Home is where we sleep and eat, where we spend time with family and friends, where we relax and take care of ourselves. So it’s hardly surprising that our homes have such a big impact on our health and wellbeing.
Around 12 million people see their GP with mental health problems each year in the UK - most are affected by anxiety and depression, much of which is stress-related. Many different factors can cause stress, but there are some simple ways to reduce this negative energy and increase feelings of wellbeing in your home.
Start with colours that promote balance and relieve anxiety. The colours you choose will depend on the space - what it’s used for, how much light it gets, how big it is - as well as your personal taste. Warm, natural colours like smoky mauves and pinks fill your home with positive energy. Cool and calming colours like cool blues and sage green can help you relax.
Get storage spaces in order to save yourself headaches. Make it easy to tidy things away with plenty of baskets and storage trays. But don’t feel that everything has to be hidden - display treasured objects in pride of place on sideboards or floating shelves. Why not make the photo that makes you happiest the first thing you see when you open the door?
Your kitchen can play a really important role in encouraging positive family interactions and healthy eating. Having a table where you can sit down to eat with family or friends has a range of health benefits as well as encouraging you to connect with loved ones. Mismatched tableware creates a relaxed and informal atmosphere for lazy brunches and romantic dinners. Simple touches like displaying fruit in a metallic basket or always having a glass carafe of water on hand can encourage healthier habits.
Our spaces often have to serve multiple purposes. The rooms where you play with your children, have drinks with friends and watch Netflix in your PJs might be one and the same. Ideally, your home should have space to think, relax and reflect - we all need somewhere to restore energy and focus - as well as space to socialise and have fun. Create quiet corners with comfortable chairs, cosy throws and versatile lighting.
Healthy sleep and relaxation are the name of the game here. A good night’s rest is key to feeling well, so your bedroom should be designed with this in mind. Make the most of natural light to keep in sync with your circadian rhythms, and consider banning phones from the bedroom. Bedding and curtains in natural materials, patterns and textures also have a calming and restorative effect.
With a bit of thought and planning, you can make a home that will promote your health, satisfaction and productivity. Think about bringing in some mood-lifting, air-purifying plants for an extra boost to your wellbeing, and turn the bathroom into miniature home spa with scented candles and fluffy towels. Most importantly, have fun creating your own personalised sanctuary!