These days life is pretty much just one big rush from one crisis to another. We wake up in a hurry to get ready for work, we rush to work, we rush home, we quickly make dinner, we fit in any phone calls, we grab an hour in front of the TV and then we start getting ready for bed lest we be late again tomorrow. This places such a strain on our bodies and minds that it's hardly any wonder that most of us struggle to keep our eyes open throughout the day... And that's before you take into account all the coffee we drink, the explosive games we play, and the action-packed films we watch. We're constantly 'on', constantly 'excited' and never resting.
If you want to put a change to this though then you certainly can – and that change starts in the home. If you want to encourage yourself to get more sleep and relaxation, then you simply need to think about how you can make life a little more relaxing through interior design. Create spaces where you can sit and reflect, and you'll actually be able to grab a moment's quiet in your hectic day that can help you to still your heartrate and grab a moment to reflect on anything. The changes to your health and lifestyle will be enormous.
Here are some 'zen space' examples to start you off…
Balconies involve a bit of expense and work, but if once you have a great balcony added to your home you will certainly see how worthwhile they are. The best balconies will not only give you a fantastic view over your local area, but they'll also provide you with a place to get some fresh air and some cool breeze when you're upstairs. Balconies are also an ideal spot for sitting with a meal at a garden table, or for enjoying a glass of wine with a loved one. Add a sliding door and you'll be able to shut out all the noise from home and just enjoy some peace and quiet…
If you're luck enough to have a bay window, or a window on your stairs, then creating a larger windowsill will give you a great spot to sit and gaze out into the garden. Put a floor cushion here and you can kick your legs up and close your eyes to feel the sun on your face, or to just have a deep think – something most of us don't get nearly enough time to do.
A bathroom can be a place to hurredly get washed in the morning/evening or it can be a place to really indulge yourself and to enjoy some warm water that will help to massage and relax your muscles. Add a spa bath, a waterfall shower, a sauna even, and you'll have a great spot for letting your problems wash away and really emerging rejuvenated. You'll hardly need to ever go to an actual spa!
'Office pods' are an increasingly popular concept for people who want to work outside away from all the stresses of the home and more immersed in nature. The only downside of an office pod of course is that the focus is working, so instead why not create a glass pod at the end of your garden for simply relaxing and unwinding? Or if a 'pod' sounds a little futuristic for you, how about a greenhose? Even a shed with the right design can become a relaxing place to unwind!
More simple still, you could add just a garden chair under a sheltered area with a garden heater and some lights. Now you can come out here in the evenings – when it's raining even – and hear the sound of the rain patter on the roof while you enjoy a good book feeling warm under a blanket with a cup of tea. Throw in a water feature (for when it's not raining) and this can be an incredibly nice way to relax in the evening away from the television for a change.
Today's featured writer, Nancy Baker, is a freelance blogger, who often writes for Balustrade Designs, which specializes in powder coated aluminium, glass and stainless steel balustrading. She likes to practice yoga to stay healthy and fit. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.