9 Tips to Create Wellness in the Home
Wellness has been a buzzword for a couple of years now, and it is seen as a holistic way of pursuing health. The idea of wellness has extended into the home; after all, it’s one of the spaces we spend a lot of time in.
Wellness in the home can be different for everybody.
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Wellness in the home hasn’t been quite defined in exact terms, which comes as no surprise, since it is often subjective to each person. In general though, a home that centres on wellness is one that nurtures the body, mind and soul. There are lots of ways we can start to think about that in order to achieve wellness in the home, and we will explore some of them today.
1. Maximise natural light and air flow
Our body responds to daylight in that it releases a hormone called serotonin, which is associated with lifting our moods and helping us focus. A home that lacks natural light is likely to make us feel depressed.
There are a few ways to encourage more daylight into your home. Making sure your windows aren’t blocked by things like plants or your furniture, placing mirrors to face your windows, going for a light colour scheme, and having an open layout to encourage daylight to reach every corner of the home.
Mirrors can help to reflect more natural light into your space.
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Besides maximising natural light into your home, encourage air flow to improve your indoor air quality. Freshen up your spaces by opening your windows and doors to let fresh air flow through the home.
A wall fan in the kitchen also helps to promote air circulation.
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Ceiling fans and exhaust fans are good options for less breezy months and will help aid in circulating air throughout your home. The former can cover a larger expanse of space, while the latter is recommended for humidity-dense areas like your bathroom and kitchen.
2. Provide areas for quiet contemplation
Another way to create wellness in the home is to designate an area (or areas) that you can just go and zone out. It could be a cosy corner for reading, a built-in window area that lets you lounge and recharge or a meditation corner at the balcony with some cushions.
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It doesn’t have to be a big space or a single room—it just needs to be intentional and preferably with some privacy. You want that space to also be inviting and radiate joy—so throw in favourite blankets, hang up your favourite quote and prepare to zen out. With endless to-do lists in our lives, it’s good to have a quiet zone in the home just to take a breather. Retreat into that space for a few minutes a day, whether it’s the start of the day or the end of a hectic work day, just to recharge.
3. Use non-toxic materials and products
Long-term exposure to toxic materials and products can be detrimental to our health. Some of the more common toxins found indoors include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can come from varnishes, adhesives and certain paints, formaldehyde, which is often found in materials used to make kitchen cabinets, and phthalates, which are often found in household cleaning products that have fragrances.
Read up on the sources and origins of the materials and products you choose.
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You should look up the sources of your materials and products, but don’t be taken in by greenwashing claims or nature-inspired packaging. Look out instead for official green certifications such as the Singapore Green Label, which is awarded to products that fulfil a certain criteria and serves as an endorsement on their environmental claims.
4. Consider artificial lighting seriously
For homes that don’t have a lot of natural light coming in, artificial light can serve as a booster. But even if you are exposed to plenty of daylight, artificial light is necessary for certain tasks and especially at nightfall.
Don’t neglect the choice of your artificial lighting when it comes to wellness in the home.
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It is important to select the right sort of artificial lighting as that has a big impact on wellness at home. How much light we get—and at what intensity and colour temperature—can impact how we feel and how we fulfil our tasks. In line with the understanding of how lighting can affect us, Dyson recently launched a new lamp that adjusts automatically to align with our body’s circadian rhythm.
When it comes to lighting, there is no one size fits all. Some lights are meant for general ambience, while some are intended for specific, focused tasks. As a general rule, start with an ambient light—usually a ceiling fixture—that allows you to complete general tasks. If your space requires you to perform activities that need focus like studying, you may wish to layer on with a task light. Accent lights can be a third layer to your artificial lighting system. These are great for highlighting certain spots in a space. Go for dimmers if you’re looking to accommodate multiple lighting needs in a single space.
5. For quality sleep, your bedroom should be a slumber sanctuary
Sleep deprivation not only affects our mood, it can also affect our memory and health, which is why adequate rest and sleep is so important to the foundation of wellness. In order to encourage enough sleep at home, focus on turning your bedroom into a wellness sanctuary made for sleeping.
Adequate sleep is necessary for wellness. Ensure your bedroom is a slumber sanctuary conducive for proper sleeping.
