written by Annette Furio,
Founder + CEO, Season Journals
This week, we are diving into the importance of your environment, one of the pillars of the seven dimensions of wellness. If you’re like me, you seek out coffeeshops with the best vibes, restaurants with peaceful al fresco dining, and spaces with beautiful interior design. You’re thinking of the next best way to make your bedroom a sanctuary and your bathroom a spa. That’s because environments can have a true effect on our attitudes, productivity, and even stress levels. Elements like color, natural light, air flow, scent, and sound all play a part in your spacial environment, whether you’ve noticed this before or not!
If spring cleaning is for purging, dusting and washing windows, we’re proclaiming summer cleaning as time to improve the overall look, feel, and smell of your surroundings so you can enjoy a stress-free summer at home. Try these ideas and experience the new joy they bring!
01 / Bring the outside in
‘Tis the season for fresh flowers and new growth on houseplants. While it may seem frivolous to some to pick up flowers at Trader Joe’s or your local florist, if it makes your home feel fresh and bright – you should do it! If you have a yard, this is one of the best parts about having a flower garden! Make it a part of your weekly routine to go outside and pick a bouquet for your kitchen table or bathroom counter. Houseplant lovers – enjoy this season of new growth on your plants! This is also a great time to propagate or notch a plant, since it’s a plant’s natural growing season.
02 / Brighten your wall colors
How many times have you heard to change up your wall color for an immediate change in the ambiance. That’s because it works! Warm neutrals and bright whites are some of my favorites right now. Bright white paint can light up even the apartment with little natural light, and warm grays add a sense of calm.
03 / Find your signature scent
Are you someone who buys a new scent every time they buy a candle? Try finding one signature scent that really resonates with you and your partner or roommate. Associating a smell with home is a way to calm the nervous system and tell your senses that you are home and safe. If you’re not into burning candles in the summer, consider buying soaps and diffusers with the same scent.
04 / Give your stuff a “home”
Clutter stems from items not having what I like to call a “home” in your house. They don’t really belong anywhere, so they get left out or scattered around. If you find yourself with lots of clutter, ask yourself where this item can live – whether in a drawer, a basket, a closet, in storage, or in
05 / Fill your house with music
Music has an incredible way of changing the tone of the space you’re in. My husband and I like to listen to music when we’re prepping dinner, cooking and eating together. It is typically the same playlist or same style of music, and it is an auditory cue that it’s dinner time and we’re done with work for the day.
06 / Turn down the temps for sleep
Dr. Drerup of the Cleveland Clinic states that the optimal sleeping temperature in the bedroom for adults should be between 60 and 67° F. We could write an entire post on the importance of sleep, but turning down the thermostat at night is a good start for your environment. This ensures you get the appropriate amount of REM sleep, and stay in restorative, slow-wave sleep stages, which is where you get the most rest.
07 / Upgrade your linens
Thanks to the onset of online bedding companies, I recently made the switch to linen sheets. Now I can’t imagine ever going back. Linen is perfect for hot sleepers, as the natural fibers are much more breathable. If you want to create a calm, relaxing, cozy and comfortable bedroom environment, we suggest finding the sheets and bedding that truly create this space for you. Linen is definitely my new luxury. Paired with lower sleeping temperatures, your sleep environment is about to get a big upgrade.
08 / Utilize closed storage
If you bought into the open shelving craze, you’re not alone. Did you think you’d have the perfectly curated shelves but now just throw things in piles? One great solution here is to buy some baskets to clean up the visual clutter. Next time you’re buying furniture, consider some with doors or a mixture of open and closed shelving.
09 / Create a separate work space
As many of us know, the line between work and home has blurred, if not completely disintegrated, over the last two years. If you’re continuing to work from home, consider thinking about your office space with intention. Do you have a comfortable desk? Do you have natural light? Do you have an ergonomic chair? All these things add to the comfort of your work environment that may have previously been defined for you by your employer. And of course, if you have the space, physically separating your office in another part of the house or in a separate room is the best case scenario.
10 / Put love on display
Choose the items that bring you happiness and joy and put them on display (a great use for those open shelves!). These can be photos of your family and friends, a great trip you took with your partner, special mementos from a season of life or a big event. Surround yourself with personal items that are unique only to you. If you love travel, one unique idea is to create a gallery wall with not only photos, but paper mementos from your travels, such as tickets, menus, playbills, stickers, magazine pages and more!
Annette is the Founder and CEO of Season Journals. She creates, writes, and designs journals that facilitate expression and dialogue for the many seasons of our lives. She also publishes the weekly Season blog and oversees marketing, sales, partnership and operations at Season. She has a true entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the intersection of business and people.
Furio resides in downtown Columbus, Ohio with her husband, Giovanni, and their menagerie of houseplants. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, learning about wine, and reading.
Photo by Lauren Pennington Photography