I believe our home influences our wellness even more than our relationships or family do. Pretty radical I know, but hear me out.
Wellness at home means feeling nourished and supported. We’re happy to come home and when we leave, we’re ready to face the world. Or whatever life throws at us.
It’s why homelessness contributes to anxiety, depression and paranoia. When we don’t have a foundation beneath us and a roof over our heads, we’re going to feel like a Survivor without a tent. Out in the cold.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs puts shelter and sleep as THE first tier of our core or physiological needs. Once we’ve got shelter; air, water and food are next. These needs need to be met before we can move up the ladder to the fun stuff. It’s only when our foundation is rock solid that we start to have feelings of safety, love and esteem.
Having a home fills a very basic need.
Having a home that also supports your wellness is like the cherry on top.
A clean, comfortable and non toxic home is going to feed your wellness. Both physically and spiritually.
12 Essential Elements Your Wellness Home Needs
Does your home feel like a big hug when you come home? Are there nooks and crannies where you can utterly and absolutely relax? How about a dedicated space to rest, sit, read or watch TV. Create some comfort zones in your home and watch your spirit feel pampered.
Comfort for wellness tips
- keep soft natural cotton or bamboo sheets
- use good quality clean bed pillows
- have comfortable supportive pillows on couches and chairs
- get soft throws to snuggle under
- must have is a supportive relaxing mattress for sleep
2. Home Decor
Does your home decor soothe your senses? Here’s what I mean. Believe it or not when we choose a color palette and decor style that matches our happy place, our home feels warmer and more “us”. Beach, mountains or forest? Try bringing some of those colors into your home to get a little boost of serotonin, the happy chemical.
Home decor for wellness tips
- use a restful color palette that flows throughout
- have a place to practice yoga or meditation
- keep a quiet bedroom with room darkening curtains so you can sleep
- use accessories like aromatherapy diffusers and Himalayan salt lamps
You knew I was going to mention clutter didn’t you? It’s hard to feel relaxed when you’re surrounded by stuff because stuff takes up energy. Even boxes under the bed and an old bridesmaids’ dress in the closet suck energy. Ever tried to cook a big meal when the kitchen counter was chaos central? Tough isn’t it. Pick a room at a time and channel your inner Marie Kondo. Kick the clutter to boost your wellness.
Organization for wellness tips
- hang up clothes as soon as you take them off or put in the laundry hamper
- wash dishes after cooking. Whoever doesn’t cook does dishes 😉
- take a day to go through closets and purge
- if you bring something new home, toss or donate something old
- have a dedicated storage place for toys, paperwork etc.
Life can be stressful and technology keeps us on a tether of stressy news and updates. Turning off our phones gives us space to breathe and exhale. If you commute on a train or in traffic your day is bookended by noise. Or perhaps that’s your time to put the headphones on and zone out. Hopefully not while you’re driving! Where can you find your dedicated quiet time to recharge?
Quiet for wellness tips
- mute your phone to silent when you get home
- don’t turn on the evening news
- install a small water fountain to mask low level sounds
- use noise cancelling headphones
- consider moving if your neighbors are relentlessly noisy!
5. Light control
Let the sunshine in! Sunlight affects our circadian rhythm, that primitive setting that determines how well we sleep, feel and eat. Exposure to natural light during the day helps regulate our mood so we feel happier and more energetic. Makes sense right? Getting motivated on a rainy day can feel like an uphill battle whereas sunny days it’s easy to go for that walk or work in the garden.
Light for wellness tips
- Open curtains or blinds to let the maximum natural light in
- Sit outside on deck or balcony for natural sun and light exposure
- Use a SAD light box to boost your light exposure inside – especially in winter
- Conversely keep your bedroom dark for sleep – use light control shades or drapes
- Set up your reading area or desk near a window
Bring nature inside by stocking your home with a variety of indoor plants. Not only do they help increase the oxygen in your home but they can lower other toxins as well. True you may need a LOT of plants to deep clean the air but greenery soothes us psychologically too. There’s even been studies that patients do better when they have a plant to care for!
