Your home should be your haven of relaxation, the place where you settle down and chill out at the end of a hard day at work or where you can retreat at weekends to unwind. Making time for relaxation is every bit as important as getting stuff done. It helps us to stay healthy and makes our home a happy place to be.
Of course, we all let go of stress and prefer to unwind in different ways. While some of us like nothing better than to busy ourselves with a design project or learning a new skill, for others, the ultimate in relaxation comes when we snuggle up on the sofa with a loved one. Whatever your style – be honest, are you getting enough downtime? Could you benefit from doing a little less when you step through the door, or maybe just trying something different? We take a look at ten ways to help you relax at home.
Settle into your surroundings
It’s hard to relax when you don’t feel at home in your surroundings. Whether you’ve just moved in and haven’t had the chance to strip the dodgy wallpaper yet, or a few busy weeks for the family has left the place looking a touch messy, sometimes relaxation comes down to making your house feel like your own. Half an hour spent decluttering each room or planning a new look with a design moodboard could be a step towards building a more relaxing space that helps you to feel calmer and more settled.
Getting your heart pumping or slowing things down can be a great way to encourage the release of endorphins that increase your happiness levels. Activities like Yoga and Tai Chi combine movement and breathing exercises to promote relaxation, without being too vigorous – so you won’t risk knocking everything off your mantelpiece when you give them a go in the front room. Why not add some gentle exercise to your morning and evening routines to help you feel more content?
Candles & aromatherapy
Whether you’ve spent most of your day looking at screens or you’ve simply been stuck inside, switching off the lights and enjoying the natural glow of a candle instead can give your eyes a break. Choose fragranced candles and you could tap into the calming effects of aromatherapy too. And if burning candles doesn’t quite help you forget the stress of your awful morning meeting or the fact that your toddler drew on the walls with crayon, at least your home will smell nice.
Soaking at home in a bath can feel like a real luxury when you’ve had a busy day or hit it extra hard at the gym. You don’t need to add fancy bubbles or oils if you don’t want to, sometimes simply the hot water and some quiet time is enough to relieve stress and give you the few moments of relaxation you need to refuel and feel so much better.
Cuddling up to your other half, the kids or one of your pets increases oxytocin levels, the happy hormone that makes you feel bonded and content. Oxytocin is also a healthy stress buster as it can help to lower your blood pressure and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. With this in mind, snuggling up on the sofa could actually prove to be a productive way to chill at the end of your day.
When was the last time you read a good book? Reading is another scientifically proven way to de-stress, so if you’re not already reading regularly, could you make time and space for picking up a book at home? Reading is shown to help release tension in your muscles and to lower your heart rate too. Doesn’t that sound like a great excuse to plan a cute little reading corner in your living room?
Time constraints when it comes to dinnertime mean many of us grab something quick and easy to cook. However, putting in a bit of extra effort could help you to relax, as well as giving you the opportunity to create something more healthy and delicious to eat. The methodical process of weighing out ingredients, adding them to the pan and the actions of chopping and stirring proves very relaxing to some people. And of course, cooking is one of those tasks where you have the satisfaction of enjoying the fruits of your labour at the end.
Music is a real mood enhancer. Stick on one of your favourite albums, sit back on your sofa, and science shows that it’s likely to have a positive effect. Listening to relaxing music before bedtime is also a good way to wind down – it can even have an impact on your quality of sleep. Have you got space in your home for a record corner?
Knitting, crochet, patchwork or cross-stitch, whatever you’re into, making time for crafting projects is another way to tap into that sense of satisfaction of a job well done. As an added bonus, you could also produce some really interesting pieces to give a unique finish to your home’s interior, all from the comfort of your sofa.
Find a sofa you love
And finally, are you sitting comfortably? No, really, when you settle down in front of the TV to switch off at the end of the day, are you as comfortable as you possibly could be? On average, we spend three hours on our sofa each day. So, if sitting – or lying – on your sofa leaves you feeling anything less than content, your relaxation game is going to be negatively affected. Not sure where to start? Our guide What matters most when choosing a sofa has some great pointers for sofa selection. Perhaps it’s time to break your ties with tradition and try out something different like a recliner sofa for stretching out in comfort or a loveseat to curl up on?
What’s your favourite way to relax and unwind? Is your home a relaxation haven or do you need to make a bit of space so you can indulge in hobbies and downtime? Shop sofas with Sofology and start your journey to relaxation today.