As the amount of time we spend indoors peaks (it’s at 90 percent now), the demand for “wellness architecture” is rising, but deluxe high-rise condos’ built-in air filtration systems and fancy spas are a luxury few can afford. The good news is that there are plenty of small, budget-friendly details we can incorporate into our homes that are science-proven to boost well-being. Here are five great places to start:
1. Drive healthy habits with reminders
You don’t need to entirely renovate your home in order to incorporate well-being into your life. Small details can make a huge difference. If you work from home, set reminders to stand up and take a walk every few hours. If you can’t always make it to the gym, keep small fitness-related items, like a yoga mat or resistance band, around. If you need a boost of motivation, print out mantras to hang up around your home that encourage active living, deep breathing and mental clarity. A little quote-ivation on your wall can go a long way.
2. Set the mood with lighting
Natural light streaming through your window in the morning. Flickering candles at the dinner table. Dimmed lighting before bedtime. The light in your home sets the tone throughout your day and can affect your sleep, mood and overall well-being. For example, we know that putting away sources of blue light before bed can encourage healthy sleep habits. By optimizing your lighting to accommodate different moods and activities, you can sleep better, live better and feel better. One easy step: install multiple dimmable floor lamps rather than one bright ceiling light in your living room and a dimmer in your bathroom to help you unwind while you’re getting ready for bed.
3. Turn your space into a sanctuary with plants
Plants can help clear the air in your home of chemicals from plastics, paints, and cleaners, NASA research has found. Even a few plants around a room will add to an airy, organic aesthetic and help you reap the calming benefits of connecting with nature. Bring the outside in with a mini vertical garden — hang several shelves and fill them with lush, drapey potted plant varieties such as philodendron and English ivy.