Stepping inside your front door should take a load off. At Good Space we have compiled a list of 10 tips to help you do just that.
Before the Relaxation begins:
- Declutter: Chaos makes you anxious. Take a look around your room. What really needs to be there? Can you get rid of things? It doesn’t have to be a painful experience either. One of our favourite blogs, ‘becoming minimalist,’ has a fantastic post on this with 10 of the top techniques to declutter your home.
- Great Cleaning Products (or Cleaning Service): There is something about a clean home that gives you a sense of calm. A great cleaning service visiting is comparable to hearing angels singing. Check out Craigslist, ask friends and always ask for 3 or more references. For those of us who like to roll up our sleeves, it starts with the products. Our tip? White vinegar not only absorbs smells and is inexpensive, it is one of the best cleaning products out there. From bathrooms and stainless steel to unwaxed floors and laundry White Vinegar can pretty much do it all. Although it’s always good to spot test first. This environmentally friendly miracle liquid was discovered over 10,000 years ago is still working its magic. For uses and tips check out this great piece from versatilevinegar.org
- Comfortable Furniture: Does your sofa invite you to lie on it. Could you ‘accidently’ fall asleep in your chair? What is the texture of the fabric like? Are the cushions sinkable? All things you should consider. Maybe you might have a sitting room where you prefer to keep things a little more formal, but there should always be one seating room in your home where it’s ok to take your shoes off and unwind. Comfortable furniture is key.
- Your Favourite Music: In your repertoire of music there always needs to be a playlist that you can completely chill to. Maybe it’s classical, jazz or some hip chillout beats. Whatever it is, put it on when you come home from a hectic day…
- Plants or Flowers: Having greenery around you helps to calm your mind. An indoor flowering plant such as an orchid, lavender or rosemary not only is visually appealing but they emit scents that can refresh and uplift you. A potted plant comes with responsibility so if a green thumb is not on your hand, buy yourself a bouquet. You don’t always have to throw out the entire bouquet if some flowers have passed their due date, just replace those with fresh ones to keep your costs down and your home in bloom.
Time to Relax! Everything is in place and your home feels good. Now is the time to:
6. Meditate: All cultures and religions have their own forms of meditation and reflection. The interesting thing is that most share the fundamental steps to get you into the zone. Here are the basics: Find a place that you like to be. Light a candle and focus on it if you find it helps. Sit cross legged or in a chair. Remember that it works best if you pay attention to your posture. Count your breaths, enable your gaze to be soft. Don’t let your thoughts overpower you, try to always pay attention to your breath and let thoughts go. Start with 10 min in the early morning and see if you can make it longer. Overall, meditation is about connecting your mind and body and relaxing.
7. Soak: One of the first documented medicinal uses of a bath was when Hippocrates talked to other healers encouraging them to get their patients to soak in sea water to relieve their symptoms. Not only will a good soak do wonders for your skin but add some Epsom Salts and the water will help with your disposition and your health. Today’s epsom salt formulations are similar to natural hot springs or mineral waters evoking the same healing properties. Add your favourite natural oil to the salts like lavender or citrus and you can help elevate your mood or alleviate stress. Close the shower curtain or the bathroom door to take advantage of the steam and try to stay in for longer than 10 minutes.
8. Watch: There is nothing like setting in with a great series. Binge watching is the new norm so don’t feel guilty if you find yourself still watching at midnight. Some of our recent favourites include
- “The Fall” : Gillian Anderson plays a lonely lead copper in Dublin tracking a serial killer like a cat tracks a mouse. Jamie Dornan is the killer but so likeable you hate him one minute and love him the next. Available on Netflix.
- “Marco Polo”: A sweeping epic tracking Marco Polo as the only Italian living in the court of Kubla Kahn. The sets are amazing but the action can be daunting just as the time it emulates. Available on Netflix.
- “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”: Probably one of the most politically incorrect shows on television that you can’t help but laugh at. With Danny Devito playing the father to siblings with no scruples who have a best friend without brains, there is no subject this group won’t tackle. If you enjoy things that make you squirm a little (like the popular adult party game ‘Cards Against Humanity) check out this show.
9. Cook: For those that don’t like to cook. Get a roast chicken from the supermarket add a store-bought salad and some garlic bread and voilà – easy-peasy dinner that feels home-made. If you like to cook try Ina Garten’s recipe for perfect roast chicken. Add in some peeled potatoes with the roast and make an easy green salad. Cooking for or with friends can be fun and stress-reducing. Try this kitchen playlist to add to your mood.
10. Cuddle: A good cuddle releases oxytocin, commonly referred to as the ‘bonding hormone’. Oxytocin is known to help heal wounds, reduce stress, increase trust, reduce fear and aid in bonding. Not to mention it just feels good! If you live solo, having a cuddle with your pet can have most of the same benefits.