Yesterday, I put on Christmas music… and yes, I know that it is March 19th today.
Christmas music and twinkle lights always makes it feel like something magical and wonderful is happening all around. And right now- we could all use a little of that magic and season while we are staying home.
I do decorate for Christmas pretty early over here but no, I don’t have a Christmas tree up yet.
Though- I am totally not opposed.
While I stay at home a lot of the time and work from home a lot of the time- even I am feeling like this feels different. I am doing all the usual things I do- photography, styling, work, working out- etc. But it just feels different.
And I have heard from so many of you that you are struggling with staying home and away from people and with the unsettled and scary state of the world right now.
We chatted yesterday about my go-to flowers for brightening the day- and how realistic faux flowers are a perfect choice when the flowers market is closed for the month.
But what else can we do while at home? Now more than even – it is important to make ourselves feel well, to be well and to make our homes truly feel like a haven.
So while this is a mish -mash of things I am doing, or I think might help- from decorating to cleaning to simply wearing something other than yoga pants.
1. Get dressed. Every. Day.
You know how when you were a kid and Saturday morning came around each week and you just sat in bed or in your jammies and watched cartoons and maybe didn’t even get dressed until noon? It was fun then. But when you are an adult and stuck at home- it can make you feel not so productive. Of course we all love those jammy days so an occasional one is a good thing too.
2. Stop Watching the News 24/7
We all do it. It is almost impossible to avoid the news at this point. But watching it, listening to it, reading it 24/7 can be overwhelming. My husband mentioned the news he streams has had a live update every 5 minutes. it is too much. And even though we need to stay updated- we don’t need a constant barrage.
3. Put Make Up On
I don’t know about you but I don’t even like to take a conference call until I feel like I am presentable even though it is over the phone. It is like getting dressed- it just makes a difference in how you feel.
#4. Put on your fancy pants
All those cute spring dresses and capris in your closet want to come out even though you are staying home. Don’t forget your cute shoes too.
#5. Do a bit of writing
I find solitude to be highly creative for me – It is almost like I can hear inspired thoughts or ideas easier than when things are busy. Writing is a perfect way to keep a daily journal or jot down ideas and goals for projects as they come to you.
#6. Move your furniture
A fresh look in a room is as easy as doing a shuffle. Move your furniture around to change your everyday view.
#7. Change your throw pillows
Grab the ones from the guest bedroom and toss them on the sofa for a quick change.
#8. Catch up on favorite blogs
Maybe you have missed some posts? Now is a great time to reconnect with your favorites and to find some new favorites to read.
#9. Polish your silver or copper
Okay- it is a mundane task for many- but I am weird. I actually love polishing silver and copper. And ironing. I don’t know what it is but it makes me happy.
#10. Put on your dancing shoes
Play that Christmas music or play whatever music makes you happy and do a bit of dancing while cleaning. It is exercise and you can do that while sweeping the floor or dusting for a mood boost.
#11. Date night Dinner
Just because you can’t go out- doesn’t mean date night is a bust. Set the table, light the candles and put on that music you love and have date night by the fire at home. And don’t forget to put on your date night outfit and heels too.
I was always doodling when I was a little girl- and sketching ideas for builds or pretty decor designs is a favorite thing even now. Do a bit of doodling or sketching while relaxing on the sofa.
#13. Create a gallery wall
Gather up those flea market paintings and art that you have collected and create a gallery while with them. Anything more than 3 is a collection-and I have been known to display just the frames for a beautiful view as well. You can also simply create one with the kids artwork (or your artwork) or photographs you have been meaning to frame. Pushpins can be perfect in place of nails if you have sheetrock walls.
#14. Clip greens
Clip a bunch of flowering or green branches for a fresh arrangement to enjoy indoors.
#15. Hang a wreath or basket
Fresh floral wreaths or floral baskets are perfect for adding spring sunshine to the house. Findthis one here.
#16. Light candles
Add a bit of cozy ambiance to the living room while you are relaxing with candles. (just don’t leave them unattended!)
