Our homes continue to be our place for work and play. Since Spring we have been “safe at home” with COVID-19 and now we are home this summer more than ever with restricted travel. This summer is the time to create spaces in our homes for tranquility and vitality. Every family needs space in their home to recharge and re-energize.
Decluttering first gives us energy. Maybe you haven’t realized how much your stuff is weighing you down. When we edit and remove that which is not loved, used or needed, we open up space in our homes. Start in your family room and then move to your kitchen, then next to your bedroom. In the family room decide which collectibles are still important to you. Do you need to edit photos or add more recent photos? Are there books you can donate to the library book sale room? Create a space that helps you gather together for games and family fun. In the kitchen, simplify what you use for preparation and storage. Have your extra dishes become more than you need? Are you ready to slim down your food storage containers (aka tupperware)? In these high traffic areas, look to simplify and create easy access for what is most frequently used.
Create Tranquility Zones
Set aside time each day for tranquility. Comfy sofas and bedrooms are ideal for napping. These spaces for tranquil rest are where we can renew with cool temperatures and the whirl of a fan. Add a soft throw or coverlet and you will enjoy your short rest.
Create a Book Nook
We’re learning and reading more than ever. That reading includes audio books, paper books, kindles, devices and magazines. Book and magazine storage can be a small basket beside your night stand or in the family room. You can create a family library by installing additional shelving in a hallway with low two shelf storage or tall five shelf storage that matches the wall color. Decide how much book storage you would like, set that as a boundary for the number of books you want and then donate books that won’t fit into your space.
Create a meditation or yoga space
More of us are using meditation and yoga for calm starts to our day. Your family room can be divided into zones for a variety of uses including media and exercising. Place your yoga mat in a wicker basket for storage in a corner of your family room for easy access and room to exercise.
Invite your family outdoors
Time outside in the sun and the shade energizes us. Getting our daily dose of vitamin D is important as well as fresh air. Invite your family into the outdoors with a hammock between trees, an oversize Adirondack chair in the shade or a bistro table and two chairs for snacks outside. New sports like pickelball and old sports like crochet are fun family activities to play throughout the summer.
Create a common charging station for everyone’s devices
Prioritize your family’s tranquility each evening with a common charging station in a common space. Each evening place all the devices in your home in the station to recharge. Everyone will benefit with a better night’s rest.
Re-organizing your home this summer will re-energize everyone. This boost will make a difference for summer fun and time together as a family.
Are you beginning to think we have been thrown back to ancient times and there are many plagues before us? We are going through a global health crisis, economic bumpy roads, and social unrest. It’s certainly a time to create resilience during difficult times. Here are some strategies that can hold you in safe space with the unprecedented times.
I am a professional organizer and productivity consultant. Naturally the first recommendation I have is to create a rock solid routine for your morning, evening or the day. Your routine can have flexibility without begin rigid. Rock solid routines include your set bedtime, your daily exercise and your productivity time blocks. A solid routine helps you know what your plan is for the day, which can be rearranged as needed.
Sacred self care
Self care and resilience are like peanut butter and jelly. Your self care will keep you well rested, well hydrated, and positive. We need energy to stay calm and carry on. Many people are learning new games, crafts and outdoor activities. When you give yourself time to do what you love or to learn something new, you feel energized and upbeat. Self care is required during these times, and beyond.
Trusted sources and resources
Media and social media are filled with many emotions and lots of information. By now you have drilled down to what is your trusted source. Stay true to what you trust and rely on. Double check facts online. I have been relying on science based information rather than many opinions. Use many facts to find the truth of the situation.
There is not much in the media that is sharing thoughts about faith. This is a time to lean into your faith. That may be through religious ceremonies via zoom, a daily evening prayer, grace at meals or with a prayer book at home. Knowing there is a great good and a higher power empowers our hope and resilience.
Authentic connections help you process the world and keep you grounded. Throughout the pandemic, I have called two friends a day to spend time processing what is going on around us. They have helped me find meaning and purpose in this bumpy time. This is the support we all need as we discuss and sometimes laugh at the tough times.
Find the good. It’s all around you. It is the awareness that even in the most troubling of times, good is here. That is resilience. Knowing the good is here.
Health has been a long time priority for our family. Above all else, we prize taking care of ourselves and building good routines that support wellness. Our motivation includes being a role model for our kids and grands kids. We know that what we do reflects on their choices. As a family we have sadly had parents die at an early age. We want to live a long healthy life to spend time with our family and friends. We have prioritized health and well being and you can too by adjusting a few tweaks to your self care and lifestyle. Check out these 3 tips to help you get organized to stay healthy.
Make time for exercise in your schedule
Exercise is a stress fighter and immunity builder. It’s that important to be sure that even with the busiest of days with the longest hours, you add in exercise. There are so many ways you can make sure you exercise multiple times a week. Set a schedule to include some exercise, whether it is a class at the gym or a far walk from your car to your office. You can exercise with your family when you all take a walk together, ride bikes or online classes.
Finding the exercise you love helps you commit to this. Since 1988, I have prioritized taking a walk every day. I have the opportunity to set my own schedule, I start my day early with a walk. A variation of my walk can include a “walk and talk” with friends to keep connected or “think big time” about my business, professional next steps or personal goals. I have made the commitment to walk 10K steps a day currently and love that I am accomplishing this early in the day.
Make it easy to take medications, supplements and vitamins
While not everyone agrees on the value of supplements or vitamins, we do all agree that to take care of ourselves we need to make it easy. What is easy? It is placing your medicine or vitamins where they are easy to see and take each day. Using a medicine organizer, you can be sure you are taking your daily doses timely. It’s easy to take medications by setting your alarm on your phone to be sure you take these at the correct time. I carry a small ziplock of over the counter medicines to keep with me as I go about my day. Using auto refill, it’s easy to have all your medications without hassle. You can pull up to the pharmacy window to pick up your refill when texted. When things are accessible and easy to see, it’s easy to be sure we take what we intend or is prescribed.
Plan a great night’s rest
There’s nothing more powerful for wellness than a great night’s rest. Experts share the many ways to help you relax and rest. With so much to think about and worry about, it’s hard to settle in. However, getting more exercise helps us rest better. We slip into slumber more easily and stay asleep all night. As adults it is tempting to stay up late, binge watch and then hit the snooze button in the morning. It is a matter of creating a schedule that includes a bedtime that works for you. By establishing time for tranquility, we are setting ourselves up for a better day tomorrow.
Here is how I get started scheduling my bed time. I start very early in getting ready for bed, like ridiculously early, at 6 pm. I wash my face and get ready in my night wear. I keep my bedroom very cold and very dark. Also my bed sheets are heavy and weighted. I plan on eight hours of rest. My bedtime and rise time are the same every day, including the weekend. As you can see, I love being rested! I am a creature of habit that makes it easier too. While you may not be a person with solid routines, take one of these tips to use for your bedtime.
Get started on these lifestyle changes with one small step. Over time, your new habits will be something to brag about to others. Your family will be thrilled too.