Life can be overwhelming. Between trying to balance work, family, friends and everything in between, it’s extremely easy to feel depleted at the end of the day. And the last thing we need is for our home (aka our safe space) to contribute to that feeling. Because, yes, there are piles of laundry scattered throughout the house and those dishes in the sink are stacking up. Hey, we’re only human. The good news? With some small changes, you can gradually transform your home into a serene and restorative oasis. So, take a deep breath and enjoy these 16 ways to turn your home into your own little self-care sanctuary.
How to Transform Your Home into a Self-Care Sanctuary
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1. Create a Welcoming Entryway
If you’re bombarded with a messy entryway, chances are you’re going to be annoyed by it and carry that feeling into your home. To combat that and define the mood for your space, create an entryway that’ll give you that “ahh, I’m home” positive relief. We recommend having a drop zone to throw your keys or bag, suitable storage to hide random pairs of shoes and an artsy (or colorful) moment to punch up the happiness. Small changes like this will instantly give off a more relaxing vibe and help signal your brain you’re entering a safe space.
2. Define Your Home’s Signature Scent
It’s no secret that our sense of smell is closely linked to emotion, so pick a scent that makes you happy or evokes that spa-like feeling, and then use it throughout your house. Burn your favorite candles, opt for an easy plug-in or, our personal favorite, use an essential oil diffuser to really create your own scent (psst...try a blend of grapefruit, bergamot and lime).
3. Add Living Plants, Too
When people feel stressed or need a quick mental break, they head for the great outdoors (hello, forest bathing) because being one with nature is scientifically proven to improve mood. So, let’s take that practice and bring it indoors by flooding your home with all the plants. Not only do plants boost productivity and concentration, but they also clean the indoor air, add life to sterile spaces and can be therapeutic to care for. Bottom line: plants = happiness.
4. Keep Your Windows Squeaky-Clean
We don’t know about you, but we cannot get enough natural light. So much so that we could go without drapes entirely but, like, privacy. Keep your windows clean and streak-free so you can reap all the benefits natural light has to offer. From improving our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns to helping us focus, letting your body feel the sun does wonders for your physical and psychological well-being.
5. Be Strategic with Your Color Palette
Don’t worry, we aren’t going to tell you to paint every room of your home white or gray. However, you should be strategic with the colors you choose because that can be a huge factor in affecting mood (red, for instance, can raise blood pressure and quicken breathing). Softer hues of green, blue and neutral tones are known to help create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Even if you’re someone who prefers more color, you can still use purples, pinks and yellows, but lean towards more natural or dusty tones rather than bold and bright.
6. Make Sure You Choose the Right Light Bulbs
Now that you’ve settled on paint, next up is lighting. Picking the correct temperature light bulb can feel daunting, with so many options available. Also, the bulb temperature can alter the way your wall color comes off, so you want to be sure you pick the right one for the needs of your home. For example, if you’re home mainly in the evenings, go with a warm white LED bulb since it’s less likely to mess up your sleep patterns. If your interior is modern and crisp, you’ll do better with a cooler temperature bulb.
7. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
Editing is essential for a peaceful space, so toss any decor or knickknacks that don’t truly bring you joy, à la Marie Kondo. Then, organize any remaining chaos. Everyone has some random junk floating around (looking at you, Zara receipts), but corralling it in trays and baskets reduces visual stress. In that vein, be sure to ditch any belongings with a negative emotional association (like those fugly wine glasses gifted by your ex’s mother).
8. Frame Your Favorite Photos
Whether you love abstract art or want to display your family vacation photos, hanging art in your home has so many positive benefits. Aside from giving your walls a fresh look, displaying pieces that make you happy will instantly lift your mood. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways to show off your personality and it makes your home feel welcoming and cozy. Even better, art brings people together and acts as a great conversation starter for whenever you host your next soirée.
9. Weave in Soft Textures
Pillows, throw blankets and rugs are a great way to introduce soft textures into your home. Think about the rooms where you spend the most time and outfit those first. Add plenty of pillows to the couch for when you’re watching TV, toss a knit throw on the end of your bed or even put down a faux fur rug in your home office. Layering in these soft textures will immediately up the cozy factor.
10. Swap Out Your Bath Linens
Nothing screams self-care quite like a spa-inspired bathroom, and one of the quickest ways to achieve that is through your bath linens. Real talk: When was the last time you replaced your current towels? Yeah, we thought so. Treat yourself to quality towels that are actually big enough to wrap around your body and buy complementing washcloths and hand towels to complete your set. Then, add an element of luxury, like a tufted stool, small chair or accent table next to the tub (for placing a book or glass of wine).
11. Also, Replace Your Standard Showerhead
Go one step further than bath linens and upgrade your showerhead. These days there are so many options beyond the usual suspects, whether you want something that’ll massage your scalp or filter out any hard water. Making a small change like this will have you feeling like you did a complete bathroom reno without breaking the bank.
12. Create a Spot Of Solitude
Create an area just for you, whether that means converting that unused space under the stairs into a dreamy walk-in closet or simply carving out a nook by a window to fit a comfy reading chair. Having a dedicated space that you can turn to at the end of a long day is the best way to unwind. So, turn on some music, listen to a guided meditation, read a book or watch a little TV. Whatever you do, fully take in how relaxed it makes you feel.
13. Incorporate Natural Elements into Your Decor
Similar to how adding plants to your home will make you feel less stressed, incorporating natural design elements has the same effect. Think wicker chairs, rattan chandeliers or stone bowls. Bringing these earthy pieces inside will help you feel refreshed and at peace. Not to mention, it’s more sustainable, and doing good things for the environment is always a win in our book.
14. Designate a Work-Only Zone
The words “home office” got really muddled when the pandemic hit and people were using any spare space in their homes to get their work done. But now that things are back to normal (for the most part, anyway), make it a point to designate one area or room as a work-only zone. That means no more typing away in bed at night or sending out one last email while you’re trying to eat dinner. Trust us, your body and mind will appreciate the separation.
15. Remove Stimulating Screens from the Bedroom
OK, the only exception to this rule is if watching TV in bed is truly your happy place because, of course, we don’t want to torture you. But otherwise, really try to make an effort to keep your bedroom a tech-free environment. We all know the rabbit holes you can fall into while scrolling before bed, so do yourself a favor and remove the urge to do it all together. You’ll start to take note of how much better you function on a full, restful night’s sleep.
16. Lastly, Add an Insanely Comfy Mattress Topper to Your Bed
Climbing into your bed after a stressful day, tucking yourself in and enjoying a sweet slumber is a great feeling. To kick it up a notch and give your bed a hotel makeover, add a luxe mattress topper. Not only will it make your mattress feel more plush, but it will also increase its lifespan, keep it fresher and cleaner over time and can help regulate your temperature depending on what type of sleeper you are.