Our homes are our comfort zones, but I feel like we don’t appreciate them enough. Oftentimes, we come back from work feeling exhausted and pass out on the couch. This becomes a habit, which leads us to feel lazy and dis-empowered at a time when we should be full of energy to enjoy and make the most of our free time that we worked so hard for. But instead, we deplete ourselves of energy by taking the easy way out, doing nothing, which triggers an inert state of mind. Succumbing into checking our phones, watching TV or aimlessly browsing the internet until our eyes drop dead with tiredness is an easy escape from what should be our evening routine or even celebration. What’s worse is that this habit also leads to social isolation from our nearest and dearest. We end up not interacting with each other, being absent minded and gradually we isolate ourselves from those we should want to spend the time with the most, our family and partners.
I am myself guilty of all of the above, which brings me a lot of sorrow and remorse, as I worked very hard to create the home of my dreams, but instead of enjoying its every nook and cranny, I take it for granted and squeeze myself and into one tiny corner, mostly in front of the computer that I should be using for actual writing. Similarly, instead of treasuring the time with my soulmate, I spend it alone in the corner of my deceivingly sweet spot. Then I go to bed unhappy that I have wasted my precious time on bittersweet nothingness.
So, I have thought long and hard about how to overcome this natural tendency to succumb into oblivious laziness. And here is what I have come up with:
1. Doing chores
Attending to household chores may not be the most fun thing to do, I often tend to put my chores on the back-burner, as I feel they make me waste time, but there is value in doing them regularly. They make you feel productive, they encourage you to bond with your home and the ones living with you. I often find that I discover hidden gems in my home when I clean up, organise things. What’s more, particularly on days when the weather is not inviting enough to go outside, I appreciate the opportunities I have to move about in my home whilst tiding up and bringing order into my living space.
2. Standing up more
I often find that while we are sitting down, our bodies have a natural predilection to slouch and be lazy. That is why I seek every opportunity to stand up. Even when I am writing something, I would rather do so whilst standing up than sitting down, as I feel more energetic and active. So, I often my writing materials on the kitchen table which tends to be higher than the rest of the tables in my house.
3. Making a mental to do list of the things you will do when you get home
It’s very helpful to be prepared on your way back from work with the things you will do when you get home. I often look forward to be coming home after 12 hour of being away from it, so I often make mental lists of the things I will do as soon as I open my front door. This not only gets me in an active state of mind, but it also helps e to stay focus and used my free time after work wisely. I often find myself looking forward to arranging that kitchen cabinet, or putting the laundry away to bring peace and order into my home.
4. Engaging with your loved ones
Recognising the importance of getting around the house and coming up with the above strategies, I used to apply them alone. Then I realised that this wasn’t helping the relationship with my partner, as while I was making myself busy around the house, he was suffering from the post-work passive exhaustion syndrome. So, I started involving him in the activities I was undertaking, which I found, was a good way to bond in a meaningful way – the sense of doing something together, for our joint benefit and contentment. Working as a team whilst doing things around our house felt so much more satisfying and joyful than doing things on my own.
5. Embracing a different spot each time
When you do feel like dropping down with exhaustion (but not going to bed yet), I recommend picking a different corner each evening: it might be the living room one evening, then the couch in the spare bedroom the evening after that, the desk space or dining table another evening and so on. In this way, you get to enjoy different parts of your house and enjoy your house in all its grandeur, rather than overusing one particular place (usually the living room couch) and neglecting the others.
6. Surround yourself with plants and flowers
Plants and flowers liven up your home. They release oxygen and so they bring freshness into your home. The sight of the blossoming plants on my windowsills gives me energy.
7. Find a hobby to practice at home
By finding something that you love to do at home, you get to cherish it more. You get to look forward to coming home, so you can indulge yourself in your pastime. I love to knit, play the piano, read and write and I have created in my home the sanctuary to help me enjoy these activities.
I hope this article has given inspiration for how to make the most of your house and treasure it. After all, you have worked so hard to acquire it, decorate it as a whole and make it your own, so why leave most of it untouched? Go on, re-discover the beauty of your home and honour it all with your presence and attention to its every corner.