Four ways to make your home a chill zone

I get it. You work hard, you probably play hard - maybe not as hard as you used to - but you're mostly too tired to get everything done. You want a place to retreat to, and not feel like there is always something "to do" at home. Homes can be exhausting, but when they're cozy, lit right, inviting and warm, they are the haven that we need them to be. It's kind of strange that we lock ourselves inside a big box every night and feel safe in this act, so it's important for that box to feel like a kingdom and not a cage. Below are four ways to make your home more relaxing when you're super busy:

SIMPLE ROUTINE

Setting yourself up for success is what keeps stress at bay. Every night, by running a load of laundry and loading the dishwasher, you are never allowing your home to get truly out of hand. A messy home is one of the most stressful home hiccups we can encounter. A little mess turns into a huge mess and a huge mess turns into, "I need a whole day just to clean this place," and that looms over your head all day whether you're home or not. Every morning upon waking, unload the dishwasher and put away your laundry. And make your bed in the morning. It takes two seconds, and a cozy bed is waiting for you when you come home. Just throw that duvet over the mattress and call it a day. Don't leave it rumpled on the floor. Respect yo bed.
 

KILL THE LIGHTS

As the evening creeps into the day earlier and earlier, adjust your home's lighting to accommodate it. Our sleep cycles are so interrupted from our harsh overhead lighting, computer screens and televisions, that we've actually confused our brains on when bedtime is. When you come home from work, try to turn on table lamps instead of overhead lighting, as the light is diffused differently throughout your space. Or better yet, light candles and create a soothing ambience that isn't as bright, harsh and sterile as an operating room. Let your body slow down after a long day and ease into relaxation by actually allowing your body to unwind and prepare for sleep time. If you don't have table lamps, try turning on fewer lights in your home, or switching out some of your bright lightbulbs for dimmer ones, or even go as far as installing your lights on a dimmer switch: extremely worth it. You can literally dim your home as you come closer and closer to bedtime. You'll be surprised how sleepy you feel, and how restful your sleeps are. Oh, and put your phone away after 8PM. No insty before bed.
 

DELEGATE THE DAYS

Too busy to dedicate a cleaning day to get all those cobwebs out of the corners, dust off the tables and dirt off the floor? Assign each day of the week for one of your cleaning responsibilities, so they never pile up on you, begging for your devoted attention for an entire afternoon. For example, Mondays are reserved for breaking out the windex and dusting, Tuesdays are toilets, Wednesdays are sweeping or vacuuming, and so on. Instead of needing hours to get all your tidying done, give yourself a few minutes each day to cross one off your list. Your home will stay clean and more importantly, you'll stay on top of it.


PLAY WITH AROMATHERAPY

Aromatherapy is one of the easiest ways to trick our brains into chill-mode. Walking into a home that smells like the inside of a shoe is the furthest thing from chill-mode. So if your shoes are literally the first thing you smell when you walk in your door, for Pete's sake, hang an air freshener in your front closet. But seriously, invest in a diffuser that sends different smells throughout your home. In the morning, you can add bright citrusy smells that help wake you up, and more importantly, at night you can add warm, soothing scents like vanilla, chamomile and honey, to help you unwind faster. These types of scents actually invoke a calmness within you as the power of smell can actually relieve tension in your body.