Carnegie Mellon University

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October 10, 2023

CMU=You Wellbeing Series: Home Sanctuary

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We all need that one place where we can truly unwind after a long day. Our own safe haven. However, with our homes often also functioning as work and study spaces, play areas and so much more, it can be tricky to really protect that relaxing atmosphere. We have collected our favorite tips to turn your home into your own personal wellbeing sanctuary.

  • Declutter
    This is the essential first step. Start by decluttering and organizing your space. An organized space automatically makes you feel more calm. A clear home is a clear mind!
  • Create cozy spaces
    Create a seating area with comfortable chairs, blankets and soft pillows and, if possible, no distractions. In that space, you can read, knit or just relax with a cup of tea. Your body and mind will be a lot more "chilled out" in a space that encourages relaxation.
  • Think about color
    We know that colors can heavily influence our moods, so be mindful of this when you decide on colors for your rooms. In a room where you want to be productive, go for blue, yellow or green. In rooms where you want to recharge, you can’t go wrong with a very soft green, blue or neutral color. This doesn’t mean that you have to paint every wall in that room. Even small elements like cushions, art of decoration can stimulate the right part of your brain.
  • Natural light and greenery are your best friends
    The importance of natural light truly cannot be overstated. Think about what you can do to give yourself more access to natural light even when you’re indoors. Changing the layout of your home or repositioning furniture may make a big difference. And indoor plants not only improve our moods, they also create a connection with nature and improve air quality. So treat yourself to a trip to the plant store and surround yourself with greenery!
  • Try aromatherapy
    Whether you’re a candle person or you’re more into essential oils, calming scents like lavender, chamomile or eucalyptus can do wonders for your mind and body. Find out which ones you like and strategically place these in your bedroom, living room or reading nook.
  • Get rid of distractions
    With many of us using our home as our office or sharing a living space with others, creating that personal space to unwind can be difficult. But remember that having your own little corner of the home that you can turn into your sanctuary, even if it’s only part of a room, is still something. You can add a shelving unit or curtain to separate that area from the rest of the home. No matter what your space looks like, make sure you clear it of distractions.
  • Pay special attention to your bedroom
    Some things are worth the investment, such as a comfortable mattress, quality bedding and blackout curtains. Your bedroom is the number one place where you need to be able to recharge after a long day, so ensure you can get all the rest you need by optimizing this space.
  • Encourage physical activity
    A good way to clear your mind is by exercising in a way that you find enjoyable. So by having access to online workouts, exercise equipment or a yoga mat, you can start or end the day right.
  • Personalize your space
    Cherished photos, artwork, souvenirs, bits and bobs that hold sentimental value … personalizing your space can evoke happiness and a sense of feeling connected to others and yourself. So while you should be careful not to fill your living space with too much clutter, having meaningful elements around the home is a great way to feel truly at ease there.

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