22 / 03 / 2020
Stay Calm and Find Comfort at Home
By Kara Bonavia /
It seems as though the world is in chaos right now. Whether it’s affecting you personally or secondhand, these are unpredictable times. Even for those who aren’t naturally anxious people, this can be a very worrying time. I thought it would be nice to list some ways to find some enjoyment in your home. Please note that I’m not a therapist, and if you are experiencing symptoms of severe anxiety or panic that you should talk to a trained professional.
There are introverts and extroverts. Some people prefer to go out, and some love to stay at home. Right now can be especially trying for those who are extroverts and/or prefer to go out right now. We’re all being encouraged to stay home, practice social distancing, and wash our hands. We’re about a week into these calls to action, and I know some friends and family that are having a case of cabin fever. I hope this week’s blog post can give you a little diversion and maybe inspire you to find some comfort in your home!
1. The Kitchen!
One of the most significant rooms in the house is the kitchen. If you’re like me, you’re probably doing more meals at home this week. We’ve started making our own bread and have been baking almost daily. This is a great time to learn a new skill or try that recipe you always wanted to try but couldn’t find the time to make it work. Bake a small batch of croissants, create a homemade vegetable (or chicken stock), or spend all day cooking a delicious pot roast. Have fun with it, learn new skills, and feel accomplished!
Something that I do on the regular, but feel that I need “an excuse for” is baking cakes. Yesterday, I baked my sister-in-law a birthday cake – to her preferences, which is a must when making a birthday cake. I grew up baking with my mom, and now it’s something my daughter and I love to do together. Also, baking for others is a great way to reduce stress. If you’re self-isolating and don’t have a risk for Covid-19, you can bake some cookies and mail a care package for family and friends. Below are some images of my baking projects for inspiration!
While technology is usually the bane of our existence, it may be our saving grace at the moment. My husband is in the Army; we’re no stranger to FaceTime, Skype, and Google Hangouts. My kids and I have been video calling my parents and other family members almost every day for the past two weeks. It’s been a great way to keep my four-year-old occupied for at least 20 minutes. Grandparents can video call and read stories, chat, sing songs, practice the alphabet, and numbers with their grandkids. This might even give us parents a short respite! We’ve been asked to social distance ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we have to cut our loved ones out of our lives. Now is the best time to be checking in with family and friends often to make sure they’re doing OK and dispel any worries.
IF you have a furbaby, they can probably sense that something is changed. You’re not following your usual routine, and you’re home more often. I imagine this is welcome news for your furbaby. This is an excellent time to show our furry family members some extra love. Work them into your new routines around the home. Find ways to incorporate your pet into your yoga workout or meditation. Bake some yummy treats for them. Teach your furbaby a new trick or skill. Take them for a long walk. Have longer play sessions with them. Pets keep us younger and healthier, so let’s spoil them to let them know how special they are to us. It’ll help take your mind off other worries. (There’s more text to this post after the gifs and images of George – I swear!)
4. Aromatherapy – a natural way to feel more relaxed
When I was pregnant with my second kid, I was told that our hospital allowed diffusers in labor and delivery rooms. I immediately ordered a new, small space air diffuser along with my favorite anxiety-reducing essential oil blend. Unfortunately, my then three-year-old gave me a cold so I couldn’t smell anything, but I was prepared nonetheless.
Aromatherapy can be used in the house or on your person in a few different ways. I’ve mentioned essential oil diffusers, and if you go this route, please make sure to do your homework and read about which type of diffuser is right for you! But if you don’t want something to clutter your countertop, you can make a simmer pot recipe that will make your whole house smell amazing. I used to do this in our small home years ago before we would have guests over. There are many different recipes on the internet. My favorite whole house smell is known as the William Sonoma scent: vanilla, lemon, and rosemary. I would chop or slice a lemon or two, throw in some vanilla extract (you can use a bean if you have it), and grab some rosemary from our garden. I would place it in our biggest pot, full of water, and let it simmer all day – occasionally adding water, as needed. Our house smelled like heaven! I use the same essential oils for our diffuser to get the same effect. For the holidays, an orange or two, cinnamon stick, and vanilla will make it smell lovely. Candles, lotions, and body oils can all have similar effects. Finding smells that bring out happy memories or calm you down will help reduce the stress and anxiety in your life and make your house a treat!
5. HOME PROJECTS!
Spending lots of time at home, especially when you’re usually traveling or out and about, can mean you’re running into challenges. Or perhaps this time at home is exacerbating problems that you’ve been aware of but haven’t gotten around to yet. When we moved into our new home a year or two ago, every room needed to be painted. By the time we got to the bathrooms, we had hit a wall and couldn’t find the motivation. We purchased paint for the bathrooms, but we still haven’t gotten around to the task. I checked the paint and it’s good to use; it just needs a good shake. If you’re like me and have been putting off home projects, now might be a great time to focus on making improvements. It’ll give you some exercise, you’ll feel accomplished at the end of the task, and you’ll enjoy your home even more!
If your finding challenges or problems around your home that require more work or effort than you can give right now, give Anne Folsom Smith Interior Design a call. The designers would love to make your home a sanctuary.