We hope everyone is keeping well and sane in this strange times we are now living in. With everyone across the country, and world, getting adjusted to not only working from home but not leaving the house at all expect for groceries and a bit of exercise within a 2km radius, you are probably noticing things in your home a lot more than before. This could be the clutter or lack of organization; the little improvement projects you've been to get to; and/or an overall change in your energy use and bills.
You will probably notice an increase in your energy bills with all members of your family being home much more than normal. Here are some tips to to help within this area:
Being home you are using a lot more electricity and lighting - make a point to turn the lights off when you leave a room.
Utilise natural daylight where possible. Try to set your desk or work station up near a window to utilize the daylight. This will not only help with your energy bill, but also your overall wellbeing. Soaking up rays, even from inside improves mood. Even on overcast days the daylight will help improve your mood.
Make a pot of tea instead of just a cup. You are probably drinking a lot more tea now that you are home. Boiling the kettle every time you want a cup, uses more energy than boiling a full kettle and making a pot. Put a tea cosy over the pot and enjoy all the tea.
If you're feeling a bit restless, you can walk around the house looking for all those pesky drafts that are letting heat out. Drafts can account for about 25% of heat loss. Doors are normally the biggest culprit of drafts.
With us all being more aware and washing our hands so much more than before, we are using a lot more water. Depending on your tap, you could be using up to 6 liters per minute (potentially more if you have an older tap). Even though we get a lot of rain in Ireland, it is still important to try to reduce our water use. Remember how quickly we went into a drought Summer 2018? While you're sudsing up and singing 'Happy Birthday' to yourself, turn off the tap and then turn it back on to rinse off your hands.
While it won't save water, I recommend splashing out on some nice hand soaps and hand lotions if you can. I find that just that one small change can put a smile on my face. Support local business and companies if you can as well.
General Well Being
Don't forget to open windows and let fresh air in. We should all be making sure to bring in natural air and ventilate our homes in the best of times, but with the anxiety around us now, fresh air and sunshine can do wonders to your mental health and in turn your interior environment.
Try to bring a plant or two inside, preferably where you have your home office or are working from. Plants help to filter the air, and also add a bit of life to your space. Plants such as lady palms, english ivy, spider plants and peace lilies are excellent for indoor use, however for the time being, any little tree or flowering plant can help to uplift your space.
Get some fresh flowers (cut or potted) and put them in a prominent place o add some extra cheer to your space. Your favorite color will make you smile and remind you of the beauty in life while you are indoors.
Do try to get outside everyday (within you 2km raduius) even if it is only standing or doing some laps in your back garden or patio, being outside will help your mood.
Get up to stretch and move around every so often. Experts recommend getting up from your desk every 30 minutes and doing a few minutes of exercise, whether that's stretching, a bit of yoga, or a couple runs up and down the stairs in your house, it's important to get your blood flowing.
The quickest way to change your mood is to change your physically position. I have always been a yogi, and now more than ever, that practice is keeping me grounded. i do yoga first thing in the morning, sometimes a quick 5 or 10 minutes at lunchtime and then (depending on the day) a longer practice in the evening. It's not easy to keep this going when some days I just want to stay in bed all day, but I know what I have the most control over at the moment is myself and my wellbeing. Self-care is always important, but now more than ever we all need it to stay sane.
Our friend over at Style So Simple, compiled a series of blogs last week of tips for your space from interior designers and creatives throughout the country. We contributed to last Wednesday's blog which you can find here. You'll also find some great tips from fellow designers.
Stay safe everyone and if you have any questions or things we can help out with us, please send us an email. We're here to help.
Hana + Noel