10 Ways to Soothe Your Home: A Guide To Creating a Peaceful Environment
by Sarojni Mehta-Lissak
In these busy times, we mothers often find ourselves rushing to and from activities, jobs, appointments and errands. But how do we de-compress and reduce the pace of our lives to face the next wave of responsibilities and sometimes demanding schedules? We can start by creating a calm haven within our homes, a place where we feel safe, comforted and at peace—a place where daily renewal is not only a practice—but a necessity.
One of the most important aspects of renewal is quietude. When our environment is peaceful, it allows our nervous systems to relax so we can process all that comes our way during the day. It also allows us to re-evaluate and plan for the next set of endeavors. A soothing home is especially important for children, whose bodies are naturally on the move. Because they typically seek stimulation, it is important to teach children how to slow down, and it is important to create periods of time in each day which are quiet. Practicing this will contribute to an overall calm in a home and ultimately bring increased harmony to family members.
To begin creating a more peaceful home start with de-cluttering the main room where you and your family spend the most time. If it's the family room, give it a good "going through." Clutter can be agitating and visually stimulating. After clearing out the unnecessary things, follow some suggestions below for creating a soothing home atmosphere:
- Turn off the TV
This is clearly a noise producer in a home. Limit TV watching to specific times in the day (or week)—or perhaps not at all. Screen images flash at a rapid speed creating anxiety, and many can also be violent and aggressive—not conducive to a peaceful lifestyle. Reduce this exposure by putting TV on hold.
- Light candles
There's nothing more soothing than looking at the warm glow of a candle with its gentle flicker. Place a few in the room that you use the most, and enjoy the ambiance candles can create. Remember: Keep candles and matches out of reach of the little ones!
- Play soothing music
This could be any kind of music your family enjoys as long as it is soothing. Try Mozart, instrumental music, nature CD's or classical guitar music.
- Keep the activity level low
Especially in the evening, it is important to slow things down. As a family, play board games, read, play cards or have poetry readings. These activities can help everyone unwind from a busy day. Try knitting, too, a great soother!
- Practice aromatherapy
Buy a diffuser at a local health food store, put some water in it, place 2-3 drops of lavender oil in the water, then light the candle. Lavender is a calming essential oil and works well to quiet the nervous system.
- Bring nature into your home
Have houseplants in various areas of your home. These green plants not only cleanse the air and provide oxygen, they also soothe your soul. Also, have fresh flowers whenever possible—colors lift the mood and please the eyes.
- Limit computer time
Being on the computer is a big temptation for many people and often a necessity for doing research, writing papers or communicating with friends. But at times, it can also be a time-grabber like TV. Though it's not noisy like a TV, it can pull people away from each other. In the evenings, try to bring family members together in one room for a quiet activity. This increases conversation time, allows for sharing and ultimately creates tighter family bonds.
- Turn off the ringer
Cherish family times—especially mealtimes! When family members are sitting together having a meal or an important conversation, there's nothing more distracting than having the phone ring. Family time is precious time. Preserve it.
- Use room-darkening techniques
Turn down the lights (dimmer switches are great for this), adjust the blinds, use sheer curtains to filter strong sunlight. These techniques signal "quiet timea^?? has begun.
- Use artwork as a window to tranquility
Place art on your walls that you enjoy looking at. Note how it makes you feel: peaceful, happy, contemplative, calm. Remember, everyone will be looking at it, so try to choose art that is conducive to a peaceful environment.
As you embark on creating a soothing home for yourself and your family members, think about what helps you feel renewed and calm. It may be as simple as placing a potted plant on a windowsill or it may be sitting quietly with distractions kept at bay. Whatever changes you make, ultimately you are also teaching your children how to find peace in the midst of a fast-paced world, and that's a skill they can use for a life time.
Sarojni Mehta-Lissak is a freelance writer, poet and fiction writer from Long Beach, California, where she lives with her husband and ever-changing daughter. She frequently writes on motherhood, adoption, parenting, beauty, and natural living topics and derives great satisfaction from exploring life through her craft. Her work has appeared in Wild Violet, Midwifery Today, FamilyTravelFun.com, Moondance.org, Awakened Woman, Mother Verse and Holt International Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at http://sarojnimehta-lissak.com