The second wave of Covid 19 in India is adversely affecting mental health. Stress levels are at an all time high with people scrambling to protect themselves, friends and family. Tough times are ahead of us and it is imperative to protect ourselves from the pandemic as well as the after effects its causing. Young Indians who survive the infection will still be coping up with mental health issues, high stress levels, panic attacks, trauma and loss. Apart from therapy and professional medical help, we can employ some simple techniques to make living at home less stressful. Here are some examples.
Minimize to maximize
A fine line should be drawn between collection and hoarding. We’ve all grown up with our mothers storing years and years of items in attics and storages. It is time to give them up, donate them to the less fortunate and declutter your lives. This can be in terms of crockery, furniture, clothes, artefacts – anything. Displaying everything you’ve got is a big no no as clutter adds chaos to our life. Being surrounded by too many things is confusing and stressful. Divide in terms of needs, wants and love. Keep things that you need or love (with emotional attachment) but donate things you once wanted, which failed to make any personal difference to your life to someone who might need it more. So minimize your clutter to maximize your space.
Having family, friends, a pet is a big luxury these days. With people under lockdown for a year, it is nice to have something to care for and watch grow. However, if you live away from your family, cannot visit your friends or don’t own a pet – consider investing in plants. Our planet needs them more than ever anyways. Plants add life to your household as I’ve mentioned in 50 different articles earlier. Moreover, biophilic design reduces stress levels. Care for a garden, start a veggie or herb garden in your balcony, make a succulent terrarium or simply get bonsais or money plants.
Comfort is key
With the world getting so image conscious; what with Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest; it is very important to be true to yourself. Don’t succumb to style or trends. Choose comfort every single time. A trendy couch which isn’t relaxing enough, a bedside table which serves no purpose other than ‘looking’ good, accessories which have no personal value or motive are overrated. A comfy bed will always give you more peace than the one getting you a 100 likes.
Light makes all the difference
Lighting is a key element to interior design. Dark spaces with very little natural light tend to make us brood. Gloomy spaces can alter our mood negatively, reduce productivity and harness bad thoughts. Yet, having natural light is also a big privilege especially in metropolitan Indian cities. But we can still try to achieve good flux levels by choosing better lamps – again which are conducive to living rather than just stylish. Ample reading lights, diffused daylight toned lamps and well working LEDs are good ideas to banish dark interiors. To admit more natural light, replace heavy opaque curtains with light sheer ones, open and ventilate houses every few hours, remove black tints from windows and move heavy furniture away from openings. Openly planned homes don’t restrict the sun so it is important to declutter to make your home ‘lighter’ both in terms of hue and weight.
At the same time, be mindful of where you admit light. For example, making the bedroom too bright with unnecessary lights can affect sleep patterns. Mood lighting should be employed in sleeping areas to guarantee uninterrupted smooth sleep.
The significance of surrounding yourself with positive people, posts, imagery, items and vibes cannot be emphasized enough. Its 2021 and its time to remove toxicity in every form from your life. Distance yourself from violent images, quotes, vengeful artefacts or negative prints. Dark and gloomy colors are also not helpful. We are already being exposed to so much negativity online and on Indian ‘media’. Consider this an intervention to remove negativity from your personal space.
Design is an integral part of our life. Our spaces, clothes, graphics, movies, books convey our mood and personality. The effects might not be so sudden, but in the long run they can have an unfortunate impact on our lives. As we are homebound for quite some time now, we are unable to get relief also from other spaces like cinemas, restaurants or public spaces. Our home is literally our safe haven. Naturally, it needs to be treated like that. Clean and sanitize your house regularly, remove extra items, open the windows and put on some good music. Let your home heal you.
— Best wishes, stay safe and stay strong. We WILL get through this.