Laura Ingalls Wilder, Author of Little House On The Prairie once said “Home is the nicest word there is” and I agree, that’s exactly how we should feel about our homes. That said none of us could have imagined we would be spending quite so much time under lock and key as we are under the current circumstances with the threat of COVID-19, which has dramatically changed the way we live, work and socialise for now.
Thankfully, us humans are incredibly adaptable and while much of our lives are on pause, we can use this enforced isolation as an opportunity to exercise some home care measures to make adjustments and improvements that we will benefit from long after the lockdown has been lifted.
How we plan and arrange our decor is a form of self-care that has been practiced for thousands of years, from the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui to the more recent Danish concept of Hygge. Feng Shui is all about harmonizing individuals with their surroundings, and Hygge translates as ‘a mood of cosiness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment’. Researchers found Scandinavians to be amongst the happiest people on Earth, and attribute it to practicing the Hygge approach.
Home is where you can be yourself, so it makes sense that your home should reflect who you are. You don’t need to be an interior designer to create amenable surroundings – there are a few simple guidelines you can follow to ensure your home both looks great and reflects your personality. Things to consider include picking the correct colours and textures; having the right amount of light, placing items around you that have a personal significance and having a good sense of order (de-cluttering!). The way you decorate your home will affect the way you feel every day, and the very practice of decorating can be therapeutic in itself, both physically and mentally.
At home we can arrange and control what our spaces do for our psyche. As visually stimulated creatures what we see greatly affects our personal condition. That’s why it’s important to consider the aesthetics of our homes. We spend a lot of time at home, now more so than ever – it’s a place to relax, recharge and ruminate – a safe haven. As such it’s very important to our health and our sanity that our home environment is peaceful.
A pleasant environment is key to good mental health and your home is no exception. If you feel uncomfortable in your home it can darken your mood and lead to feelings of depression. Make your home as beautiful as you can and you will reap the rewards, feeling happier, more productive and content, and if you are currently working from home as opposed to going to the office then it is crucial your work space measures up. It is worth noting too that as humans we are constantly evolving and as such our homes need to evolve with us. If you are going through a life change it may well be a good time to update or totally redecorate your home to reflect your renewed identity.
Creating a cosy, welcoming and comforting environment in your home has a raft of benefits, emotional, physical and social. Emotionally, stress will be reduced and feelings of self-worth will increase; in a comfortable environment we become more mindful and optimism levels are raised. Physically, when we feel safe and calm our body responds accordingly – sleep improves, fewer stress hormones spike and our need for any unhealthy habits subside. When we feel comfortable we are more likely to reach out and connect with others; togetherness and intimacy are increased and relationships are improved – so if you’re cooped up with family and getting on each other’s nerves then improving the decor will do wonders for you all. Why not get everyone working as a team and decide together how best to decorate and furnish the communal areas, personal spaces and perhaps new or temporary areas such as the home office or home ‘classroom’.
Usually our homes are a place where we welcome friends and family but with social distancing in place we are unable to host guests. We are also limited in where we can travel to and are likely to have had to cancel or postpone events such as parties, christenings and regular meet ups. Sending a friend or relative, who might be missing you, a gift of something they could use and incorporate into their home is a great way of staying connected to them – a beautiful cushion for their bed to remind them of you; a blanket that you can see them wrapped up in during your Zoom call together; a baby blanket as a christening present that you weren’t able to hand them in person.
At The Luxe Cwtch we all about luxury, comfort, love and togetherness and we know how important hugs are… here’s hoping we will all be hugging each other again soon.
Stay well, stay cosy and stay happy
The Luxe Cwtch xx