These days, we’re spending more time in our homes than ever. Combined with a booming wellness industry, many people are reevaluating how they live in their homes. We’ve talked about how the pandemic accelerated this shift to more time spent at home and with things like remote now work here to stay, our homes have become more than just a shelter. Today, our homes are multi-functional spaces, where we not just live in but work, play, nourish and restore. Studies show that our environments can influence our mood, encourage positive (or negative) interactions, impact our behavior, and create or minimize stress.
Our home environment is the very foundation to our healing, holding the power to shape who we are and how we show up in the world.
We talked about Knowing Your Bliss, so hopefully you’ve done the work to define your bliss so that you have a clear vision for designing a home that supports your most authentic self. Part of the Joshua Smith philosophy is that our homes should be created as sanctuaries. Creating a home sanctuary is a process achieved through mindful design decisions that create a refuge from the noisy and chaotic world we live in. You can think of it as creating your own world, one that makes you feel safe and comforted – like your home is giving you a big hug as soon as you walk in the door! While this might sound like a silly concept to some, emerging scientific evidence in the fields of neuroscience and neuro-aesthetics shows that there is link between our living spaces and our well-being. Our homes interior can serve as a reflection of our inner world. If it’s messy and chaotic in there – well, chances are so our homes. And this goes both ways – having a disorganized home can release the stress hormone, cortisol, so it really is a vicious cycle.
It might seem like you need to do a total re-haul of your interior to create a place a refuge, but it doesn’t take much effort to infuse a sense of sanctuary into your living space. You’d be surprised how a few simple additions can really make a difference. Some of our home sanctuary favorites include task lighting, throw blankets, candles, art, crystals, and flowers! On the other hand, removing items from the home can also have a big impact on how you feel. Especially if you’ve been in one place for along time, it’s easy for things to accumulate over the years. Clutter in the home creates stress and anxiety, so clear off that pile of papers on your desk, store things away in closets, or if you want to really make a project out of it, take a room-by-room inventory of things you don’t use or have outgrown for donating.
Self-care is more important than ever as we navigate these uncertain times. An aspect of self-care that often gets neglected is nurturing our homes. Our environments effect every aspect of our lives – they can be our stressors or our sanctuaries. When designed consciously, they nourish our spirits, inspire our minds, and enhance the connections to ourselves, our loved ones, and the Divine. And when the outside world is stressful, we need those connections more than ever. There’s power in re-framing our focus to how we want our homes to feel, rather than how we want them to look. With this at the forefront, we are best equipped to create spaces that positively impact our well-being.
Creating dedicated spaces for health and wellness is becoming more commonplace as we continue to see this shift to multi-functional homes. Today, many people are committing full rooms into healing spaces for their mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga. Home spas are also becoming increasingly popular, with more and more people adding amenities like saunas. But you don’t have to go all out – the goal is to have at least one space in your home that’s completely free from any stressors. As easily achievable way to do this is by setting up an altar space. It can simply be a room corner or a windowsill, making it accessible for all. By incorporating various objects that hold significance, you can use this space to lift your spirits and tap into healing energies.
And let’s not forget about one of the most important rooms in our homes when it comes to health – the bedroom. Things like soft lighting, keeping surfaces clutter free, investing in good quality bedding, and using calming colors like blues and greens are all design choices that promote feelings of peace and serenity.
Another aspect to creating a healthy home environment is being mindful of materials in the finishes and products we use to design and decorate our homes. Things like Greenguard Gold Certified furniture, low-VOC paint, organic textiles, washable rugs, and even plants can have a positive impact on our health, specifically indoor air quality.
The importance of home and its impacts on our well-being is the driving force of the work that we do. It’s more than just interior design and aesthetics, it’s creating space for healing and living your best life so that you can take that positive energy out into the world – a world that very much needs all the positive energy it can get. It’s amazing to think about all the wonderful things that can be born from having a healthy and happy home. The more of us that take this lifestyle to heart, the more love, light, and beauty we can bring to others, and at the end of the day, that is our mission.