When you get home from work, the last thing you want to do is MORE WORK. If you work from home, keep reading-there’s more for you below. The rules for creating a refuge are simple in theory, but extremely difficult to put into practice because creating new habits isn’t easy. Once you’ve created these habits, you will feel more peace in your life and you’ll actually have a life! Your job is important, but what you do outside of work and how you feel in your own home play just as important of a role in defining who you are.
Leave Work at Work
Are you making phone calls on the way home from work? Are you answering emails at dinner? STOP. Once work is over, it’s over. Seriously. By answering texts and emails from work after hours, you are sending the message to your coworkers that you’re always available. For your own health and sanity, send a new message by waiting until your work day starts again the next day to respond and deal with work issues.
I’m the type of person who loves to rehash my day and talk about everything that happened and how it all made me feel. My hubby loves this about me ;p. If you want to come home and start a vent sesh, that’s fine and normal. Just give yourself a time limit. Let it all out for about 5 minutes and then put it away. It will all still be there tomorrow and you haven’t let it ruin your entire night.
If you work from home, create a designated work area. I keep all of my work things in our spare bedroom but when I work, I’m on the sofa in my sweatpants. My home would feel like much more of a relaxing haven if I stayed in the work area while working. I know I need to make that area just as inviting as the sofa in my living room in order for that to happen.
No one wants to come home and feel like they have to clean and tidy up. But if you continue to let messes build up and have too much clutter around you won’t be able to truly relax and enjoy your night. Something that my husband and I have started doing is tidying up together after dinner for 10-15 minutes. We put things away and do as many dishes or laundry as we can and then go on with our night. If it’s helpful, set a timer so you don’t get overwhelmed. Just do what you can in your allotted time and have everyone who is home help out. Eventually you’ll stay on top of the mess and the rest of your night will be much more relaxing.
If you are a project starter, like me, make sure and have a designated spot for that project. It’s all too easy to leave it out since you’re just going to work on it the next day but that day turns into weeks and months and your project is suddenly covered in wrinkled laundry and backpacks. Make sure you’re going to finish your project or have a spot where it goes at night.
Create a Space You Love
If you’re going to create a refuge out of your home, it needs to be a place you look forward to living in and are excited to be in. Some people want to create a relaxing feel and others like to be energized when they walk into their space. Think about how you want to feel and then work towards creating that vibe. Think about textures, smells, plants, artwork, and accessories that will contribute to that feeling. Then keep an eye out for things that you truly love when you travel, shop, and peruse flea markets. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to have it all done at once or that you need to buy just to buy. Good design takes time and you will enjoy your space all the more if you surround yourself with things that make you happy, are meaningful, and bring back memories.
Get rid of things you feel obligated to own because they were handed down to you or gifted to you. It’s your home and you don’t have to keep anything you don’t love in there! This doesn’t mean you have to throw things away. Think of someone you could give it to or it would mean more to. You can also donate to Deseret Industries or Goodwill and feel better about your item not going to waste. Re-purposing something by giving it a fresh coat of paint or using it somewhere else in your home is an idea too if you don’t want to get rid of it.
It doesn’t have to be expensive to add things to your home that you love. Replacing bedding can make a world of difference in a master bedroom and you can do it all for under $100 at Homegoods, TJ Maxx, Ross, At Home, etc. Keep your eye out for treasures and don’t buy anything you don’t love, and don’t spend a lot. New throw pillows from Target on your couch, a rug from Overstock under your dining table, or even a couple artificial plants from IKEA can make your space feel brand new in no time.
Remember that your surroundings affect you and the way you feel and act. When you live somewhere that you love, you can live and enjoy a more meaningful life. It’s worth the small amount of time and money it takes to invest in the space where you spend some of the most important moments of your life.