We already knew our homes were important to our wellbeing… and then we got locked into them for months!
Our home should be a place of sanctuary, where we allow ourselves to rest, recuperate and restore. We can shut the world out and should feel relaxed and calm, surrounded by people and things that we love.
If you don’t love them, get rid (I mean the things not the people) – as Marie Kondo says only keep the things that “bring you joy”. As we’ve had to look at things in our house so often recently, that makes even more sense.
During lockdown we have had to find space in our homes for lots of different uses including schooling, working, conference calls and social stuff like Zoom Quiz nights.
The boundaries between our work, social and personal lives have become blurred and our sanctuaries may not feel as relaxing as they normally would.
No wonder it feels like Groundhog Day, when your whole life is being played out within your own four walls.
If the recent extra time at home, perhaps confined with family members, has got you down, then today I want to share a few simple strategies to make your home your happy place again.
So, here are my tips, not just about the physical space itself, but about how you exist in it…
Small, physical changes go a long way
How we arrange our space makes a huge difference, and if you have spent 12 weeks dodging the same awkwardly-placed coffee table, I know you will know what I mean!
Many of my clients live in London, and in the city space is at a premium. We don’t all have much floor space to work with, and therefore our options for re-doing our layout is limited.
So why not focus on small changes and see how much impact you can make? Something like rotating your work desk away from the wall, to face out the window will both bring a much needed change, and give you a little daylight boost too.
Most importantly, if there is something that has been bothering you – now is a great time to address it. If something is not working as it should, either get it mended or let it go.
Even just organising that crazy drawer (you know the one, we’ve all got them!) in your kitchen can give you a lift. If there is anything in your house that makes you feel tired when you look at it – that’s the spot to start on.
Get the family involved
Most of my clients are not ashamed to admit that the family they have been locked in with are getting on their nerves, at least some of the time. Hey, it’s perfectly natural to be irritated by the lack of personal space or quiet time to focus on work.
So giving your family members little tasks like tidying up their own corner of the home is a great idea. Firstly, they are working with you by helping, not working against you by doing their own thing while you tidy up.
Secondly, they are occupied for a little while!
Ask the kids to clear up their own dishes, mugs and glasses and get them to make their own bed. It’s proven that people who immediately clear up after themselves tend to feel happier, more accomplished, less cluttered in their mind and the process gives them a sense of control.
So it’s not just tidying up, it’s a useful life lesson for the future (good luck with getting that one through).
Add a daily ritual or structure to make the most of your new space
Once you have your new set up, it’s time to start enjoying it.
During lockdown we have all been missing those little rituals that give us both structure and that essential self-care element.
If you are missing your morning coffee shop visit, then how about enjoying your home-brewed coffee with your new window view, or at your freshly-tidied kitchen table.
If you can, set your alarm a bit earlier so you get a bit of quiet time before everybody else gets up. Use the time however you wish, maybe exercise, read, sit quietly and use the time to think, plan your day – the list is endless.
I always check in with myself first thing in the morning to see how I’m feeling, I find that useful. If you notice how you are feeling in both mind and body and something doesn’t feel right, you can deal with it.
If you’ve found that lockdown and the recent changes to daily life have affected your mental health, focus or productivity more than you expected, then I have an offer to get you back on track.
From now until the end of July, I am offering some Taster sessions – 90 minutes with me (via Zoom) to talk about whatever you are finding challenging in your life and together we can work out a strategy for you going forward. This will be at a special rate of £95 instead of £120.
After that 90 minutes, if you decide you would like to enrol on a 6 session coaching programme with me, I will deduct the £95 from the programme cost.
If that sounds like something you would like to have a chat about, get in touch with me here, I would love to have a chat with you!