Make your home your sanctuary

Your home is the one place where you can truly relax and be yourself. So why not learn to make the most of it? Lisa Freedman suggests how.

The stress of an unmade bed

Few things are more stressful after a long day than arriving home to chaos – an unmade bed, the remains of breakfast, towels on the bathroom floor. In a busy working world it is always difficult to squeeze in that extra five minutes in the morning to leave the house tidy, but your reward will be a peaceful and welcoming haven to return to. If you really can’t manage it – hire someone to do it for you. It will transform your life.

Be a guest in your own home

Why not treat yourself as though you are a staying at a top hotel? Spoil yourself in small ways. There are few things pleasanter than slipping in between newly laundered sheets. Buy a beautiful blanket, some luxurious towels, an expensive bar of soap. Fill the house with flowers – put them by your bed, by your bath, on the kitchen table. These small touches can really lift the spirits.

Light up your life

A home should be lit to create a sense of comfort, ease and intimacy. Side lights and dimmers will make a much warmer and calmer environment than harsh overhead lighting. Remember to provide a range of bulbs to suit different moods and different tasks. And why not indulge yourself in the most beautiful light of all? Candlelight. There’s nothing more tranquil.

Become a bathing beauty

You don’t have to go to a spa to gain the benefits of water and beauty therapies. Set aside an entire evening and give yourself a beauty treatment at home. Have a long bath. Scent it with essential oils, surround it with candles and put on your favourite piece of music. Water is healing as well as cleansing. Let your mind wander and afterwards wrap yourself up and sit quietly for ten minutes. Then moisture all over, give yourself a manicure, blow dry your hair. You will emerge an entirely different person.

Mood Music

Put on a favourite piece of music – something that reminds you of a pleasant moment in the past – a happy holiday, a childhood treat, your first romance. Then, sit back in a comfortable chair, dim the lights, and just listen. The memories you associate with the music will help you relax.

Alternatively, if you’re particularly wound up, why not dance it out of your system? Shut the curtains, lock the doors and turn up the music to top volume. Then just bop away the tension. Sing along as well. Fill your lungs and expel that negative energy.

A little light reading

Though intellectual energy is its own reward, now and again the best cure for a stressed out mind is something a little less demanding. If you’re exhausted from an endless day of office politicking and an ever-ringing phone, why not stretch out on the sofa for a few hours of pure escapism with your favourite author?

Get away from it all

Hire a video – something really frightening, funny or just a good old-fashioned weepy, depending on your taste – then turn off the phone and remove yourself from the cares of the world. Remember, there is good reason why those Hollywood folk are paid more than psychotherapists.

It’s good to talk

Call a friend whom you haven’t spoken to for ages and have a chat. However jam-packed life may seem, sharing your worries and your triumphs will make you feel better. Or have friends over – not colleagues, new acquaintances, or those you need to impress – just old friends who take you for what you are. Order a take-away and have a good laugh.

Food fit for a king – and you

Cook yourself your favourite meal – steak and asparagus, caviar and champagne. It’s much cheaper to splurge at home and you can relax and enjoy it – in your pyjamas if you want to.

About Lisa Freedman

Lisa Freedman is a regular contributor to The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent and Woman & Home magazine.

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