It is imperative that we have a relaxing atmosphere within the four walls that we call our home that has a calming effect on us and remains Stress-Free!

How do we make our homes stress free ?

It is a fact that our home atmosphere has a lot to contribute in making our lives comfortable and when you keep your home healthy and stress-free, you too stay healthy and stress-free.

The average person passes his/her days riding the local transport - be it bus, local train, taxi or auto or trapped behind the steering wheel of a car or a two wheeler and after reaching the work spot, spending the hours sitting at a desk in a sealed office building. At best one can squeeze in a walk during lunch break that is if one is lucky enough to have some space around the work spot.

What I am trying to say is - with packed schedule forcing us to spend much of our time in artificial environments that we cannot change, it becomes far more important than ever that our homes be a place of respite where we can totally relax, breathe in fresh air and feel the accumulated stress melt away.

So how does one actually go about making a home stress – free?

I am writing down a few points that to me seem important and relevant.

Natural light inside the house

1. Importance of Natural Light

Nature planned that we spend most of our waking hours outdoors but with time we began to spend more time indoors.However,  human beings and all living beings need sunlight to feel healthy, energetic and of course, stress free since nature has a calming effect on our personality.

But when you look at the present day lifestyle more and more people - the children, teenagers and working adults spend a huge part of their waking hours either at work places, travelling to and fro, at schools, in front of the TV or the Computer etc; etc ; thereby spending no more than an hour or sometimes even less time than that, outside in the sunshine.

With space being premium in most cities, many of the work places, schools and even homes get little or no sunlight. Being cut off from sunlight has its costs like being prone to depression and being anti-social, lack of energy and sleep disorder. With time this can turn into something far more serious.

So we have to make sure that there is plenty of natural light within our home by making a few improvements that can change the character of our room and in turn have a positive impact on our personality as well. Knocking a hole in a blank wall to let in light or widening a small window to let in more light and brightness, also painting the walls within your home in light pastel shades makes the room looks cheerful, bright and lifts our spirits .

2. Clear The Air

We see cases of Asthma, allergy and other ailments related to lungs & breathing ever increasing due to dust and pollution. It is also the result of all the time people spend indoors today, inhaling dust, smoke and mold. It does not matter that you have air conditioning or fans .

Many experts are of the opinion that tightly sealed modern offices and houses can become sick, trapping pollutants that may cause damage to the occupants health. Although you cannot do much about your office atmosphere , you can take some remedial measures within your home so that the air quality remains high and at healthy levels, warding of the negative impact of the office atmosphere. Making sure that furniture, carpet, upholstery, floors, walls and generally the entire house remains dust free and clean, goes a long way in ensuring that your home remains fresh and inviting.

If you cannot personally clean your home due to lack of time, hire a maid and include your family members. It is good for the children to learn the rudiments of cleanliness and hygiene right from their childhood. Having bunches of fresh flowers around the house or a few green foliage artistically arranged in containers, vases or even jugs or mugs, that does not pinch your purse, brightens the interior besides cleansing the air. Add a dab of any essential oil of your choice on to a saucer filled with some water and keep it in the corner of your room. The aroma will float through the room and your entire house.

3. Cut Down on Noise

Just think of this – it is Sunday and you want to totally relax at home and unwind hoping the stress built up during the week simply melts away leaving you refreshed to take on the coming busy week. Suddenly, you hear the blast of the latest Hindi pop songs on a loudspeaker, or loud sounds of digging from the next compound or even the sound of traffic, the blaring sound of horns and your plan to unwind goes haywire.

Noise is becoming a significant problem in cities and we are all exposed to unhealthy levels of it. When we are exposed to too much racket, it can cause serious, lasting health problems. Millions of Indians lose some or all of their hearing because of the constant din they have to endure day in and day out. Stress level and blood pressure levels too increase with constant noise.

So how can we reduce noise from our lives?

Sit in the center of the room and note down all the sounds that reach you. Four sources are normally responsible – windows, doors, heating and cooling vents and large appliances. To quiet things down the following measures can be tried.

1. Try to seal and insulate as much noise as you can within your home. Anytime you replace a window, choose a double paned one and buy windows and doors with a sound transient class rating of at least 30. Preferably more.

2. Be choosy about appliances and make sure that they are well maintained so that they do not emit more noise than is absolutely essential. Make sure that washing machines are mounted on vibration pads.

3. Finally, if the noise outside is still high, try using earplugs and listening to music whenever you need to relax and rest. This puts you in the right frame of mind calming your nerves.

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4. Create a Peaceful Corner

I visited a small home the other day and the best part of that neat and tidy home was a small garden in the backyard, away from the noise and din. The garden was tiny with a few potted plants , a small patch of bull grass lawn neatly trimmed and a couple of garden chairs and a bird feeder on a stand. The whole effect was that of tranquility and peace. Size does not matter, what is required is the effect a certain place has on your senses.

Even if you are unable to make your entire home stress –free, setting aside a space and creating a peaceful corner goes a long way in making you feel de-stressed. Most psychologists believe that ‘Alone time’ is a biological and psychological need of people in all cultures. Even infants at time avoid the gaze of adoring parents because they want to do their own thing, so also teenagers and creative adults who like being alone.

You don’t need a lot of space to create a calm, beautiful corner within your home. A balcony or even a corner of the room overlooking a pleasant view would do. Just make sure that it is far from the background noise of TV and is clutter free.I have seen homes where the owner has been a book lover and has kept a book case and a chair in a small corner of the room , which gives the needed atmosphere to relax with a book.

5. Make your home safe

No matter how beautiful or gorgeous your house looks it won’t truly feel like an oasis of calm unless it is safe. So make sure that you take the following measures to make your home safe.

1. Install smoke detectors, they are helpful and act as a warning when you have small children and old people who may not be able to respond quickly if and when the need arises

2. Have a first aid kit ready all the time since accidents within the home when children are around is very common and one needs to be prepared for any eventualities.

3. Make sure that all your electrical outlets have a ground fault circuit interrupter so that the electric supply cuts off while not in use. In fact any unused electrical extensions and appliances should be neatly packed away .

4. Keep a list of emergency numbers handy by the telephone or in a note book and make sure that all the family members are aware of this.

Conclusions

We need to look within ourselves to find peace and stress relievers. One can do this by making some changes within our homes and bringing in nature into our homes – be it a potted plant, an interesting looking stone, a twig or a fish in a bowl, in fact anything that you find revitalizing. Nature has the capacity to change and liven up even the worst dreary looking spaces.Basically what people need is the sense of optimism , growth and well- being which we get from nature, plants, trees and birds. Once you are able to analyse and accept that you need to keep away from elements that cause stress half the problem gets solved.The other half is all about making a few necessary and interesting changes in your home which goes a long way in making your life happier and totally stress free.

( images - personal)


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