Do you feel like your home is your haven? Or does the thought of sitting down quietly somewhere and getting away from the world cause you to pull your hair out among the clutter and chaos? It is possible to have both operating alongside each other, and even at exactly the same time.
I have 3 sons, one is grown up and moved out, but the other two are more than enough to keep my house FAR from actual peaceful! Add to that my hubby’s booming voice, especially when the footy or cricket is on, two cats who like to chase each other around, hit bells with balls along the wooden floors, and meow for food, food and more food, and the house literally lifts off into space sometimes it is that noisy!
Yet if I had to describe my home, it would be my peaceful place, my haven and place away from the troubles of the rest of the world. Despite being connected to the rest of the world most of the time via television, radio and social media, I can (and do) choose to disconnect every day at some point, and just quietly take in the mindfulness of my home. I also find moments and rituals that bring me personal peace. It is important that you do that to enrich the quality of your life and your wellbeing.
1) De-clutter each week
It may appear, from looking at my social media and blog, that I love clutter! But I really don’t. I love to hold precious memories, share art and important objects, see colour and quirk around me, and celebrate my personal style. But I hate when the surfaces start to fill up with mail, and newspapers, and lunch boxes, and notes, and tea cups and shopping bags etc, as the week goes on. I always spend at least a couple of hours every Saturday morning clearing the decks and creating a calmer space, especially in the living areas, my nooks, my bedroom and my office.
Have a weekly de-clutter and work on the most important spaces to you, the ones you see the most often, and at least de-clutter your work space and the spot you love to sit and relax.
2) Create your own special peaceful nook
Don’t you just love the word nook! The sound of it makes you feel all grand and English manor house! I dream of a window seat with a comfortable cushion, in a deep window with lead light, overlooking a lush garden. What I really have are 2 favourite places to sit in my fairly cramped home – one in my old sitting room turned our bedroom, where I can lie on my bed and look out at the sky and the garden. The other, on our deck, where I can feel the breeze and tend to my plants. Create at least one spot like this for yourself in the house which is yours and yours only, as far as possible, and make sure to use this spot to sit in, even if just for 5 minutes, every day.
3) Go outside and notice the world
This is a key part for achieving peace and calm. You must have outdoor time and space, no matter how small, to walk out into. If you live in an apartment, a pot plant inside is a must, and a regular walk in the local park. If you have a yard or balcony, walk or at least look outside every morning and every night, notice the sun rising and setting, be grateful for each and every day, feel the air, the sunshine and listen to the birds. If the weather is bad, or you don’t want to pop out, at least look out the window and see what is happening outside the goings on in your household.
4) Use water therapy
There really is nothing like water to bring you to a state of peace. Make time for yourself each day when you shower and be sure to stay totally mindful. It is a great opportunity to use that time to practice mindfulness – notice the sound and feel of the water on your skin, the smell of the soap and the way the water falls to the ground. Stay in the moment and try to close off your thoughts and leave the shower refreshed mentally, as well as physically. Take a bath every now and then too and indulge your senses with a facial, burn some candles and have a good long soak.
5) Play music, sing and dance
Music has so many good things going for it. I wrote a post here about how important it is to our lives. Regularly play your favourite music, sing at the the top of your lungs, dance and let yourself go with the tune. It can provide a great form of exercise, mindfulness and bring peace. Singing is also a great way to deal with stress, as you can often identify with certain lyrics and work through issues you may be grappling with.
Burning a candle just seems to bring a sense of peace and using one which is scented will have even more impact. Aromatherapy has a long history of positive effects on your wellbeing. Similarly, flowers and herbs can increase your sense of happiness and calm. Try planting scented flowers such as lavender, gardenia and magnolia in your garden. Having one of these in a pot by the front door means you are greeted with the scent every time you come home.
7) Spend time with your loved ones
And finally the thing that can bring you the most peace is to stop doing everything and just be a human being – spend time with your family or loved ones in your home.
If you live alone be sure to spend quality time with your pets, and invite friends over for meals and movie nights. I spend the majority of the weekend with my family, pottering around the house and doing things that fill up my heart and nourish me. I like to talk with my kids about life the universe and all that, laugh with my hubby, read, and watch plenty of quality movies and programmes. Time with your loved ones in your home makes it come alive. It is what life is really all about – human connections, and if you don’t make those memories in your home it will have no heart.
And there is no peace without heart.
Do you have any to add? And what do you do at home to bring peace?
**update of a post originally shared in 2015