Have you ever thought about how you have your house laid out? I think about it from time to time, but more often than not, I just get used to the current way of life and the way our spaces are arranged. I usually get so used to it I forget that yes, we can change the way our house is laid out ANY time.
You might be wondering why anyone would want to change the layout of rooms or their house. Some people just like a change to experience a change, really. But, that got me to thinking, why aren’t we using the layout of our house to coincide with a healthy lifestyle and our goals?
Goal planning is a huge part of my life and I make changes to my lifestyle and my surrounding based on the goals I’m trying to accomplish. I truly believe that achieving new goals means we have to change SOMETHING or many things with our current lifestyle.
So what if we improved our home and the layout of particular areas of our home to compliment our healthy lifestyle choices and help us achieve some of our goals? For me it started with my work and finance goals. WE had a designated room in our basement set aside for my work space. But I found I used it infrequently because I wanted to be where the family was. This realization that I wasn’t working as often as I wanted because I missed time with my family led us to turning our formal dining room into an office and craft space.
Now I can hop on the computer and do even 10 minutes of work here or there while the kids are around and I feel like a part of the family.
After this change I began thinking about other areas that could also be used to benefit our currently lifestyle or at least enhance it.
- EXERCISE AND FITNESS
- CAREER & FINANCES
- SELF CARE
- HEALTHY SLEEP
Use Your Kitchen Space to Encourage Healthy Eating
Healthy eating and healthy food is a HUGE part of a healthy lifestyle. The key to healthy meals is to do the prep work and make it EASY to eat healthy. The easier it is to make a healthy choice, the more likely it will be that the right option is chosen.
Fruit Bowl: Having a fresh bowl of fruit out is a GREAT way to make sure healthy options are in plain view. We use things like apples, bananas, oranges and pears, which are all easy things to grab and snack on. It’s great for when kids say they’re hungry too.
Decluttered Counters: A kitchen that is fresh and open is a kitchen where you will feel more balanced. A more balanced and fresh approach in the kitchen means you will feel less rushed while preparing a cooking. This in turn means you will be more intentional about what you’re eating. And isn’t that one of the biggest goals around EVERYTHING in your life? Being more intentional can truly help you achieve most of your goals and can also help you stop bad habits that have formed.
Keeping counter tops clear and leaving out ONLY the essentials you use on a daily basis can really help you create a fresh space where nourishing your body is the sole purpose of the room.
Cutting Board Out: For Christmas this year, my husband bought me this cutting block. While I had asked for one, I was so surprised he did tons of research and purchased one from an Etsy shop. We are all about practical gifts in our house and this one is the QUEEN of practicality in that I use it every. Single. Day.
You might be wondering how this piece of decor/tool is a way to make your kitchen work for your nutrition goals. By keeping a tasteful cutting board out on your counter, you’re more likely to use it by chopping up fresh foods that need preparation.
I love preparing fresh foods with my cutting board and it’s been a great addition to our healthy kitchen.
Diffuser: Sometimes the urge to snack seems to be knocking on the door all the time, doesn’t it? But did you know that there are essential oils you can diffuse in your kitchen that help suppress that urge to snack when you’re really not hungry? It’s kind of along the lines of puting something fresh in your mouth, like a mint or gum, after a meal. It signals to your body you’re done eating.
These diffuser blends below are my favorite after-meal blends to both freshen the air from those after-dinner-odors and remind me that dinner is in fact done.
Using Your Space to Encourage Movement
Designated Room: Perhaps your home is like mine in the sense that it has its own designated space for exercise and workouts. This has always been an important part of our homes, and it remains one of the necessities for our lifestyle. If you do have a space to designate as a work out space, it’s a great way to encourage regular workouts and regular exercise.
You can create a space that makes you feel REALLY great and a space that makes you want to spend time in it. Choosing a paint color on the wall to enhance whatever kind of exercise you choose is key. If you focus on yoga, you might want a more peaceful color like a blue, green or purple. If cardio and weight training are your jam, you may want a more invigorating color like a peach or a yellow tone.
