It's no secret that January has everyone repeating the "new year, new me" mantra, and health and well-being gets a huge amount of our attention (mostly because we're feeling a little sluggish after Christmas). While most people tend to focus only on their physical appearance & fitness. I think that introducing mindfulness into your home environment is also the key to overall success and longevity. After all, mindful living is about reducing stress and improving your quality of life and with Current Affairs being so intense, now more than ever, I think the reduction of stress should be something that we are all open to.
The irony is that people tend to run around (literally) checking their gadgets and apps for accountability, and motivation while forgetting that in actual fact, as human beings, our natural instinct is to disconnect and slow down so that we can regain our sense of self and enjoy the offline quality of life. Which is why today's post is about giving you some ideas to encourage you to begin this year with a home environment that focuses on "living well" throughout the entire year to support your health and fitness efforts behind closed doors.
And the good thing about this type of design advice, is that it doesn't have to cost huge amounts of money. It's more about making the most out of the space and what you already have, and then making some small additions or changes which then obviously keeps your costs down.
Introduce Neutral Tones
Neutral colours are relaxing and easy on the eye, so they will make you feel at ease & relaxed in your space. They make perfect "background" colours due to the fact that they compliment other colours from the colour wheel really well.
Promote a Good Sleep Pattern
A huge contribution to our sense of well-being is our sleep. Getting a good night's sleep is so important for our mental and physical health. A UK stress survey found that 74 percent of adults felt so stressed they described feeling 'overwhelmed' or 'unable to cope' (Mental Health Foundation, 2018). So use relaxing colours in this space and ensure you have an element of "softness" within the textile patterns and treat yourself to a good mattress and some luxurious bedding. Trust me, you will wake up feeling like "the Queen that you are" (lovely quote from a friend of mine).
Many biological processes happen during sleep: The brain stores new information and gets rid of toxic waste. Nerve cells communicate and reorganize, which supports healthy brain function. The body repairs cells, restores energy, and releases molecules like hormones and proteins. (Healthline.com)
Read this great guide by Arista Living for some tips on the things that you can do to assist you in getting enough sleep at night. It may also help you, if you keep a track on your sleep patterns. Use this great sleep tracker by Mental Health UK to get yourself started and if you find you have an unhealthy pattern of sleep, then contact your GP.
Make Your Healthy Food in a Clean & Organised Kitchen
I'm a firm believer that healthy eating should be combined with healthy and clean living in the home! So keep your kitchen clean and organised, and hazard free so that you don't come down with a nasty bacterial infection or come to any physical harm when preparing your healthy meals and snacks. Also, make sure that you have a 'Kitchen Triangle' that suits your current kitchen layout for efficiency and safety.
Introduce a Home Gym
Some people may prefer to workout in the comfort of their own home and save money on gym memberships, especially in these uncertain times. Regardless of your preference, regular exercise is good for your health so it should be a daily part of your life. It helps to reduce the risk of major illness, and also helps you to keep your weight healthy. If you're lucky enough to have a spare room, why not turn it into your own work out space? If you're a person who wouldn't like to join a gym, and you don't have a spare room, then you can always buy yourself some workout accessories and find a small space in your home to do your exercises.
Bring the Outside In
As an interior designer, I am a huge advocate of using house plants whenever possible. Because I personally believe that nothing relaxes the mind more than being around nature. Greenery also promotes a feeling of tranquility. And some house plants can purify and improve the air quality in your home, meaning that they are a great addition to promoting your healthy lifestyle.
Take Time Out to Meditate & Relax
All of the above is pointless if we can't keep the "engine running" and I personally could not have survived or have felt joyful and content with my life up to this present day without my daily "quiet time", prayer and meditation on scripture.
So, I encourage you to create a space in your home where you can shut yourself off from the chaos of the world and spend time with your thoughts and reflect on and process the emotions (both positive & negative) being evoked by all that is going on around you. Doing this means that you will feel completely present and centered - both fundamental elements to your spiritual well-being.
Happy New Year!