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When it comes to turning your bedroom into a slumber sanctuary, make sure you’re getting the right mattress. As a general guide, memory foam mattresses are good for folks who are on the heavier side as they tend to mould into your body shape, thereby helping to reduce pressure points. If you don’t sleep with the air-conditioning at night, get a natural latex mattress which can keep you cool and promotes air circulation.
Pillow choice is equally important. Back sleepers should go for a pillow with an extra hump at the bottom of the pillow for neck support, while side sleepers should opt for a firmer pillow. For bedding and bed linens, opt for 100% cotton sheets for all-round comfort and breathability.
Keeping the workspace separate from the sleeping area through a ledge in this small bedroom.
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To create a restful sanctuary, keep your workspace out of the bedroom if you can. If not, consider using dividers so as to keep the work zone separated from the sleeping area. Technology should also be left outside of the bedroom as they tend to emit artificial light sources that can suppress melatonin levels in our body, which are needed to tell our bodies that it’s time to sleep. Light sources from outside, such as traffic lights or lights from nearby buildings, can have a similar effect on our body. Keep your bedroom dark by investing in blackout shades or curtains.
Keep the light out in your bedroom when it’s time to sleep.
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6. Colour choice matters
Colours affect our moods in significant ways, but while it’s easy to generalise and say that loud and warm tones like red and orange lend vitality while greens and blues are soothing hues, it’s in fact a lot more subjective than that. Most of us perceive colours differently. For instance, while some may feel an all-white space is calming and oh-so-zen, others may feel it to be too stark and devoid of personality.
Neutrals are naturally calming.
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Go for colours that make you feel calm. It could be a warm blush shade or a serene green. Neutrals like taupe and greys are a safe bet if you’re completely clueless. Darker colours like charcoal can create a moodier scene and can feel cosy and warm when paired with the right lighting. An all-white space is also great if you want a clutter-free vibe. Collect inspiration and photos for a mood board (if you don’t already have one) and you will realise there is a consistency to your colour scheme choices. That will then be your answer.
7. Encourage mindful eating
Mindful eating, where we pay attention to what, how and when we eat, is a big part of wellness. To practice mindful eating at home, the first step is to create proper eating places. It could be a little breakfast bar by the kitchen or a formal dining room, but try not to have them by the TV or near your workstation as they can promote mindless eating. The idea is to have a designated area where you can sit down and pay attention to your food while you eat.
You don’t need a formal dining area to practice mindful eating at home.
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Keep utensils and serving ware within easy reach so you won’t be tempted to eat straight out from the container, a manner which is usually done hurriedly. Place your wares in a see-through glass cabinet, so you know where everything is at a glance. It also serves as a visual reminder to use them.
Place your serve ware in glass kitchen cabinets so you know where everything is in a glance.
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When storing foods in cabinets or the fridge, keep healthy ones at the eye level and within easy reach so you will be more likely to reach out for them when you are cooking or want a pre-dinner snack. Place appliances like juicers or food processors out on your countertop to encourage eating fruits and vegetables.
8. Layer on the comfort
An aspect of wellness in the home that we don’t often think about is comfort. A comfortable home is a happy one, so layer it on thickly. Comfort is an individual thing, so consider what makes you comfortable. It could be in the form of having lots of soft furnishings like carpets, throws and cushions, it could be ergonomic furniture—consider this if you’re working from home, or it could mean clutter-free spaces.
Layer on the comfort at home through soft furnishings.
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Visually, you want to soften the edges in your space for a comfortable visage. Opt for curvaceous furniture rather than ones with harsh edges. Or complement sharp lines with rounded shapes. Choose organic and natural materials like wood, leather and rattan, which can help add comfort even to “colder” themes like the industrial style.
9. Encourage socialisation
A home that centres on wellness should have private spaces where one can retreat to be alone, but it should also have spaces that encourage purposeful interaction and socialisation, which is known to improve mental wellness.
Bi-fold glass dividers create more flexibility to a space. They can be closed where there’s a need for privacy or opened to encourage mingling among the occupants in the home.
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An open-plan layout and multipurpose rooms encourage occupants to be in the same space at the same time. The living room is likely to be the most social, so incorporate plenty of seating for meaningful conversations. If you have kids, consider carving out a separate play area in the living room where they are allowed to be in the same space as the rest of the adults without taking over the entire area.
What other ways can you incorporate wellness in the home?