Invest In Yourself

One of the most important things we can do to feel good in our lives is to validate ourselves even when others aren’t. Not only does this mean making decisions that promote our natural-born tendencies, but it also means taking steps to curate our experience in the settings around us. The most logical place to start is with your home.
When we start thinking honestly about which colors, textures, and patterns activate a sense of relaxation within us, and what kind of art and collectibles inspire us or bring about positive feelings, then we learn to leverage our property and our possessions as tools to foster emotional and mental well-being. 
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Soothing Sanctuaries

Infusing our spaces with a feeling of serenity starts with simplifying what's on our walls. Giving our minds fewer visuals to process is one way to create a sanctuary away from the overstimulation of modern life. This doesn't mean we should leave our rooms empty. But it does mean consciously curating our selections so the elements that matter to us have room to breathe. Play with scale by reducing the size of the collections that are hanging, or pare it all down to one statement piece that says enough. Less is always going to be more when it comes to designing for wellness.
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Ease Into The Season

Surround me with weathered wood and waving grass, and I immediately find my center. I didn’t always know this about myself — that natural materials had this calming effect on me. Like most people, I spent a large part of my life in urban settings with digital devices, filling my brain with one distracting activity after another. It’s crazy how we do this to ourselves, as if all that commotion is going to somehow make our lives better or more fulfilling. But deep down we know this overstimulation is destructive, and we’re all craving some distance from the chaos.  - Listen to that urge. - If we can’t go to the country to give ourselves an earth-minded immersion, then it’s time we bring that kind of grounding experience to us. We start by gathering found objects from outdoors and decorating with them indoors. These subtle visuals of nature’s slow, patient process will remind us to be slow and patient with ourselves. And that alone can do wonders for our well-being. 
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Gratitude Soothes The Mind

Today I’m thinking about the importance of gratitude — not as a cliche during the holiday —  but more as a tool for healing. The act of being thankful for any experience is especially helpful when we’re feeling defeated or facing unbearable loss. It’s through this practice that we learn to see silver linings and redirect our mental state to a place that’s capable of attracting positive outcomes. I like to start with the simple things — a warm blanket, a solid hug, and raw banter that makes me laugh out loud. Whenever I approach my life with an appreciation of these most basic experiences, I remember how little I really need to be happy. Then I consider the more complex aspects, like my natural born gifts as a benefit to others and the ability to channel love no matter how broken I may be. Giving thanks doesn’t always need to be a grand public effort in order to be rewarding. It just needs to mean something significant in our minds.

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Slow Living

Have you ever walked into a space and immediately felt uncomfortable without knowing why? Although a built environment may feature all the latest trends, that doesn’t necessarily mean it was created with our well-being in mind. Designing in a way the supports the psyche requires a sixth sense about what agitates our nerves. It also requires a knowledge of what simple interior elements can be the antidote. Thankfully, that’s one superpower of having an ADHD brain. I live in a rapid-fire state of processing every waking minute, but I use this awareness to employ various tactics to help me slow down my racing thoughts. Over the past several years I began to write down the methods that worked for me, especially those related to the space I live in. These calm-inducing design practices became the basis for my new book Designing For Wellness, and anyone can try them.
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