April is National Stress Awareness Month in the UK, making it a great time to evaluate how to relieve stress in your life. It’s stressful being a tenant, especially during a pandemic where financial concerns may arise and a lot of us are working at home.
A survey by Aetna International in September 2020 showed that 32% of the surveyed employees were concerned about stress levels while working from home, and 76% of 18-24year-old workers were struggling to deal with the blurring of work and home life due to the pandemic.
It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to de-stressing our lives and homes, so we’re sharing our five renting and budget-friendly top tips for home décor to help brighten your mood.
1. Natural Lighting to Brighten the Room
Daily encounters with natural lighting can provide several health benefits, including: a boost in vitamin D, lifting low moods, improving sleep, and a reduction in the health risks of excessive fluorescent lighting exposure. Open up curtains and blinds as soon as you wake up to ensure as much natural light as possible is reaching the inside of your home.
Exposure to light (natural and artificial) helps us feel more awake and alert. At night, use blackout blinds/curtains to make your bedroom as dark as possible. Poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health, so it’s important to get a good night’s rest.
2. Place Indoor Plants and Fresh Flowers
Houseplants and fresh flowers add natural, aesthetically pleasing decoration to the home. Studies show that indoor flowers and foliage can improve your mood, lower stress/anxiety, and help you focus, as well as ease headaches and respiratory ailments due to the improved air quality.
Bringing nature inside is a great way to brighten up your space and, in turn, your mood.
3. Incorporate Relaxing Décor into Your Bedroom
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for relaxation and rest, especially when trying to relieve stress. While you may not be allowed to paint the walls or drill holes in the wall for picture frames, there are many creative ways to create an aura of relaxation in your bedroom.
‘Cosy up’ with soft blankets draped on the bed or armchair, light candles or reed diffusers, and – as previously mentioned – block out the light from lamp posts outside when it’s time to get to sleep. Experiment with décor and see what works well for you.
Adding pops of colour with accent cushions, vases, and other colourful décor pieces can help lift your mood and turn your bedroom into a stress-free zone, ready for getting good-quality rest.
4. Storage and Organisation
The phrase “tidy home, tidy mind” is popular for good reason. Clutter can lead to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Organising your home with simple, renting-friendly storage solutions is a great way to de-clutter and thus de-stress.
A messy home will lead to increased stress levels for the whole household, whereas in an organised home everything is in its place. You may not be able to put up shelves or nail a bookcase to the wall, but whether it’s a short bookcase or a large chest of drawers, there are many ways to add storage to your home while remaining within renting guidelines. Furthermore, keep visible surfaces free of too much clutter – a good rule of thumb is to limit the decoration of bookshelves and open surfaces to half-full.
5. Keep Your Space Clean
Now you’ve tidied away the mess and organised your cupboards, it’s time for a deep clean. Mundane activities such as regular household cleaning can help you wind down and relieve stress, with the added benefit of a sparkling-clean home afterwards.
Those with long, stressful work shifts, physical disabilities, and/or mental health conditions may find it difficult to do a full-home deep clean all at once. Take everything at your own pace and start with smaller, simpler cleaning tasks. This will still contribute to a clean home while preserving your energy, time, and mental health.
For ideas on how to decorate your rented accommodation to feel like home, even when you can’t put down permanent roots, click here.