When you’re living in a city like New York, where both the stakes and stress levels are frighteningly high, it’s important to find moments of refuge. Here are some holistic ways to get your mind right, de-stress, and find a little more peace in your apartment.
Whether it’s an oil diffuser or an oil burner, conscious aromatherapy in the home can work wonders for relieving stress and improving your mood. The trick is finding the right scents (or combination of scents). The easiest way to decide what’s best for you is to figure out whether you resonate more with floral, citrusy, or earthy scents. From there, you can work in one of the three “family” scents and get creative.
Use technology wisely
Put that Echo Dot to good use: for tranquility and relaxation. If you’re going to keep a lot of tech products in your home (because, let’s face it, they accumulate), try to designate a few for de-stressing purposes. Tune your Echo Dot to the Meditation stations on Pandora or Spotify, and only play soft, relaxing music when you’re alone in the house.
Blue hues does not equal bluesy moods. The right shade of blue can actually bring a sense of calm to your home. It’s an intellectual, reflective color that works well in an area where you value your down time. Try mixing up different shades of blue, but stay away from grey-blues or cold tones, as those shades can have an opposite effect.
Design a meditation station in one area. And keep it sacred.
Pick a corner or a small area in your home that’s only about health and wellbeing. It’s a place where you can practice daily wellness routines, like yoga, meditation, prayer, or quiet time. Decorate it with just a few of your favorite items, keeping the aesthetic minimal, yet personal.
But keep in mind this one very important rule…
Keep electronics out of this space at all costs. Accept no phone calls while you’re in this section of your home (and especially no scrolling through Instagram). Hang up a reminder sign even: No Screens Allowed. Over time, this area will have a Pavlovian effect: you may instantly feel better and lighter each time you walk into the space.
Change your sheets regularly
This may seem like an obvious tip, but really think about it: There’s nothing quite like getting into a perfectly turned down bed with soft, fresh (even lightly scented with lavender) sheets. It’s not all about the thread count either, simply go for the softest sheets you can find and wash them every other week. Your skin will also thank you.
Keep the colors neutral (there’s a reason why people tend to favor white sheets) because you don’t need a loud color explosion greeting you every night as you drift off.
Don’t allow this item in your bedroom (ever)
Sticking with tempering your tech consumption, try this de-stressing experiment: Don’t allow your phone in your bedroom. Ever. California state just issued a warning against cell phone radiation and advised people to keep their phones as far away from their bodies as possible. Plus, if your cell is in your bedroom at all, you’ll be tempted to check all those unread emails and notifications before bed – and you don’t need that.
One trash bag. One hour or less.
Becoming Minimalist suggests filling up one trash bag to begin a decluttering ritual. Stick to either clothes, home goods, and accessories for donation or designate your bag for trash. See how quickly you can fill it up and get it out of the house.
Focus on one thing at time
Don’t dedicate an entire weekend to decluttering and cleaning. Just focus on small projects that are actually doable in two or three hour bursts. That way you won’t feel overwhelmed or over-stressed about all the things you have to do.
Accept the fact that nothing is perfect
Your home shouldn’t be a showroom for perfection. It’s meant to be lived in and enjoyed as a sanctuary from the outside world. Ask yourself: Does the stuff in my house make me happy? If it doesn’t, get rid of it.
Invite over a friend to help you de-stress
Laughter is a universal remedy ailments of the soul. No matter how tired you are or how stressed, a good belly laugh (or several) with friends is always a good thing.
Make your bathroom a zen-den
Add candles around the brim of the tub and on small shelves. Blue- and rose-colored candles look good with virtually any bathroom décor. Add in the aromatherapy tip from above (a few drops of essential oils in the bath) and bring in your meditation music. Face mask = extra self-care.
Spray your pillows with lavender for a better night’s sleep
Lavender has a calming effect on the mind, so before you go to sleep at night, try spritzing your sheets and pillows with the scent. If you can’t find any artisanal (organic) lavender spray, the Bath & Body Works aromatherapy for sleep works well.