S. Hermann & F. Richter/Pixabay

Source: S. Hermann & F. Richter/Pixabay

2020 was a year like no other.  For those of us blessed enough to have stable housing, in many regards our homes figured more prominently into our lives than ever before.  Now more than ever, our homes are the backdrop for most of our day-to-day activities.  As we were instructed by public health officials to shelter in place and “bubble” with our immediate household, many of us shifted to a work from home model. Most of our kids pivoted  to a virtual learning model.    Our homes played (and will continue to play for a large part of 2021) a much more prominent role in our work life, our school life, our spiritual life, our social life, and all other domains of our existence. Even real estate trends were impacted by this shift.  For example, many of the “gateway cities” (i.e. NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, DC) saw an egress of young professionals seeking more cost-effective, spacious environs to so-called COVID “boomtowns” (i.e. Seattle, Denver, Nashville, Dallas, Portland, Charlotte)1.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us viewed our homes as places of security, safety, and retreat.  During this past year, we have come to appreciate our homes for being much more than merely a stable, secure, dwelling for our most prized possessions.  As such, it is important that we are intentional about how we approach our homes.  As the old saying goes, our external environment reflects our internal state of mind.  Here are 5 easy tips on being more intentional about your home that will kick start your 2021 into high gear:

1)      Create boundaries:  As the boundaries between work and home blurred for many this past year, it becomes more and more important that we set good work/life boundaries for ourselves and our children.  Ensure that everyone who needs an appropriate work space has one that is as private as possible.  Consider using Zoom backgrounds if you do not feel comfortable having work and school colleagues peer into your home space.

2)      Declutter:  It is so easy for clutter to build up.  From bills, to paperwork, to magazines – things can quickly pile up.  It is important to purge and shred documents every so often.   Clean out the garage and buy organizers to stack various items.  Tidy out that junk drawer in the kitchen.  This is a great way to clear you mind. 

3)      Beautify:  Add color by integrating new throw pillows into the living room or bedroom décor.   Incorporate colorful, bright new napkins onto the dining room place setting.  Consider replacing your old comforter with a new one with bright, cheerful colors.  These small touches will uplift your mood as you enjoy seeing these beautiful, home accents throughout the day.

4)      Add greenery:  House plants are an important way to literally bring life and beauty to your home.  It is important that we commune with nature as a way to promote our own sense of well-being.  Building up your green thumb will add a new dimension and hobby to your life. 

5)      Create peace and harmony:  It is essential that we create the right atmosphere in our homes to unwind, recharge, and de-stress.  Find time to fill your home with calming and pleasant music.   Explore the art of feng shui.  Create spaces dedicated to stress-relieving activities.  Aromatherapy is also great stress-reliever and can be used throughout your home.   [CB2] 

By starting to incorporate these quick tips during the month of January, you are taking a big step towards ensuring that your home is a place that supports the mental wellness of your entire family.  As the saying goes, “there is  no place like home.”

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