Wellness at Home-According to LiLu Interiors
By Lisa Peck, ASID
As I get older, I am more and more interested in wellness. Not the kind of wellness that can be found in a monthly visit to the spa but the kind of wellness that is built from the inside out. I’ve revamped many things in my life and environment to improve all aspects of my health.
One of the things that have always interested me about interior design is the impact our environment has on us. There are many elements in our homes that can help or hinder our physical and mental health. I thought I would share some cornerstones of health and wellness that our homes can either impact.
As a life-long insomniac, I’ve had a long, long journey to the point I am at today. Most nights I sleep 7 hours! For some of you that might sound minimal but for me it’s miraculous. I’ve achieved a wellness goal! Most of my adult life, I’ve slept about 4 hours a night!
My environment is definitely a big part of proper sleep. I’ve eliminated any source of light from my bedroom, especially led lights. Even the smallest thing, like the light emitting from an alarm clock button or a small stream of light from the edge of a blind can disturb my sleep. Darkness supports excellent sleep. Great window treatments are a must. In addition, a comfortable mattress and bedding helps you achieve complete relaxation.
A serene environment helps cue you psychologically to relax. No visual clues of work or stress should be in your bedroom. Visual order is important. Use a color palette that is soothing to you and textures that are soft and welcoming.
Eating well can be defined so many different ways and I’m no expert on what diet is the best but I can tell you what works well for me. Eating meals that we prepare ourselves, in a kitchen we love and then eating together as a family. This program has worked well on so many levels. I eat more mindfully when I know the work and care put into the food I am eating. Meals slow down when we are conversing with our loved ones.
Creating a kitchen that works well and makes it easier to prepare meals together is the perfect starting point for including eating well in your wellness routine. Having a dining space that encourages conversation and lingering at the table is important too.
Limit your exposure to Toxins
As part of my wellness, I try to limit my exposure to toxins. From the paint on our walls to the materials in our mattresses and the cleaning products we use, our homes are filled with products that can add to our toxin load.
Once we walk out our doors, we can be exposed to poor air quality and toxins in the environment. So at home, I choose carefully the finishes and furnishings that I use. A little bit of research allows me to buy products that don’t off-gas and have no VOC’s.
We also are one of those shoes off homes. Many people think this is an idiosyncratic Midwestern “thing”. However, shoes off means you aren’t trailing toxins from the Target parking lot into your home where a baby might be crawling around.
There are many ways that our home environment can help us manage our stress. An organized home reduces the daily stress of searching for things and makes daily tasks easier to perform.
Having an environment at home that you find relaxing, visually pleasing and allow you to do the things you most enjoy is the perfect way to manage stress. A spot to relax, rejuvenate and fill you cup contributes to both your physical and mental health.
For many of us, having a spot to exercise at home is key to stress management also. From a spot to lie out a yoga mat (which is my thing) to an entire exercise room making exercise easy to include in your daily routine is an important part of stress management.
Connection to People
I’m the ultimate introvert and I love my alone time but I also know that having a sense of community and connection to people is a corner stone of both physical and mental health. They’ve done studies! How can your home support this? So many ways but here are just a couple of ways you can support wellness at home.
Arrange your furniture to encourage connection! From the living room to the dining room make sure that people are forced to face each other and not a wall or a screen. How connected does your home make you feel to friends and family?
Create a space you can proudly entertain in! Being able to host a friend or the book club means you are more likely to create stronger connections with others and have a community around you as you age.
Connection to Nature
Connection to nature is also a cornerstone of wellness. It’s been proven that views of nature help ill people recover more quickly in hospitals so of course, you should include nature views or art that shows landscapes in your home. Plants create cleaner indoor air.
In addition, here in Minnesota we have less time to enjoy the outdoors but planning a spot to sit outside in a garden, yard or even on a deck can increase your connection to nature! Does your home connect to nature and support your wellness at home?
Whatever you want to include in your wellness routine… ask yourself how can your home support your quest for wellness?