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Posted with permission from the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The term ‘self-care’ has never been so prominent in the news media, social media, and print media. 2020 reminded us that it is ever so vital to take care of ourselves on the level of mind, body, and spirit. The idea of health and wellness has morphed into a multi-layered process, taking a holistic approach that is not singular and must be tailored to meet one’s personal and diverse needs.

healthy living, Healthy Living Now

Design & Health

There is an undeniable connection between design and health physically, mentally, and emotionally. The design of the spaces we occupy can have profound ‘life-enhancing’ power if done correctly. One’s home should be a safe space, a space that encourages the best version of yourself, and a place to practice mindfulness, meditation, and prayer. A bathroom, for example, is no longer a merely functional space. Today’s bathroom is part spa, part recharge station, and part sanctuary. Taking time for self-care is crucial to living your healthiest life, and good design encourages this state of peaceful living.

Analyzing Your Living Environment

Even the most beautifully appointed room is truly empty unless it is personally meaningful and enhances our daily lives. As the world was forced to stay at home through the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the importance and understanding of design and self-care grew tremendously. While social distancing from one another, we were able to look inward, closely analyzing our living environments and how they make us feel. In basic terms, the way our spaces are designed is designing us!

Take a moment to look around. You’ve likely implemented changes to the way you use the space around you, even unintentionally. Whether or not you have made it a point to invest further in curating your living space, take a few minutes today to think through the potential ways your living environment can bring you joy, calm, excitement, and an increased quality of life. Next, form a plan to make that dream space a reality! Well-designed spaces encourage creativity, mental strength, personal growth, and, in turn, a healthy and happy life.

Guiding Principles for Healthy Living

Our homes should be a space where we can relax, recharge, refresh, and repeat! Our home environment lays the foundation for a healthy life. So far, we have explored the ways a well-designed space can increase mental well-being, but the promotion of physical well-being is just as important! High-performance homes, smart systems, and home fitness spaces are a few great ways to inspire a healthy lifestyle. Implementing a few modern technologies or rethinking a space to be fitness-focused can elevate your home from a place you stay to a place you live!

Perfecting your sleep schedule is another essential step to self-care. Sleep deprivation can negatively impact your mental, physical, and emotional state. What designs concepts can you implement to promote higher quality sleep? Physical changes like blackout curtains or a more comfortable mattress are easy answers, but did you know even the orientation of your furniture in relation to doors and windows can affect your mentality within the physical space?

Staying active, eating clean, and getting enough sleep are all important principles for healthy living. A well-designed home should not only accommodate these needs but promote them to create spaces that are truly extensions of your best self.

There is much to savor here. Take time to discern how your home can best support your overall well-being in the many facets that are undeniably critical to your future health and well-being. Interior design that supports these fundamental needs is more than important; it’s life-giving.