March 12, 2021 8 min read

Written by: Chrissie Cee @ The Luxe Home

How’s this year going so far? 

Have you ever sat down for a moment and just thought of how it's going for you? 

If your answer is no… then I know the feeling. 2020 has been the year of all years, whether good or bad depends on someone’s perspective... One thing is for sure though, it has changed each and everyone’s lives. Even though 2020 may seem like it was an epic disaster, last year did present us with a new opportunity: to change the world for the better. I would love for you to sit down, think about the things I’m going to discuss and answer my question after you’ve read it through.

The first couple of months have gone by so blazingly fast, and in the blink of an eye, it’s almost springtime! Maybe we’re all hurrying towards a year that could give us a different scenario than the last, yet with another lockdown in place, what else can we do than just stay at home and find ways to entertain or even de-stress ourselves in the comforts of our own home?

Learning how to de-stress is the one thing that we owe ourselves the most after the year we have all had and it is the biggest step towards knowing how to love ourselves more.

Did you know that according to a new study from a team of psychology experts at Queen's University in Canada, a person has an average of 6,200 thoughts per day?

With all the chaos running through our minds, along with the stress of working, studying, home chores, health issues, mentally and physically caused by the COVID pandemic, one way or another, we'll feel that we're getting burned. We want to go somewhere to release the stress. With the lockdowns in place and who knows until when, we won't be able to do that as much as we can. What happens to us then? 

Well, we have to be self-aware of our daily living and the stress that we experience every day.There are 2 forms of stress, positive stress (eustress) and negative stress (distress).Stress is a part of our daily lives. Our mind and body have a way of coping with it. We experience positive stress on holidays, promotions or any festivities we may need to prepare for. Negative stress is when we face continuous challenges without any sort of relief or relaxation between them.

When we always feel down or have a lot of negative emotions running through our mind, it causes nervous system chaos - which means we’re not able to concentrate. Our body knows this and tends to act up causing distress and then creates health problems too. We’re not able to focus and can end up forgetting all the things we needed to do for the day. With this, 98% of our thoughts for the next day will just be a repetition from today’s forgotten chores and there goes the never-ending cycle of having negative thoughts about ourselves or the day.

We’ve also come up with some form of negativity bias. It is the anxiousness to be able to survive the day that makes us focus more on the negativity, often we forget to be happy and become unable to enjoy the present. 

We need to change that! But positive thoughts alone won’t work. We need to turn the positive thoughts into action. Positive emotions bring our focus to alignment and with this, we can make better choices for ourselves, for our health and for the people that we love. When we have a positive state of mind, we can be more productive and prioritise the present instead of running away from the repeated negative stressors of everyday living. Studies also show that positive emotions strengthen our heart and immune system. Something we truly need in today’s world.

How do we de-stress ourselves? How can we have a positive state of mind when the only place we can go to is our usual living room, kitchen and bedroom?

Let’s start by creating a nook or snug area by filling up an empty awkward space in our home with furniture pieces or other items where we can spend some much needed R&R for the day or even for just an hour.

Think about these next questions and write down your thoughts. Remember about the thousands of thoughts we have in a day? Well, writing it down ensures that we don’t forget what we promised ourselves upon reading this.

  • How much space do you have, or how much space are you willing to allow for a new set-up? 

Some things to look into:

  1. Check the empty corners of the living room, bedroom and office space.

  2. Are there any unused spaces under the stairs?

  3. Any awkward spaces near windows, especially one with a view?

  • Next, think of 2-3 things that make you happy, what would you love to do with your “alone time/me time”?

Friendly Reminder - “Me-time” doesn’t need to be a whole day out if we’re too busy. A couple of hours or even a few minutes will be fine too.

Anything to recharge ourselves, to take a breather and take a step away from any mundane thoughts brought about by the tension from our daily work/studies. 

  • Once we get the answers to the questions above, we can now create a rough sketch of our nook area and that is where we can freely incorporate our interests and bring them to our special place.

They say that happiness is a skill that we all can work on but we just normally don’t do it. Like physical health that needs exercise to stay healthy, we also need to build healthy mental habits for ourselves.  That’s where making a daily routine of letting ourselves rest and relax for a moment helps. It helps us slow down. It helps in leading our thoughts away from the negativity biases and distresses and more on appreciating ourselves. In doing this, we become more prepared in focusing on what needs to be done.

Studies have shown that we also learn by watching others’ behaviour, so the more we can turn our thoughts into actions, then we’re doing this not only for ourselves but for those around us. 

Going back to the things you’ve written about empty spaces or a new set-up, let me share with you the following options that you’d want to consider in building up your own nook area.

