Because we could all use a little more calm in our lives. 

By Katie Holdefehr
March 24, 2020

When we're surrounded by scary news headlines and many of us are quarantined inside our homes, it's more important than ever to carve out a safe, calm space if and where we can. The goal: turn your home into an oasis, no matter if you're inside the house 24/7 these days or are a healthcare provider working tirelessly around the clock. To make your home calmer, start by evoking all of the senses—touch, smell, and sound included. Then, consider limiting the amount of time you spend catching up on the news each day, while focusing more on connection with family and friends. Below are 5 mini-moves for a more relaxed home, starting right now. 

RELATED: 10 Little Ways to Spruce Up Your Home—Without Leaving Your House or Buying Anything 

1
Set the soundtrack. 

Queue up some music that never fails to put you in a good mood, and let that be the "soundtrack" for your home. Keep the record on your record player or have the playlist ready to go on Spotify, and whenever you need a pick-me-up or when you get home from a long shift, switch on your favorite songs (after washing your hands, of course). 

RELATED: 5 Creative Ways to “Travel” When You’re Stuck at Home

2
Choose a signature scent. 

You know how some stores have a signature scent that always seems to waft through the air—why not choose one for your home? Let it be something soothing, like lavender or palo santo. You can either use an essential oil diffuser or an incense burner if you have one, or mix up a spray from distilled water and essential oils. Burning palo santo sticks can also create a relaxing vibe—especially if you've been spending quarantine doing free YouTube yoga videos

Another option: choose a nostalgic scent that brings back warm memories. Freshly baked cookies, anyone?

3
Focus on soft surfaces. 

To make your entire home textural and cozy, layer on the throw blankets and pillows. Start with the areas where you're spending the most time, whether that's the living room sofa, your bed, or your makeshift office area, Search the linen closet or storage chest for spare blankets you haven't pulled out in a while. 

4
Soften the lighting too. 

Harsh overhead lighting can ruin the relaxed vibe in any home. If you can, switch off the overheads and turn on shaded floor and table lamps. If your lamps have adjustable settings or are on dimmers, switch them to a lower setting when you're relaxing with a puzzle or watching TV as a family. 

5
Establish some screen-free time. 

Maybe it's after 9 p.m. or for two hours after dinner, set a specific time for your household to go screen-free. Especially now, it can be difficult to turn away from the news headlines, but if you can, it's helpful to give yourself a chance to decompress (and your eyes an opportunity to rest). 

What can you do instead of scrolling for hours? How about working on a puzzle, reading, painting, or even try meditating, either solo or with your family or roommates. 

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