I think it’s safe to say that March was a whirlwind. The fear and all the unknowns were overwhelming, and if I’m honest, I frequently found myself spiraling. I feel like I’m beginning to regain some control – in knowing that, although I can’t stop the frightening headlines from filling my Facebook feed (which I’ve stopped mindlessly scrolling through!), I can choose to focus on the things that I can control.
I’ve always been a firm believer in the mental and emotional benefits that come from having a home that’s a haven. A space that envelops you, that makes you feel safe and secure. I believe this is so important right now. Our homes have become our offices, our classrooms…and in my case, the battleground for many Nerf wars. (Thankfully, Nerf bullets are much more forgiving underfoot than Lego!) So. I wondered, what can I put together to help my friends feel better in these new multi-purpose homes of theirs? What kind of tips could they use to soften the edges of their new everyday routines? Read on for my six faves – perhaps you can put a few in action and create a cozy space while you’re self-isolating.
Start with a basic declutter.
Begin by getting rid of what you don’t need. Papers, magazines, newspapers should be recycled. Toys, games, puzzles need a home. By clearing the excess and finding proper storage for the rest, you’ll be creating a clean slate to work with. Decluttering also does wonders for our mental health. At a time when we’re all feeling the overwhelm, a tidy(ish) space can help with focus and clarity. For additional resources on decluttering, check out this blog post:
Rearrange your furniture.
Now that you’re probably using your home differently (is anyone else’s dining table now Homework Central?), a new arrangement for your furniture might be a good idea. Consider how you’re using your rooms, and how you may be able to improve the overall flow and function. This is also a great project to get the kids involved! Ask for their input, get them to help with the moving…or let them tackle their own rooms entirely!
Create a nook.
I love the word nook. When I hear it, I think cozy, comfy, cocooning. Which is exactly what a nook should be. If you’re fortunate to be able to stay home right now, you’ve most likely got extra quiet time on your hands. A nook is great for reading, relaxing, meditating, hiding from the kids with a glass of wine… Not much is required – a comfy chair or piles of pillows, a decent light source if you’ll be reading, a cozy throw or even a comforter, and possibly a surface for a drink or snacks. The great thing is that you can pull together whatever you’ve got at home. Encourage your kids to create their own nook – maybe it’ll make their independent reading assignments more manageable 😉
Keep your working area separate from your sleeping area.
As someone who often works from home, this is a biggie for me. I know the temptation will be to set yourself up in bed with your laptop and work materials, but I strongly suggest you rethink it. Our bodies and minds need the separation between work hours and rest hours. Blending the two is not only counterproductive with respect to working, but can impact your sleep schedule as well. Your work space should be relatively clear of clutter, well-lit, and have everything you need in terms of supplies; your sleep or rest space should be cozy, comfortable, with adjustable levels of lighting and little to no electronics.
Pull the Christmas lights back out.
There’s something so pretty and magical about all the twinkly lights at Christmas. The soft glow reminds me of a starry sky. Now is the perfect time to recreate that feeling. String them along your headboard, line your window ledges, wrap them around your staircase handrail. They’d also make a great addition to your nook!
Don’t underestimate the power of scent.
Scent is one of the most powerful of our senses. It evokes memories, feelings, and can even change our moods. I love that it’s finally getting warm enough out that I can open my windows and breathe the fresh air. If you’re a candle or scented wax person, pull out your faves! Hang your bedding to dry out in the sun and you’ll be rewarded when your head hits your pillow tonight. Bread or baking fresh from the oven smells heavenly – and if you get the kids involved it counts as a math lesson, right?
My friends, I hope you are all well, and I wish each and every one of you good health (both mental and physical). We are in this together, and this won’t last forever. I keep you all in my thoughts, and until we can meet and embrace again, I’m sending you a ton of virtual hugs.
Stay well, stay safe ❤️