Five ways to bring happiness into your home
2020 was a challenging year—unprecedented in enough ways to warrant never wanting to hear the word unprecedented again. While we head into 2021 hopeful for a healthier, happier year, we’re not quite out of the woods yet.
With all the chaos going on in the world right now, it can be helpful to take control where you can: inside your home. If you’re feeling a little lonely or starting to experience a bit of cabin fever while social-distancing measures remain in place, here are a few tips to bring some happiness into your home.
Bring on the pictures
You probably already have some picture frames adorning your home, but why not add a few more? Make sure you can see all those smiling faces that you might be missing right about now.
Have you been reluctant to toss those holiday cards this year? My three-year-old and I can’t seem to part with ours. She likes to flip through them and name all the people she knows, while I honestly just like looking at their faces and feel relieved that she still remembers who most of them are, albeit some recent additions we have yet to meet.
While I’ll eventually dispose of these, (my husband has tried on several occasions) there’s something to be said about filling up your home with the faces you’re missing. Maybe it’s a screen saver on your computer, printing out some photos to add to your fridge or framing a few more of your favorite family moments.
Make the most of your memories
Besides adding pictures of moments you want to remember, try to display other things that remind you of certain people or places you’re missing. Think gifts from loved ones or souvenirs from your favorite destinations.
Whatever your compilation of souvenirs consists of—collection of coozies, magnets, mugs, snow globes (we won’t judge) or dishtowels—it could be a good time to break out some of that memorabilia.
Or maybe it’s something more sentimental, like a set of champagne flutes from your grandmother, or your father’s vinyl collection. Spin those records and make a toast.
Find your inspiration and make sure it shows
Speaking of spinning records… Whatever it is that inspires you, make sure you’re seeing a little bit of it every day. If it’s music, try to set up a display of your favorite albums, if it’s reading, give your bookshelf a little spruce up (try organizing your books by color), if you’re a self-proclaimed skincare junkie, overhaul your bathroom with your favorite products for that perfect “shelfie” look.
This goes for your work-from-home setup as well. If you’ve set up shop at your dining room table, make sure your “zone” is as comfortable and organized as possible. Consider investing in a few items that will help your productivity.
Whether it’s something as small as a new notebook, or something much bigger like a new office chair, think about what will help you feel more connected to your work and less like you’re trying to get your work done amidst the chaos. Hint: your mouse shouldn’t be fighting for space between your child’s placemat and your breakfast that you never cleared from this morning.
(Says the person sitting next to an empty coffee cup, cereal bowl and a rubber “Mr. Owl” placemat.)
Do a DIY project
Of course, your project will depend on the amount of space you’re working with. If you have an extra room, you could consider doing something a little more involved. Maybe it’s adding or perfecting a home gym. Instead of pulling out your set of free weights from under the bed, your yoga mat from behind the couch or clearing off a mountain of clothes from your treadmill to get set up for a workout, designate a specific space and make it a little more inviting.
Or maybe you want to tackle an even bigger project—something the whole family can enjoy together. Consider adding a home theater. While it sounds extravagant, affordable technology has made home theaters much more accessible. You’ll want a somewhat secluded space that’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle of everyday happenings in your home.
If you’re looking for something simpler, adding a fresh coat of paint to a room can do wonders. It could be swapping in a fun, new color for your child’s room or play area, adding a pop of color to an otherwise white room by painting your window frames black or adding a coat of white paint to wooden kitchen cabinets.
You could also look into other small kitchen updates like adding a backsplash. This can be done in just a few hours and without making a big investment.
Literally. Add a few more living things—either plants or flowers—around your home. Seeing nature around your home can be a major mood booster. Studies have shown that plants can help to lower stress, anxiety and even blood pressure.
A vase of flowers next to your workspace makes that dining room table so much more inviting. Of course, with flowers, you’ll have to change them out regularly. If you’re looking for something more permanent, try a succulent. You can also look into plants that help eliminate allergens and purify your air. Snake plants, bamboo palm, English ivy or Chinese evergreen are some great options.
Then again, you could always go the puppy route. Just try not to make any impulse decisions when it comes to adding a pet to your home. When you look at that sweet puppy face, be sure to remember the 5am wake ups, the trips to the vet, the bills, the shedding and the drooling. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.