Whenever I feel like I need to shake things up, I go into full Extreme Makeover: Home Edition mode. I move around small pieces of furniture, rearrange decor on different shelves, and head to Target for yet another cute throw pillow. Something about shifting things in my environment helps me refresh my mind, and with the new year approaching, I’m preparing for a big transformation that focuses on creating a calming atmosphere. These 2019 New Year’s resolutions for your home are just the thing for making your space the sanctuary you deserve.
Before you start making any changes, whether major or minor, take a moment to think about any parts of your current home that really aren’t working for you. "Assess, then address," suggests yoga therapist Lisa Diers, RDN, LD, E-RYT. "In order to reduce stress, it helps to know what stresses you out," she tells Elite Daily in an email. "It pays to take a few minutes for self-inquiry."
Once you’ve decided that the Black Sabbath poster from high school isn’t exactly creating chill vibes, or that the mound of shoes in the corner of your room is making you anxious, you can start to tackle each area to transform your home into a calming place to return to at the end of a long day.
Make the bedroom a tech-free zone
hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock
"If possible, keep all electronics out of the bedroom — try using an old-fashioned alarm clock near your bed and charging your phone in the kitchen," suggests Martin Rawls-Meehan, CEO and co-founder of Reverie.
I know you’ve probably heard this advice a million times, but there’s a reason that sleep experts keep recommending it, and 2019 might be just the year to see what a more natural way to wake up is all about.
Create a "thankfulness" board
If you’re trying to bring more calmness into your living space, try this idea from Dr. Sujay Kansagra, Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert: list three good things from your day once you get home.
I’ve been trying to incorporate this technique into my own routine, and have found it really peaceful to write these positive thoughts down on a huge piece of paper in my bedroom. As soon as I wake up, I get to see all of the wonderful things I am thankful for, which definitely helps shape my mindset for the day ahead.
Keep plenty of books around
Have you always dreamed of your very own floor-to-ceiling book wall equipped with a sliding ladder just like Belle has in Beauty and the Beast? I definitely have. While you probably don’t have the space for thousands of books, bringing in a few more can give you a relaxing, easy-to-reach-for activity whenever you’re home. If you’re having trouble calming down your mind, Jennifer Adams, author of the book Love Coming Home, suggests grabbing a juicy novel to help easy you into bedtime.
Try out a white noise machine
LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine
"Remember that summer your air conditioning went out, and you slept with a fan on all night, every night? You slept like a baby," says Adams. "That’s because of the white noise."
But these calming machines aren’t just for bedtime. Whenever you need a little extra relaxation, turn on this machine for a variety of sounds, including "pink noise" and "brown noise." If you want even more options, opt for a machine with nature sounds as well.
Incorporate more nature
"One of the simplest and most effective design tips for fostering wellness is to bring the outside, inside," Susie Frazier, artist, designer, and author of the book Designing for Wellness tells Elite Daily over email. "Besides infusing a feeling of zen to our space, earth materials displayed in built environments have been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety levels."
You could definitely get a couple of cute plants, but this is a situation where you can be as creative as possible. Display branches from a nearby wooded landscape, or frame some pressed flowers for plenty of plantiful goodness.
Get rid of any knick-knacks you don’t need
"The less stuff you’ve got, the easier it is to relax in your space," says Pip Waller, medical herbalist, holistic healer, and author of the book Deeply Holistic. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and get rid of anything that does not have a specific purpose or genuinely give you joy. Donate anything that’s still in good shape to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill so that it can lead a second life with someone who needs it.
Bring in some tactile objects
Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly anxious, it’s helpful to do something with my hands so that I feel like I’m staying busy. These Buddha rocks are just the thing to bring some calmness to your space, suggests Frazier. "Just place them loosely on any table, ledge, or counter, and these little earth totems become mesmerizing for anyone to touch," she tells Elite Daily. "They’re very satisfying to handle, especially for anyone who spends most of their life in an urban setting without much access to nature."
Paint your walls a soothing color
According to EasyCare color expert Cynthia Cornell, painting your walls can have a major effect on the aura of your room. "Colors can be used to bring in different types of moods into your home and spaces," she tells Elite Daily in an email. If you want to keep things fairly neutral, try out something like a soft gray hue. This will not only make a space open up, says Cornell, but it can also channel plenty of hygge vibes.
For a more colorful atmosphere, opt for a sea blue to channel the calm of the ocean, or even go for coral, Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year. While the shade might seem a little bright to be soothing, Cornell explains, "the color brings a humanizing factor into an otherwise digital and cluttered world, instantly infusing warmth into your space."
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