Do you think they had to wait a long time to get this photograph, or do you think it was a happy accident? I have to believe it was just a happy accident. Cats are not known for doing what you ask them, so I imagine this is one of his favorite spots to sit. The sunlight coming through the windows, the plants on the windowsill, and the colorful, comfy pillows on the white bench, just scream warmth and happiness. This room was deliberately designed to be bright and cheerful; almost daring you to never frown, and promising to coax smiles out of even the most curmudgeon of visitors.
I love this home, and it is a great reminder of how we can change the way we feel by paying attention to how we live.
Is it weird to say that I actually consider homes to be a rather inexpensive form of therapy? Think about it; we never have to wait for an appointment, or worry about insurance, and, we have the ability to change most things whenever we want to. So, if ever you feel like you need a little bit of help in the happiness department, why not try some of these ideas in your home first.
Feeling Bored: Take all of your books and cd’s off the shelves. Go through them, listen to the music, read a few chapters, and put away the ones you no longer like very much. Reorganize the shelves.
Stressed out: Light a candle. Did you know the simple act of striking a match, and putting it to a candle, relieves stress? Open the windows and doors. Bringing fresh air inside will flush out all those weird toxins that sit around our homes (doing bad things that we are all told about, but nobody quite understands). Vacuum. It doesn’t require any fine motor skills (I get clumsy if I am stressed) the noise will distract you from whatever you are worrying about, and your house will be clean. Tired: Have a room, or a space, where you know you can always take a nap, meditate, sit and look out the window, or read a book. Try to keep it clutter free, as neat as possible, and have an emergency napping kit waiting right there (a blanket, a book, a favorite photograph, music, a pillow, a souvenir of a happy time, a pencil and paper….).
Overwhelmed: Do just one thing. Choose something small (and manageable) that overwhelms you in your home. Write it on your calendar, and allow yourself twice the amount of time you think you may need. Don’t stop until you finish. eg. sort through one junk drawer, go through the mail, or fold one load of laundry.
Cranky: Distract yourself with something physical that takes some thought, effort and energy. Move the furniture around – don’t worry about whether or not it will look good, just move it around and see. Paint a room, a floor or a door. Take all your pictures/photographs off the wall, and hang them up in different spots. Organize a closet, pantry, office, laundry room, basement or garage.
A bit Blue: Go through your home, and try to get rid of a few things that you don’t like. Store them away until tomorrow. Find things you really love, and put them where you can see them. If nothing else, try to make sure your main living areas look like you are happy, and your home is taken care of. Even if your heart isn’t in it, it is a bit of a “fake it ’til you make it” scenario, that does wonders for your emotional well being.
After I wrote this, I thought it might seem like a strange post, but, a home is the place where we choose to live, not just a beautiful, complex formula of colors, shapes and symmetry. Why not allow it to nurture us as well?…
Photograph borrowed from Fresh Happy Home
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/