Lockdowns have made us change the way we use our home and its day-to-day functionality. Our homes are in turmoil, bedrooms have become our place of work, kitchen tables have become our children’s school desk and the shed full of old gardening equipment has become a make-shift gym. With no end date of the current National lockdown in sight, we are all getting a little fed up with seeing the same 4 walls. So, what can we do to perk up our mood whilst under these restrictions, stay positive but not break the bank? We have put together Spring’s top 10 tips of simple changes you can make around the home that could help bolster mood and keep your home the happy sanctuary we all need right now.
- Have a brew: It's important now more than ever, to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues. A conversation on the phone or over Zoom, can help us to keep connected with people who mean the most to us. Samaritans have launched a new campaign called ‘Brew Monday’ that aims to encourage us to all to reach out and stay in touch. As we can’t visit or see the people we want to right now, this is a great way to make us keep talking as well as listening to those who may need support. So, grab your favourite mug, make a brew and get talking.
- De-clutter: Being at home and inside the same 4 walls can bring chaos and disarray to even the most organised of people. If you need to feel more in control of your home, try decluttering a room at a time. Look at what you use and what you don’t use in your every-day life, and start to make decisions on what you need to keep and what you can live without. Sell what you can on auction sites, keep boxes of unwanted good quality items for when charity shops re-open, recycle as much as you can and then throw out the remaining rubbish that’s clogging up your home.
- Sort out your storage: not having a ‘proper place’ for things around your house can cause disarray, unease and restlessness for many home owners. So getting organised can play a key role to feeling more in control especially when balancing kids, home-schooling and working from home. There are some great ways to organise your home and provide storage solutions to busy cupboards, overflowing wardrobes and bursting drawers that may help lower stress and promote well-being during lockdown.
- Get a plant: It is claimed that various house plants can do wonders for your overall health. The Royal Horticultural Society says plants can actively boost ‘physiological and physical’ health. Research suggests that having plants in the home can not only boost mood, reduce stress and increase productivity, but may also assist in lowering blood pressure, plus reduce headaches and fatigue by up to 25%.
- Re-paint your rooms: The period after Christmas and New Year is naturally a time when home owners look at their home and want to re-fresh their home with a lick of paint. But before you pick up the paint brush, did you know colours can change our mood and help increase our happiness? According to a survey conducted by MyJobQuote with Lee Chambers, an Environmental Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant, found certain colours can increase productivity, soothe, empower and increase energy or motivation. So if your home needs some decorating, choose a colour that not only improves your homes aesthetics, but also your well-being.
- Lighting: Trying to read, work or live by inadequate lighting can lead to headaches, lowered productivity and how we function ‘overall’ during the day. Natural daylight is key for vitamin D production, so getting outside during the day, or letting in as much natural light as possible has multiple health benefits. Light also plays a role in how we are able to switch off during the evening, relax and sleep. Ensuring you have the right level of light in each room will help you work, rest and play to the best of your abilities.
- Re-arrange furniture: This simple, no cost exercise can really help repurpose a room and make it work better for you in lockdown. Moving furniture for a visual ‘change of scenery’ or for more practical reasons such as storage or to get better lighting, can dramatically change a room and how you or your family use it.
- Frame and hang photos: We’ve all got a drawer in our home full of old photos, or a phone filled with precious memories that have never been printed. As we can’t see our loved ones right now in the flesh, what about printing some images or buying a digital photo frame to keep our friends and family feeling closer to us? Having new photos and frames around the home, will not only perk up a blank wall or empty sideboard, but can make us feel more connected helping prevent feelings of isolation.
- Hang some shelves: Clever shelving not only lifts up clutter from the floor but can also breathe new life into old collections of eclectic memorabilia and artifacts that have been hiding in dark cupboards. Adopt the rule of ‘less is more’ and try to theme what is displayed so not to clutter your shelves with too many bits and bobs.
- Upcycle: Have an old piece of furniture that is tired, old or broken? Have a think if it can be brought back to life with a bit of TLC and paint. Upcycling old furniture to create bold, unique and individual pieces is immensely rewarding, a great mood booster and cuts down on waste. There are lots of helpful videos online on how to repair, prep and paint your old furniture, plus tutorials on how to personalise items and truly make them your own.
Our tips above hopefully show that you don’t need to spend a fortune or undertake major changes to make your home a happier, healthier and brighter place to be during lockdown. Simple low-cost solutions can really help make a difference and change how we use the space in our home to up our mood, increase our productivity and help make us feel a little less stressed.