We have been busy busy busy lately at Sea Green Designs with so many projects! I’m so grateful for the chance to create peaceful coastal retreats for our amazing clients.
When life gets hectic though, stress levels can rise and watching the news these days doesn’t help! My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people. I’ve definitely found myself sneaking more walks in than usual to clear my mind in between projects. One of the reasons I love my work though is because I can help busy people create peace in their lives through home design.
It’s true — your home can absolutely affect your stress levels! Just walking into a cluttered room can distract you and make you feel uneasy.
But the opposite is also true. By surrounding yourself with soothing colors and objects that trigger happiness, your home can become a place of tranquil and stress-free living.
Understanding Stress and Anxiety
Most people experience anxiety and stress in their lives from time to time. They’re complicated emotions. If you’ve ever struggled with them, you know they aren’t easy to overcome.
There’s a fine line between stress and anxiety. We tend to use these terms interchangeably, but let’s look at where each of them actually come from:
Stress is a response to a threat in any given situation. It’s typically caused by an external trigger. The trigger is usually short-term, such as a deadline, a big move, or illness.
When you’re under stress, you can experience emotional and physical symptoms. You could experience trouble sleeping, irritability, anger, muscle pain, and even digestive issues.
Anxiety mean persistent worry that doesn’t go away in the absence of the stressor. A simple trigger can send you in a spiral that seems beyond your control.
With anxiety, you can experience almost identical symptoms as stress. The emotional symptoms can be magnified and give you an overall sense of unbalance.
When You’re Under Too Much Stress and Anxiety
Sometimes stress and anxiety are necessary. They can help you overcome obstacles and challenges in your life. Like when you’re interviewing for a new job, or about to take an important exam.
By feeling these emotions, you allow them to motivate you to take the plunge, push through fears, and climb that giant wall before you.
It’s when your stress and anxiety start interfering with your daily life that you know there’s a problem. It’s when you feel you’re in utter chaos all day long. Or you can blow your lid over the tiniest thing.
This is a sign that you need to reduce stress and anxiety in your life.
You can do this in numerous ways such as eating healthy, exercising, journaling, and going out in nature.
But did you know that your home also impacts your emotional and mental health?
That’s right! There are some simple changes that you can make right at home to keep those feelings of nervousness and stress at bay.
Your home is supposed to be your safe haven, your refuge. The place you can de-stress, relax, unwind, and let all the worries go.
Yet that isn’t the case for most of us. You find yourself looking around at all the clutter, the cleaning that needs to be done, or that project that never was completed — and here comes the stress again.
Wellness and interior design have more in common than you may think. When you create a place that is both pleasing to the eye and functional, you’re fostering happiness, positivity, and balance.
Here Are 6 Decorating Tips To Ease Stress and Anxiety in Your Life:
- COLOR THAT CALMS
Color can have a drastic psychological impact. It can affect moods, feelings, and emotions. In fact, different colors trigger different emotions.
For instance, when looking at the color red, you can experience an increased heart rate and an adrenaline rush. On the other hand, colors such as light blues, greens, and creams create a sense of calm and tranquility.
With these findings, it only makes sense that the colors we introduce in our home also affect our ability to relax. My suggestion is to go with soft color combinations.
Want To Create a Serene Sanctuary? Here Are Some of My Favorite Calming Colors:
- Argon by C2 Paint
- Horizon by Benjamin Moore
- Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams
- Crystalline by Benjamin Moore
- Pure White by Sherwin Williams
Just a quick note when buying paint — even though lead-based interior paint has been banned, you’ll still find toxic emissions, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hiding in most cans today.
That new paint smell? It indicates VOCs and can cause short-term and long-term health issues such as headaches, respiratory issues, and even cancer.
Keep yourself and your family safe and buy non-toxic and zero (or low) VOC paint. Yes, it costs a little extra — but it’s well worth it for the safety of you and your loved ones. Brands like Sherwin Williams have Harmony Zero VOC paint as well as low VOC options. You can see Benjmin Moore’s options here.
- LET THE LIGHT IN
Never underestimate the power of good lighting in your home. Not only does good light affect the ambiance of any room, but it also has powerful positive effects on your mood.
Research shows that bright light can intensify our feelings. These studies suggest that simply turning down a light can help us make better decisions!
Blue light makes us more alert, which is a fantastic choice for an office. But blue light will want to be avoided in your bedroom where it can interfere with a good night’s sleep.
A simple way to let the light in is to open your curtains or blinds. Let natural light fill your home and feel the mood change instantly. If you don’t get a lot of sunlight even with the curtains drawn open, add natural fiber lighting.
Some of my favorite light fixtures are made with natural fibers. Hanging pendants made from woven materials such as hemp and recycled glass add warmth and dimension.
- GET ORGANIZED
A cluttered environment is proven to drain energy and negatively affect your overall mood and happiness. Most of us can’t argue with this.
Did you know that a study done in 2009 showed levels of the stress hormone cortisol are higher in those with a cluttered home?
It can leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. But why does mess lead us to so much stress?
Clutter signals to our brains that there is work undone. The visual aspect puts our senses into overdrive. Then guilt and overwhelm follows leaving us paralyzed and feeling as if the task is too big.
This becomes a cycle, and it has to be broken. How do you do this?
You tackle one task at a time. One area at a time. At the end of the day, put things back where they belong and make it a family effort. You aren’t the only one living there — everyone can chip in!
Find sleek storage elements like floating shelves, hooks, wicker baskets, and multi-purpose carts. Once you have the proper storage and a designated spot for objects such as shoes, coats, keys, and books, the stress will melt away.
- BRING NATURE INDOORS
It’s no secret that there are amazing health benefits that come from spending time outside. It’s recommended by doctors, therapists, and health gurus because it helps naturally relax you and keep you grounded.
Indoor plants can reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Floral details can add a sense of vitality to your space and provide clean, fresh air.( See our last blog post… )
Whether you live in a small apartment or a large house, you’ll notice improvements in your health and happiness after introducing plants into your home.
All plants can positively impact your mental and emotional health, but these specific plants relieve anxiety and ease stress:
- Snake Plant
- English Ivy
- Boston Fern
- Aloe Vera
- CHOOSE THOUGHTFUL DECORATIONS
Surround yourself with images and details that make you happy and content.
Maybe it’s a few family photos or a piece of artwork from a trip that brought you rejuvenation and rest. Hang or set out anything that sparks joy and love in your life.
While it’s great to have these simple yet impactful decorations throughout your home, pay special attention to your bedroom.
Sparking those feelings as soon as you wake up can set the tone for your entire day, helping you to see more good and have a grateful attitude.
- FILL THE AIR WITH AROMATHERAPY
You’ve probably heard a lot about essential oils by now. It’s an easy and safe way to fill your home with delightful aromas without putting your health at risk.
Because aromatherapy is getting a lot of buzz these days, it’s easy to find any scent you desire for your home.
Essential oils are perfect for creating a sense of calm and uplifting your environment.
Here Are My Top Picks To Give You a Boost of Energy While Easing Your Mind and Calming Your Home:
- Wild Orange
Prioritize Your Emotional and Mental Health
I know that just like me, you all have moments in your lives that challenge you and pull you in so many different directions.
But I’m positive that using these design tips will help you create serenity and peace in your home and life, even during the busiest of times.
Just remember — your home is a place for you to personalize and flourish with and within!
What are some changes you’ve made to your home to help when life gets stressful? Comment below and share! I’d love to know what works for you!