Creating a comfortable and relaxing environment, where you can take time out to be still and practice mindfulness, can lead to better productivity, lower stress levels and a more restful night’s sleep. Here’s five tips to de-clutter and create the perfect zen den.
Find the right tone
Colour is a very powerful tool and can impact human emotion and mental performance. With the right selections you can create a calming environment that allows you to easily turn off and clear the mind. Studies have shown the colour blue can make people feel less impulsive and calm, lowering both pulse rates and body temperature. A combination of blues, cool greys and natural woods help create a tranquil aesthetic reminiscent of the sea and sky.
You want your house to be a place you feel comfortable spending time in and lighting plays a very important part in this. Avoid using harsh lights and instead opt for multiple light sources, dimmed down or diffused to create gentle pools of warm light throughout the space. These can be low handing pendant lights, side lamps, candles or electric diffusers. Low lighting also helps the natural cycle and release of melatonin, which regulates the body’s circadian rhythm and improves sleep quality.
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If you feel like you need to escape, create a dedicated chill out zone or meditation space, a comforting and peaceful spot away from the noise. Soft furnishings are not only a place to sit, but they also help to soften and absorb the background noise of traffic and city life. Try to sit low to the floor and layer on extra cushions and blankets for comfort. Textures also play an important role and can affect the sound and feel of the space, building a tactile experience. A thick pile rug creates a soft cushion underfoot and a textured blanket offers warmth. It’s important to make this space cosy and relaxing, not hard or constricting – which you may associate with sitting at a desk.
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Small items add an extra layer of detail, creating a memorable and interesting space to spend time in. A signature scent, foliage and calming visuals can enhance a space and add extra layers of details, creating a homely and considered room that’s enjoyable to spend time in. Memorable scents from candles and diffusers can enhance the relaxing experience. Essential oils such as lavender, ylang ylang, lemonbalm and bergamont are known to relive anxiety and bring you into a calmer state of mind. Plants can bring the outside in and have been shown to lower stress, improve mood and clean the air within your home from pollutants.
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Now is a great time to de-clutter and organise your home. Spending increasing periods inside means it’s easy to accumulate mess, adding anxiety and encouraging a lethargic mood. By minimising clutter and organising rooms effectively, you can turn even the smallest spaces into tranquil chill out zones.
Once you’ve created the perfect space, try playing some relaxing background music to add to the ambient atmosphere. Dedicate 15 minutes of quiet time per day, whether this is with meditation, reading or just being still and sitting with your own thoughts. A relaxing space will have a knock on effect to your mood and how you approach each day during this time of isolation.