I was laughing earlier telling James this, but I think I have writer's block. It is the beginning of September and I have put quite a bit of pressure on myself to complete this post for October 3rd so I could use the entirety of my month to focus on my preparation for this year's Holistic Wellness Event, hosted by The Oklahoma Center for Wellness - an event I am managing the silent auction for, and also a vendor for as well.
Self-employment has really been the ultimate test of my time-management skills. There is so much to do - from building the business, to keeping up with media and blogging, to managing the website to be sure the business is functional for potential clients, all while simultaneously being present for current clients. You must also continue to self-educate throughout this work to be sure you don't lose touch with your skillset, and nonstop network, network, network. I do not know what the word is to describe thriving, but also thoroughly overwhelmed and exhausted. Motherhood, maybe? Let's consider my business as my baby for the sake of metaphors at this time.
With that being said, I have been looking for ways to boost my environment to give me the energy and excitement I need to keep up with these tasks and everything else I have taken on; and because I work from home at this time, my environment means - my house. There are two things at play here. First, there are a lot of memories here in this home that are associated with Serenity and that can be comforting, but can also make every day things very difficult. I believe anyone who has lost a loved one can relate to this. Second, I am in my sudden-realization-that-the-house-color-scheme-as-we-bought-it-does-not-bring-me-joy era.
What I am saying is: amidst everything I have going on, I have also decided that it is time to make some major changes around here; and these changes are being made with intention to create a home space where I can function a little better amidst processing complicated grief, while having a work space that inspires joy, creativity, and in turn - motivation.
So today, to skirt my writer's block, I thought I might share a few features that I am prioritizing in my household as I make these changes because they are relevant. Relevant for people who just need a change, who have lost a loved one, or who work from home. The changes I want are specifically meant to boost those "happy" brain chemicals, or simply bring calm, comfort or inspiration in my home and work space. In sharing them, I hope they inspire you to revamp your home or office, even if it is in the smallest of ways.
Natural Light: My curtains? Gone. Natural light is such a big deal to me. To all the people out there with blinds drawn and curtains closed... are you okay? Who hurt you? Natural light boosts both your serotonin and your dopamine levels - you do not want to close this out! Embrace it. I was once told that seeing the morning sun for even 5 minutes each day can greatly impact your mood and productivity.
Paint Colors: I love cool colors with natural light. Brown, blue, green and grey, create a palette that pleases me. The likelihood of me utilizing them even more throughout my house is high (I painted my living room/dining room wall a dark navy recently). Kim Kardashian's white house is very upsetting to me. Beige is very upsetting to me. Pampas grass is very upsetting to me, but here's why - in Oklahoma, they claim we're in "Green Country" but I am here to tell you this is false. It is dry and crispy and nothing compared to the green of the Eastern US. Bringing color inside the home, especially green, has been imperative for my emotional health. For real!
Check out this link to get an idea of color schemes that might work for you: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-my-brain-works/202301/how-colors-affect-brain-functioning#:~:text=Color%20is%20an%20important%20stimulus,1982).
Books: Do I own a bookshelf? Yes. Is my bookshelf an eyepiece in my home? No... but it's about to be. Reading boosts dopamine! I want the home of my books to create the same dopamine just by looking at it, if that is a thing. I cannot wait to create a cozy reading nook in my office space, or bedroom, for this reason.
Photos: I already keep several framed photos around the house, but it is not enough. Our bedroom is getting a facelift this month for the first time in 3 years and I intend to fill the walls with photos of friends, family, and our pets. This can boost both dopamine and oxytocin - a feeling of love and connection, which is something I value.
Organization: And re-organization! This feels like it could be subjective, but I am not sure it is. An organized and de-cluttered home and workspace is important for the brain to stay focused. Many people call what I plan to do this fall, "spring cleaning." For some reason, my de-cluttering, organizing and cleaning phase always seems to hit around fall time. I assume because this is when I start pulling out the fall décor and realizing just how much I've let go within the last 12 months.
Knick-Knacks: But a healthy amount of clutter never hurt anyone, right? Strategically placing those little pieces of memorabilia collected throughout the years around my home and workspace is motivating for me - not to mention it gives me something fun to look at when I need a break. I have anything from a flipbook of Bob Ross quotes, to Sims keychains, to personalized mugs, to a meditating cat strewn around my desk. Why not?
Music: Not just music, but a noise that stimulates endorphins. In my mind's eye, I have a television in my office environment here at home where I can set the Netflix Fireplace in the background and have that crackling even during virtual client calls.
Meditation Space: Whatever it looks like for you. For me, it could be considered the same space as my reading nook, or a dedicated space with my yoga mat and more fake plants. Fake plants everywhere. Because I cannot keep a real plant alive to save my life, and I like the GREEN. Regardless, somewhere in my home will have a quiet space dedicated to taking these mindful moments in the morning.
Candles: And aromatherapy in general. This one needs no explanation. It's fall. You'll find me burning my Apple Pumpkin candles over here for the next several months and I am going to make a strong suggestion you do the same.
My plan to re-organize and paint my home is centered around my emotional health. My health. What a freeing concept. Every decision we make should center around this! Change is hard but so good in this way. The addition, and prioritization, of colors, spaces and items that inspire those "happy" brain chemicals are meant to aid in my own productivity as it relates to my business as well. This thought alone gives me the energy I need to implement my changes because it ties back in to my core values.
What are the colors, memorabilia, and spaces in your home or office that inspire or comfort you the most?
If you needed me over the month of September and I have been MIA - you may now know why. And I hope that if you are considering painting any walls in your home, this is the final inspiration you needed to make it happen. Screw whatever is trending, and screw what the internet tells you to do. Do what pleases your eye, your brain, and your nervous system! I support you.