1. Seating 

 

Caspian Armchair in Grey Velvet

 

One of the most important things to consider is the chair as we’d want to cosy up and have a soft and comfortable seat to rest on as we read our favourite books/magazines or when we want to take a short nap. 

    Depending on your existing decor, we have a variety of accent chairs to choose from. The one you see in the image above is the Caspian Armchair in Grey Velvet, but if that's not your style don't worry, take a look at gorgeous collection of Accent chairs and Armchairs or if you don't have space for another armchair you can always check out our collection out Ottomans, Stools, Pouffe's and Benches Collection

    Poiret Pink Velvet Accent Chair

     

    If you’re a bit mindful of using a furniture piece and making sure it can be used to its full potential, take a look at the Poiret Deco Accent Chair In Pink Velvet With Gold Legs which can also be used as a dining chair. Whenever you need to entertain your guests or vice versa, use it as a dining chair, then place it in the nook area or even near a window to look outside and be lost in your thoughts.

     

         2. Spruce up the nook by placing some accessories for colour

    Throwing in colours has a way of creating a joyful and positive aura. Use cushions to not only add colour, but to add comfort too. Have a look at the Rose Velvet Cushion cover or for something a bit darker you could add a Navy Velvet Cushion cover.

     

         3. Include a bookshelf/shelving unit

    Rustic bookcases such as the Preston Standing Shelves in Acacia help in making the nook area warm and inviting. It draws us into that corner to take it all in and recharge. Or infuse an industrial style into the nook by adding the Ariana Wooden Industrial Standing Shelves. A versatile choice that works well in a lot of interior schemes and decors.

     

    Ariana 4-Tier Industrial Wooden Standing Shelf

     

    If you have a tight space but a bare wall then you can also consider the 77cm Harley Pinewood Console Table with Black Hairpin Legs with its slim profile, you never have to worry about occupying too much space to hold your books or other ornaments.

         4. Side Tables/End Tables 

    Provide a surface area for reading materials, mood lamps, snacks, drinks, and all the other things that make us happy and well-rested.

    Gold Curve Side Table by Native Home & Lifestyle

    The Gold Curve Side Tableis great way to add some colour and style to your nook but If golds not your thing then maybe check out the Annabelle Marble Side Table with Grey Frame  or the Lottie End Table In Grey Faux Shagreen  

    Maybe your looking for a bit more from your furniture perhaps a set of 2 Marble Display Tables are the right choice for you as  it gives you give us extra surface or if your looking for and extra surface and extra storage then the Belle Suitcase Stool in Pink Velvet with Gold Legs might be for you.

     

         5. Incorporate good soft lighting 

    The Sadie Industrial Desk Lamp With Smoked Glass And Metal Bas

    Turn worrisome thoughts into a blissful state of mind. Place a lantern by the windowsill as you rest in the nook and be at peace with the warm glow from the candle and the lantern's visually pleasing aesthetics or use a display lampof your choice like the Sadie Industrial Desk Lamp With Smoked Glass And Black Metal Base seen above.

     

         6. Make a gallery wall or set a space for a mirror too.

    Oil on Canvas 13 By Berkeley Designs

    When we’re done reading and as we rest, our eyes start to wander. It's nice if we are not only staring at a blank wall but a set of frames that we love, may it be a vintage sign, thoughtful quotes, family photographs, and other treasured items that make us smile. It can even be a pot of favourite plants/vase of flowers on the floating display shelves. Take our Phoebe Circular Wall Hanging Multi Shelf for example.

    Also, If you have a small and enclosed space for your nook, think about placing mirrors shaped like windows to trick the eye into thinking the space is larger and brighter than it is.

    All the things above give us an idea of what we love the most, what we want to do when we want to rest, and what makes us smile and relax. Think about them and write them down to make sure we bring them in once we create our nook area. Then, take the time to breathe into that space. Take a break from our daily stressful life to recharge in our sanctuary.

    Start to have that positive mindset by taking it one step at a time. It’s never too late. Once we start doing it, it becomes a great habit.

    Soon,it can become a part of our thinking process and our loved ones’ too.

    According to Tony Robbins, an American author, we live in either of two mental states — a beautiful state or a suffering state.

    "A beautiful state is when you feel love, joy, gratitude, awe, playfulness, ease, creativity, drive, caring, growth, curiosity or appreciation."

    "A suffering state is when you feel stressed out, worried, frustrated, angry, depressed, irritable, overwhelmed, resentful or fearful."

    We all have a way of coping with stress. It’s just a matter of how we do it, and how much we love ourselves to free our mind from the negativity and distress and thereby shifting our perspective from the suffering state to a beautiful state.

    “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” — Mahatma Gandhi

    Moving forward and hopefully, for the better, let me go back to this question I asked you to answer for yourself…

    How’s.this.year.going.so.far?



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