1. Declutter & organise
Some people actually thrive with clutter around them, according to studies done by scientists and researchers at the University of Minnesota in 2013. If you’re one of them, you may want to consider organising your clutter into different piles – it might help out with your creativity.
Now if the “messy room, messy mind” saying still applies to you, start clearing out everything you don’t need. Your makeup, clothes, and shoes, and odds and ends. Be merciless and immediately put what isn’t needed in the dispose pile. For plus points, pass on the things you don’t need to your loved ones, upcycle them, or better yet, donate them.
Once you have a clear space and less of a clutter, you’ll feel the harmonious house feng shui energy – an enlightened load, so to speak.
2. Fill the house with natural light and fresh air
For your house to have good ‘Chi’ or feng shui energy, it needs to be filled with fresh air and light. Doing the following is also beneficial for your health. In a book written by Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz, otherwise known as celebrity doctor Dr Oz, it’s said that “the inside of a home generally has three to four times the pollutants and particles that are most dangerous to us”.
So make it a habit to draw the curtains and open up the windows every morning once you wake up – ignore the heat or chilly wind. You may also want to consider switching your blackout curtains for translucent ones, or even blinds. On the weekends, try and leave the windows open and curtains drawn through the day. The point is to fill your home with as much natural light and fresh air as possible.
Adding a plant will also help wonders – or use an air purifier if you don’t exactly have a green thumb.
3. Decorate your living space
It’s comparable to retail therapy – you only buy things that make you happy, so why decorate your house (or leave it bare) with things that you don’t like? Adding bits and bobs of colour and objects that are aesthetically pleasing to you, makes you happier and feel less tension when you step in.
Go on a trip to a furniture store you like to give your home a refresh. Add objects in colours that you love, but make sure that they complement each other, not clash.
Introduce plants, flowers or wooden elements which will help to keep you rooted to nature. Just remember to water them or dispose of them if they wither, as Feng Shui experts say it’s not good for your overall ‘Chi’ to have dying or dead plants around. You can also add a healing crystal, which also helps to ward off the negative energy while looking rather gorgeous.
4. Make your bed and clean your house
Just as how decluttering your possessions can clear your mind, keeping your room and house clean clears your mind too.
It’s one of the simplest chores that too often we skip, because we’re lazy. Take a few minutes out of each morning to clean the bed. Simply smoothen out the covers, or you could brush the bed to dust off any dead skin or dirt that may reside there. Then spritz the pillows with a refreshing spray, like this Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from This Works. Leaving the room clean, tidy, and fresh will make you feel more welcomed when you come home.
5. Create a happy spot and be strict with what you do in each room
Have a little corner of your house that’ll make you happy, as having a personal space for peace and joy is important. It’s where you go to when you need to get your thoughts sorted out, or to relax. Make it clear to those you live with that if you’re in that area, you should not be disturbed. It could be a little nook, a whole room, or a single chair. You could personalise the area however you want to, be it with books or a comfy pillow with a box of essential oils.
On the other hand, be sure to designate the purpose of each room and be strict with it. Just like how we restrain ourselves from bringing personal issues into the workplace, we should leave work away from certain areas of our home. If you have a work desk, limit work and the stress that comes along with it, to that area only.
6. Indulge your senses in aromatherapy
A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that odors can affect your behaviour and mood. More specifically, the study, which included testing the effects of lavender and rosemary on people, found that those who smelled lavender felt more relaxed and were happier. Meanwhile, those who inhaled rosemary were more alert and relaxed. All 40 of them performed better in one way or another.
Light up scented candles or drip essential oil which will help calm you down after a long day at work. You can also spray your pillows and blanket with a refreshing or calming scent. Just be sure to open a window, and not to over do it since it could cause a headache with the overpowering scents.
Personally, the smell of fresh linen calms me down and reminds me of travelling. So take your time and find a scent that’s suitable and pleasurable for you. It’ll not only help you unwind, but it’ll help you sleep better and in turn, perform better in the day.
7. Cook whenever you can
This is more of a personal tip rather than a scientific one. Whenever you can, try cooking up a new dish and follow the recipe step-by-step. The methodical-approach to cooking demands your full attention, so you’ll have to slow down and focus on it – you won’t have time to worry or think of much else. For some, the sounds of the knife hitting the chop board or the sound of water boiling is soothing too.
In a way, it’s like meditation with the promise of a hearty, delicious outcome. Even therapists have recommended “culinary therapy” to those with behavioural or mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and ADHD.
Not to mention, home-cooked food is the best kind of food!
8. Establish a night time routine
At least an hour before bed, start unwinding with a simple night routine. It varies from person to person but could be anything – as long as it does not involve any technology.
We’re all aware of how the amount and quality of our sleep affects our day. A sleep research conducted by California State University found that the common reason why we’re not getting the optimal rest, is because we use our phones or laptops before slipping into bed – to reply emails or get the next day’s affairs in order. Cut that habit. The blue wavelength light from LED-based devices tells our brains to produce more cortisol – which makes us more alert and counteracts melatonin, a chemical that helps us fall asleep.
Start off by slipping into some fluffy bedroom slippers, comfy pyjamas, and complete your night skincare routine. Then, sip on a hot drink while reading a book, writing down the day’s events, or scribbling your agenda for the next day. Whatever you choose to do, make it your before-bed routine.
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Text: Alyaa Iman Imran, Her World