With most of us leading busy lives, it’s hardly surprising that mindfulness is a popular trend. It’s a mental state that centres on being fully present in the physical world (not the digital one) and focusing on the moment, a little bit like some forms of meditation.
Although it’s a state of mind, our surroundings also play a significant role in our mental health. When we spend up to 90% of our time indoors, much of which is in our own homes, the space we are in subtly influences how we feel. For example, recent research by Carpetright showed that 75% of people agree that the layout of a room affects how they feel, and 65% are stressed out by a messy room.
It’s really important that our homes are peaceful havens, at least occasionally. So we’ve pulled together some top tips for making your home more mindful – plus our favourite products, found in Bristol Shopping Quarter stores, to support each one.
Bright lights can be harsh and overwhelming. One great way to help your home support your mental health is to have lighting that you can adapt – brighter when you want to stay awake, and dimmer when you’re winding down.
This doesn’t have to mean fancy dimmer switches – simply adding a lamp to a room gives you an immediate alternative to a main overhead light.
A plant or two
“Plants are nature’s air cleaners” says Mark McCance from Hortology.co.uk . They brighten up a room, absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, while bringing a little of the natural outdoors in.
Our pick: Dragon trees are fairly easy to care for and will survive in low natural light.
Wood and stone aren’t just stylish: they also bring different textures into a room, and are another way to add a touch of nature.
Our pick: Marble is both elegant and natural – and while it can be expensive, you don’t need much to make an impression. Oliver Bonas has a set of coasters for £30 which are reassuringly weighty.
Mindfulness is in part about being physically present. When we spend a lot of time with screens, stimulating different senses is a great way to bring yourself into the moment. Different textures, scents and sounds can also soothe.
Our pick: Yankee Candles (Cabot Circus) offer dozens of scents, from richly heavy to light and fresh. Pick a small holder and use different fragrances to stop your nose getting too used to one (which means it won’t notice it as much).
Most of us find mess stressful – it makes us feel like we’re not in control, and can make it hard to find the things we need. Even if items have a designated area, having a storage box instead of a visible pile can make things look much neater.
Storage solutions come in all sorts of colours, textures and styles to suit your home; why not let the kids choose?
Our pick: Tiger (George White Street) offers lots of storage items at affordable prices, in family-friendly bright colours. They even have stackable crates, which fold down when empty!
How will you make your home more mindful? Explore a few ways, take a moment to yourself, and see if you notice a difference.