There have been psychological studies on the effects of color on our emotions that show that to be true. When decorating or choosing a room in your home to relax in, the color on the walls should be the first step.
Paint your walls, and even the ceiling, with a color that will evoke a calming sense of comfort for you. When selecting the color, avoid using a darker shade, which may have the opposite effect on your psyche. Lighter shades of blues, greens, violets, pinks or browns will work best. While you might think that whites or grays will also work, the contrary is true.
The color and patterns under your feet and the angles of your furniture should also be considered. You will want a neutral brown that does not have a busy pattern or strong color. Carpeting was also shown to be more relaxing, so if you have tile or wood flooring, add a rug. It will soften the overall feeling in the room and the sound of your footsteps.
Sound plays a large part of our day. If you work in a busy city where the sound of traffic and honking horns is associated with work or chaos, you will want to make your room quiet and soothing. Turn off your cell phone unless you can program it to play relaxing music. If you can avoid having a television in the room, do it. If not, either close your entertainment center’s doors or disguise it with a relaxing painting or curtain.
Adding a water feature, such as a small fountain, can also help you relax in your room. You might consider adding a fish aquarium. Not only will the bubbling sound of the filtration system be soothing, but also simply watching fish swim can be calming.
Natural light is best in a room designed for relaxing, which also helps our body’s circadian rhythm. If possible, choose a room with a skylight or large windows. Lighting in the room should be spotlighting, such as a lamp beside a sofa or chair, or beside the bed if the bedroom is your chosen relaxation room. Overhead lights should be on dimmers so as the daylight fades away, you can also soften the overall room lighting.
Clutter in your life often becomes a psychological block which can express itself in many ways, such as added stress or bad dreams. Keeping your room free of clutter, including excess furniture, can help to relax your mind.
Studies have shown that scents associated with good things or memories, such as baking cookies, coffee or specific meals during holidays will reduce stress or promote creativity. Negatively associated scents, such as a dirty cat litter box or public bathrooms, will add to stress and often reduce productivity.
Lavender and vanilla have been known to be associated with relaxation, but you may have another scent associated with a peaceful time, such as rain or wood. Consider using scented candles to bring a feeling of relaxation to your room.
While you are selecting a scented candle, you may also want to consider adding two or three live plants to your room. Plants are known to help with filtering the air and removing toxins. Even if you feel you have a brown thumb, there are many plants that are easy to care for and hard to kill.
As a child, you may have had a blanket or stuffed toy you couldn’t live without, especially during times when you felt scared or hurt. Growing up, it might have been a comfortable robe or sweater, jeans, shoes or slippers. In fact, you might still have them in the back of your closet, threadbare and falling apart at the seams. Whatever your comfort item is, it should be accessible in the room you choose to relax in.
Just as important as those items are the foods or drinks that make you feel relaxed. While you may want to reach for a cold beer or tumbler of liquor, in the long run choosing a nonalcoholic drink will be better for your brain and your emotion. Drinks such as an herbal tea, hot chocolate, warm milk or flavored coffee are all great options.
No matter which room you choose to make your comfort cocoon, taking charge of your stress and learning ways to control it is the first step toward a healthier life.