Oasis Spaces: Create a relaxing home space
It’s almost ‘that time of year again’ and winter festivals usually inspire one of two feelings in you — awe or dread. When you’re a child, or a guest, it’s great! You relax away from school or work for a couple of weeks, there’s incredible food, and impeccably decorated houses and gifts. But when you’re the organiser, it becomes a 2 month organisational marathon. The gifts, the wrapping, hiding the wrapped gifts. Decorating the house to showroom standard whilst keeping a three year old feeling involved. Preparing all of the food which needs to be cooked at different temperatures for different amounts of time. Just writing all of this out is making me nervous.
So, with all this borderline maniacal organisation going on, how do we keep the organisers sane? I’m saying ‘we’ because you’re not alone, there are thousands of us going insane with you. We all need a little time off, so here are some of our favourite ways to create a relaxing home space. We hope you can make use of at least a few of them!
If you can’t devote an entire room, or even an entire hour to relaxing away from the pressures of daily life, it’s not the end of the world. You can still take a moment with the help of your favourite scents, comfort items, and mood lighting.
Scenting a room
Did you know that houses in the UK that smell like vanilla during viewings sell faster than unscented houses? This is because vanilla is common in baking, and (generally) people have fond memories of baking with a parent or a child, and it makes it easier to imagine yourself living there. Now, vanilla might not be your thing, but a scent that triggers your memory of your last holiday, or your mum’s perfume can be a lifesaver. For me, sandalwood is the most calming scent in the world, because it’s what a hug from my mum smells like. Whatever your favourite scent is, having incense, candles or reed diffusers can give you a chance to take a breath away from the world around you. If you want to have a look at why smells affect us so much, have a look here.
Warming your extremities up
If your feet and hands are cold, then you’ll be cold, you’re fighting a losing battle from the start. But wrapping gifts in gloves is a disaster waiting to happen. I can’t say for you, but fighting with gloves whilst trying to get neat edges on gift wrapping is my idea of hell. What do you do then? Well, if you can’t save the fingers, save the toes. Fluffy slippers which cradle your feet can make the world seem like a very different place. Whatever your style preference there are slippers out there for you. Lazy Dogz slippers are a great choice (not that we’re biased…) because they balance supportive memory foam with the most luscious faux fur linings. Walking in them is a treat and your feet will never be cold. Plus, they’re made in the UK and a percentage of the profits go to charity, so when you’re walking round your house you can know that you’re making a real difference to people’s (and dogs’) lives. What more could you ask for?
Just because it’s getting late into the evening, it doesn’t mean you’ll have stopped working and preparing yet. To stay awake, you’ve flooded your working space with bright light. And, when you do finally get to go to bed, your brain is still going at a mile a minute, as you lie there in the dark thinking about everything you still have left to do. Sound familiar? Let’s rewind, and solve this problem before it becomes a problem. To regulate your sleep and wake cycles your brain produces melatonin, and we love melatonin, because this is the hormone that helps you drop off to sleep. Whilst you can get lab produced melatonin tablets, we’re focussing on how you can encourage your body to produce this wonder hormone naturally. Melatonin is best produced in dark conditions, but since you can’t work in pitch black, you need to make the light around you work for you. White light is the enemy.
Light isn’t just light, colour matters here. LED’s that emit a purely white light have been found to suppress melatonin 5 times more than sodium bulbs which emit an orange/yellow light. This is because white light is more similar to the bright light you experience from the sun during the day, and softer, yellower lights are more similar to the light you experience around sunset So, if you’re working in the evening, lower your light levels and make the most of yellow light. If you don’t feel like changing the main bulbs in your room, keep a white light overhead and try having lamps with yellow light dotted around the room for the evening.
For the gamer
Maybe, put the energy drink down? If you only have an hour to chill, large amounts of caffeine are not your friend. Have whatever your favourite console of the moment is ready to go, and settle into the comfiest chair you can find that will support your back.
Put those headphones on and immerse yourself in the world of the game completely unashamedly. No matter how old you are, be a big kid for an hour, make sure that you’re enjoying the season as much as everyone you’re prepping for.
For the movie and tv lover
I love homemade sriracha and honey popcorn, but for the love of all that is holy, this is the time for microwave salted popcorn. Grab a bowl, grab a blanket, slide on your slippers, and sit back and enjoy your favourite guilty pleasure tv show.
Or, start that movie you always wanted to see but never got around to seeing in the cinema. Since you’re not going to finish an entire film in 1 hour, this is a great option for when you know you’ve got two back to back nights of wrapping and decorating ahead of you.
For the reader
You’re creating a whole world inside your house, now take a minute to appreciate the world someone else has created in a book. Whether you decide to take an exact hour reading, or decide to read a certain amount of chapters, take pleasure in your time off. There’s something divine about taking an hour with a book and a cup of tea whist you warm up your toes.
For a returning space that is entirely yours, build your haven, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s too much.
The ultimate armchair
For some, having a particular spot on the sofa is the most important thing. It’s borderline obsessive, but it just makes the world stop spinning quite so quickly for a moment. Now you’ve found your seat, go nuts.
Add blankets, dedicated fluffy slippers, snacks and the tools of whatever your favourite seated pass-time is. Now you’re ready.
This is the holy grail of relaxing spaces. It’s a chance to be the king or queen of the castle that you don’t have to share with your family or friends. A fort can be as simple as hanging a blanket over the backs of two chairs, or it can be as complex as your heart desires. LED string lights (yellow light, remember!) give a fairy like glow, and blankets on the floor helps to keep the heat in.
Wrap yourself up in more blankets and slippers and you’re ready to go. Pinterest is awash with blanket forts, you’ll be certain to find inspiration for your little slice of heaven.
Whatever you decide to try, be sure to let us know how it goes! From everyone at Lazy Dogz, good luck with your winter prep, and no matter what remember that we’re all going insane with you.