Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992. To recognise the event and activities, we’ve put together some great home improvements to reduce stress, so you can create a sanctuary to feel calm and rested in.
According to the Homeowners Alliance’s Homeowner Survey 2019, “9 in 10 homeowners say that aspects of their home contribute to positive mental health and well-being”. Our homes should be safe and comforting environments for us to rest and relax in. There are lots of different ways to reduce stress at home, why not try some of these ideas?
Use soothing colours
Colour can have a real impact on our mood, so if you’re looking for ways to manage stress and anxiety go for soft, neutral colours in your home. Greys and blues are known to have a calming effect, while earthy tones that remind us of nature can be uplifting and peaceful. Colours that are too stimulating, such as bright red and orange, should be avoided – especially in the bedroom or bathroom.
Clutter and chaos at home can make us suffer unnecessarily. Combat anxiety and stress by creating a calm and organised living space. It may seem like a daunting task to begin with, but if you tackle one cupboard or shelf at a time, you can make a huge difference to your stress levels – both during and after tidying. The act of throwing old things away can be very therapeutic. If you’re looking for more inspiration, read popular home improvement books such as ‘The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living’ by Meik Wiking or ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondō.
Bring nature indoors
Houseplants are not only great for decorating, the RHS says that they’ve been shown to reduce stress levels, reduce blood pressure and improve our mood. If you live in a city or urban area and look out onto a largely urban landscape, you’ll benefit the most from introducing plants and flowers into your home. Gardening also helps to reduce stress, so get to work brighting up different areas of your home by potting plants, arranging hanging baskets or tending to herbs or flowers.
Create the perfect sleep environment
Getting a good night’s sleep is the best way to relieve stress, so creating the perfect sleep environment should be a top priority. Temperature can be a difficult element to control, but it’s important to get it right. The Sleep Council says that a temperature of around 16-18°C is best for a bedroom, so you may need to adjust your heating or make your home cooler.
Choose the right light
Harsh bright light can amplify our negative feelings, while blue light can prevent us from falling asleep. Soft, dimmable lighting or using candles as a light source can help us relax. Read our lighting ideas for your bedroom, living room or bathroom. Natural light is also a necessary feature in our homes. It helps to boost our wellbeing, reduce stress and regulate our natural sleep/wake cycle. Make sure you can pull your curtains or blinds back fully and keep your windows clean so light can shine through.