Plants for wellness tips
- Stock your home with plants that are easy to care for
- Create terrarium gardens of different sizes
- Add a plant garden window in your kitchen
- Plant fruits and vegetables in containers
- Put pots of fresh herbs in a sunny window
7. Pantry stocked with healthy food
Salt lamps and yoga rooms are all very well, but what if your kitchen pantry has some sneaky snacks in there? Replacing them with a supply of healthy foods let’s you watch that box set or face temptation with zero guilt. Next time you put in your Ocado or Instacart order, look for organic and healthy snacks instead. Wellness and a healthy diet? Match.
Healthy pantry for wellness tips
- replace fried chips with air puffed vegetable crisps or popcorn
- stock cans of beans, tomatoes, olives and artichokes for quick dips and sauces
- keep a variety of herbs and spices to add flavor
- toss the sunflower; use olive, walnut or avocado oil instead
- don’t forget the walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds
The more we reduce allergens like dust and pollen, the cleaner the air will be inside our home. So vacuuming, dusting and cleaning are essential to a wellness home. Yes there’s a reason why we need to wash our sheets. All that shedding of skin we and our pets do won’t disappear by itself. Ick! Besides there’s nothing better than the feeling of clean sheets.
Clean for wellness tips
- use non-toxic cleaners or natural cleaning agents like vinegar and lemon juice
- make sure your vacuum or Dyson has a HEPA filter and clean and change it regularly
- keep counters free of germs by wiping them down with warm water and a little vinegar or soap
- steer clear of anti-bacterial cleaners
9. No toxicity
Before you buy something to bring home, ask yourself if it’s “green” or made with natural materials. You’re probably aware that new furniture and carpeting made with toxic materials can contribute to poor air quality in your home. You’ve heard of out or off gassing? It’s the release of the harmful chemicals sometimes used to manufacture carpet, cabinets, insulation, flooring, particle board and paints. All those nasty toxins can do a number on your indoor air quality.
No toxicity for wellness tips
- Vent air by opening windows during and after cabinets or a new rug are being installed
- Better yet, leave new materials in garage to “breathe” before bringing inside
- Look for Low-VOC or no-VOC on the label
- Upcycle or recycle used or vintage furniture instead of buying new
- Read labels – avoid any products containing formaldehyde. Look for ULEF, NAF or CARB compliant
10. Natural materials
Choose these natural materials to bring into your home. Cotton, wool, solid wood, porcelain or ceramic tile, marble and cork are just a few of the beautiful textures you can bring into your wellness home. Apart from their lovely textures and gorgeous colors; natural and organic materials won’t add toxicity to your home. Natural materials are typically a little more expensive but so worth it.
Natural materials for wellness tips
- Wool carpet or cork flooring are both super insulating and hard wearing
- Solid wood floors please and even better if you use reclaimed wood
- Marble countertops are resistant to heat and cold and never fade.
- Solid wood furniture
- Cotton or bamboo bedding, natural foam mattresses
11. Feng shui
Create a positive shift in your home’s energetic balance using the principles of feng shui. Feng shui translates to “wind water” or literally energy. Everything in the universe has energy including objects like furniture, walls and homes. Try tapping into this ancient Chinese art to release stuck energy and increase the flow of good energy, money and love into your home.
Consider the energy of past and present occupants as well when you’re upping the wellness factor. Human energy both past and present, can be very powerful if it’s left unchecked. The practice of burning sacred herbs, called smudging, may help rid your home of any lingering negative spiritual energy.
A truly well home means there’s an energetic balance between the past and present, soul and spirit. Even if you don’t buy into the spirit and energetic aspect of creating a wellness home, there’s so much you can do.
Practicing wellness at home is not just about having a yoga space or mediation room. When you look at your home what are the ways you can support your health and happiness? What other elements can you think of?
It’s a little like treating your body and spirit as one. Make your home part of how you nourish your spirit and support your wellness every day.