Simmer a pot of fresh potpourri on the stove – it instantly makes the house smell and feel inspired. Place slices of oranges, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a pot with some water- and simmer to let that scent fill the room.
#18. Bake something
If you have supplies on hand- baking something is another way to make the house feel welcoming and cozy. The smell of fresh bread, muffins, chocolate chip cookies or even a pie makes it feel like old fashioned simple times again. And I heard from good authority that calories don’t count right now- so I say we go for it. 🙂
#19. Clean out a closet
Okay- not the most fun on the list- but you know what- it might make you feel productive and make your home feel better to get rid of things that you don’t wear, don’t fit or that are just not something you need any more. Bag up those clothes, household items etc and set them aside to donate to someone who can use them.
#20. Decorate the mantel
Bring out those faux garlands or wreaths, candles or even greens from the yard- and decorate the mantel. I like to use stacks of books and candles for a simple look- and faux greens for an abundant look.
#21. Play coffee house music
In the morning- I put coffee house music on the Sonos speakers. Sometimes it is jazz trumpets, sometimes Paris cafe, sometimes country coffee shop- it sounds wonderful, I feel like I am in a little cafe overseas or down the street and it starts the day off on a cheery note.
#22. Call or FaceTime Someone
Phone calls or FaceTime calls with friends and family can make it feel like you are all connected and together even when you aren’t. Plus they are fun- and are another reason to put that makeup on and feel like yourself.
#23. Read a book & Start an online book group
I might have a good suggestion if you love French Country Cottage style haha (shameless plug)
but any kind of book will do. And start a book group with your friends and family online- chat about the book via text message or in a Facebook group.
#24. Give your home a deep clean
You know the kind- where you really get into the nitty gritty cleaning and it takes a bit of time rather than the quick everyday or once a week more involved clean. It will make you and your house feel better.
#25. Go outside
This depends on where you live and if it is safe to do of course- but stepping out and sitting in a chair in your yard for a bit can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Do some yard work for the herb garden or simply enjoy the warmth of the sun for a bit.
#26. Take a bath
Light the candles, pour those bath salts that you got for Christmas and soak in the tub for a bit.
#27. Give your bedroom a spring makeover
Simply changing the quilt on the bed or the throw pillows can make your room feel different. Grab that comforter from the guest bedroom or the one set aside in the closet and change things up. Swap the throw rugs, change the accessories on the nightstand.
#28. Shop your house
I am always amazed at what a great shop I have- in the attic. Things I have stored away for the holidays or for a decor change can be looked at in a new light just by bringing them out to enjoy in a different room.
Gardening is a relaxing, zen type activity. From vegetable gardens to flower gardens- they need tending to just like everything else. If you don’t have a garden yet- plan one. Even simple herbs in pots on the windowsill will do.
#30. Listen to a podcast
I have been listening to several podcasts recently- and while some of my favorites are business oriented- there are wonderful podcasts out there about anything and everything you might be interested in.
#31. Do a puzzle
My grandparents used to bring out the puzzle table every winter- and it was something that anyone who came over would gravitate to. Something about sitting down and trying to find where those puzzle pieces go – plus it gets your mind working a bit.
#32. Do a workout
Whether that is walking around your house in a lap 50 times, doing an online class, lifting weights or doing stretches- get your body moving.
#33. Paint Something
Have an old dresser in storage? A random chair? Grab a paint brush and get to work giving it that makeover you were planning.
#34. Take a moment
To savor that cup of coffee when you don’t have to run out the door. To have a cup of tea with your spouse. To make breakfast an occasion instead of just being something you can grab in a few minutes. This is a perfect time to slow.that.busy.pace. and create a new routine that involves savoring and being in the moment.
If you have kids at home- make lunch talks together everyday a habit. Watch the sunrise in the morning and the sunset in the evening. Make a fire and sit and visit with your partner and talk about goals and dreams and talk about where you will travel first when all this crazy is behind us and the world is a place to enjoy again.
I think something we are all learning is that this new pace is a challenge for us to grow and change and maybe when we slow down and take a moment- we will find a better way to do things going forward. A more focused and intentional way to live that is lovely.
Stay well all!