We have beautiful bi-polar weather out here again – 80 degrees two days ago and a blizzard yesterday – and it makes me wonder if it’s boring to live in places where each and every day is pleasant? What would I complain about? Those of you in these boring states – write in and let me know how bored you are, would you?!
I’ve been thinking about home tending and how it’s similar to taking care of yourself. When I take care of myself and get my walks in, eat healthy and get sleep I feel happier and less anxious. When my house has clean surfaces, smells good and has fresh flowers and candles – I also feel happier and more calm at home. I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but I bet it’s true for most people if you account for the popularity of HGTV.
I just started reading a book called Happier Every Day by a writer I had the pleasure of talking to on my podcast last week, Paula Munier. When I got the book, I pictured it being about meditation, excercise and sleep, and there is some of that in there, but the beginning of the book is all about how your home brings you contentment and I realized that this is both true and important.
Here’s a quick, one bowl recipe for creating happy moments for yourself in your home. Don’t think of this as for your kids – they might not notice. Don’t think of this as for your partner or spouse, again, they might not notice. This is just for you. If you think of caring for your space as part of caring for yourself, it will change the way you think about your home. These are in no particular order and they work best if you start with a clean canvas.
Clear your surfaces: When Kristy and I come in and style a home for a photo shoot, the first thing we do is take everything off the counters and tables. We give them a good cleaning and then stand back and look critically at the room. We slowly add things back.
I am working on this right now in my own home. I’m a stacker and an accumulator. I have books that are on my “To Be Read” list stacked up, a strange accumulation of sticky notes, colored pencils and pens in jars (more than I will ever need), charging cords seemingly everywhere, grocery lists and pretty bowls out (that sounds nice, but wait!) filled with odds and ends that should not have been saved. I’m taking them off the counters and finding new spots for them and also, throwing them out! Try this in your kitchen and your entry way (wherever you tend to set things) and it will go a long way toward making your home visually calm. Unless you use it every single day, it probably doesn’t need to be sitting out. And even then, if you have a place for it inside a cabinet or pantry, you can tuck it back out of sight once you’re done as you do anything refrigerated!
Fresh Flowers: Our grocery stores in the Denver area have great flowers year round. I have been in the habit for the past month of buying a small bunch of fresh flowers about once every week and it has impacted my mood. I keep the table and counter around them clear and clean and on snow days when I feel like green leaves and grass are months ahead of me, they give me hope. At first this felt like a luxury, but now it feels more like a necessity.
Scent: Paula has this in her book and I’ve been doing this for a while now and can attest to it – a good candle or essential oil in a diffuser can help you feel more calm. I love candles at night and always have one burning on the coffee table. They don’t have to be scented – it’s the warm, flickering light that I really like and also the ritual of lighting them (I missed my calling as an altar boy).
A few years ago I was at a clients house and she had a diffuser plugged in and running. Her home always smelled clean and relaxing and I took note. Essential oil diffusers are an easy way to get a subtle, natural and relaxing scent into your home. You can buy essential oils on Amazon and even at a lot of grocery stores now. I’m a big fan of Bergamot right now for some reason.