2017 is upon us, and let’s face it, we’re all more busy now than we’ve ever been. The never ending stream of information and technology is in our faces from the second we open our eyes in the morning until the moment we hit the hay exhausted at the end of the day. One thing many of us have seem to forgotten in this life (I’m as guilty as anyone out there) is how to just kick back, relax and enjoy a few moments. During everyday living it’s important to feel good, relaxed and calm to best accomplish the things we need and want to get done. Also, there’s times when we just need to recharge and have periods of calm to sort out exactly what is happening in our lives. No matter where you live, here are five items you can easily pick up at a store (or Amazon!) that won’t break your bank account, and that will definitely help to up your relaxation game:
1. Warm lights and candles
I recently moved into a new apartment this past summer and one thing my roommate was set on having was specific lighting for our apartment. Instead of intense bright lighting overhead that can feel jarring and perhaps stale, we found out it’s quite simple to purchase light bulbs with a warmer tone that can help soften the lighting in your place and make you feel calmer. My roommate bought an Edison light bulb (the kind you regularly find hanging from the ceiling in hip bars and restaurants) and it’s really great because it puts out a very cool, low-key vibe.
Candles can do the same thing, they create a low level light that is super soothing. Not to mention, of course you could buy scented candles to add even more relaxation to your space. Flavors and scents such as apple cider and lavender can create two different environments by simply lighting a match. There are tons of fragrances out there, so find one that best feels most comforting to you.
Ah yes, plants, of course! Before moving, I had never purchased a plant in my life, but I was in the mood to try some new things out, so I bought a small plant, stuck it on the window sill and it’s been just amazing. First off, we all know plants give off oxygen, so that alone is useful for your space. Two, they serve as natural decorations. And three, they help to remind you of the outdoors and nature. I live in New York City, so any greenery reminds me of hiking and fields, and what’s more relaxing than the great outdoors?
3. Water fountain
This is one that perhaps a lot of people might not think of right off the bat, but that I highly recommend. Like plants, a small water fountain (which is way cheaper than I thought just $25.00 online!) can help to sooth you. The sound of running water is so relaxing and once again reminds you of nature. Have you ever sat by a stream in the woods or out at the ocean and listened to the waves crash? Well having a small fountain can create a similar feeling. Just close your eyes and let it all flow smoothly or leave it in a corner for some calming background noise throughout your day.
4. Wall art
The walls in our homes are places we look at every single day so it’s worth thinking about what kind of stuff to put on them. When I first moved, I had white walls for a while, and I gradually added things to them as time went on. Of course the options here are endless, but you could easily get a photo of the ocean, the forest, or the desert. You could buy art, or even get a canvas and paint exactly what you want with a friend or loved one and then hang it in your place. You’re able to get any kind of colors you want that make you happy. Pictures of landscapes where you can see far, like mountain ranges, valleys, or overlooking cities personally make me feel smaller and like my own problems really aren’t as big as I’m making them out to be in my own mind.
5. Pillows and a blanket
Pillows and a blanket are great. What better way to relax after a long hard day at work than to just plop down and rest for 20 minutes. Whether you put them on your couch, your bed, or even the floor, pillows create a relaxing cushion for you to unwind and take the weight off. Throw in a nice blanket if the weather is cool enough for it and you’re all set. Maybe grab a nice coffee or tea and a good book, and you’re in heaven.