Also, make sure your space has the freshest air possible to enhance your exercising. You can purchase an air filter for your room as well as keep the room’s dust levels down with regular cleaning.
Running & Walking Shoes by the Door: Come spring, summer and fall I take a lot of my exercise outdoors. In Minnesota we have to take advantage of those nice weather days and get our bodies outside. What makes it easiest to encourage a morning run or an afternoon hike is having my shoes, earbuds and armband RIGHT by the door.
I have my shoes out in a tray as a signal that I plan to get outside today and either go for a walk, hike or run. I have a decorative bowl that I keep my gear in that goes with me too – things like my earbuds and armband.
If you have a dog you exercise with, keep their leash with your things too. This way you’ll be encouraged to just grab your gear and go, rather than make excuses that it’s too much prep to get outside.
Hide Exercise Equipment in Living Spaces: If you don’t have a designated workout space, you can absolutely still make exercise a priority. You can utilize baskets and sleek storage cabinets and shelves to stash a few hand weights, indoor shoes and resistance bands.
You can even roll up a yoga mat and keep it behind the couch to pull out any time you need. With workout gear right next to you, you can do some exercises while you watch TV or do some stretching while you’re catching the morning news and weather. Either way, it’s a good way to encourage movement if this is a goal of yours.
Work for Your Laundry: Have you ever carried a laundry basket full of clothes up and down two flights of stairs? If you have, you can appreciate it when I say, IT’S A WORKOUT! Having your laundry away from living spaces can actually be a beneficial tactic to getting in a bit more movement during the day.
Hauling a laundry hamper down the stairs and carrying clean laundry up the stairs can get your heart rate going and can help get some movement if you’ve been sitting during the day. If you have a basement laundry room — embrace it and use it to keep moving!
Standing Work Areas: Sitting during the day can be one of the biggest contributors to health problems. Often we let ourselves sit for long periods of time during the day. Why not change this with a standing desk or counter top desk in your kitchen? You can use an anti-fatigue style mat underneath your feet to make it more appealing to stand.
Being able to do all the tasks you normally do sitting while standing up, can reduce the time you are sedentary by quite a bit.
Creating a Healthy Space that Encourages Productivity
Whether you work from home or not, chances are you have a designated space in your home that serves as a work area. I do a lot of my work from home and so I have a space set aside for JUST work. As a person who really needs a space to feel a certain way to be productive, I had to change some things in my home in order to create a space for creativity and productivity.
Location, Location, Location: For some people, having a space away from the hustle and bustle of the house is most important for a healthy work environment. For me, it was being near where my family was. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I avoided work because I felt so isolated.
That being said, you can make sure your space is close to the family activity, but also make sure there is a door if you need quiet time. Choose where you work best and then try to create a space in your home that benefits how you feel most productive.
Avoid Clutter: If you have a cluttered desk or cluttered shelves around your office space, your brain has to work to process all the items that you see. Keeping a space clean and simple can really give you that added boost you need to stay focused.
Also, keeping any baskets, files or drawers of a desk clean and tidy will help keep you productive too.
That being said, make sure your space is cozy and inviting too. If your goal is creativity, then add some inspiring pieces of art to your space. If your goal is productivity, have a motivating quote in a frame. Make sure the space is made for whatever your goal is.
Natural Light: An office that has a lot of natural light is a great space to work in. Not only will it help warm up the space, but it signals our brain it’s time to get stuff done. Keeping a space well lit also helps while looking at any screens you might be using.
Trying to find a space in your home that has natural light might be a challenge depending on where you live and what your house style is. Generally a south facing window is your best bet at adding natural light to your office space.
Essential Oils & Diffusing:
Using Your House to Promote a Healthy Self Care Routine
Taking care of yourself and having time to do something you love is an important way to enhance many areas of your life. Some people use their time to read a book or listen to music by themselves while they sip some tea. Or you might like to have a relaxing mini spa retreat away from the rest of the family in your bathroom. Whatever your self care routine is, you’re more likely to do it if you have a space or area either designated for this or have what you need nearby.
Self Care Box (link to blog post) I recently read this idea to make yourself a box filled with a few things that you would use for your self care routine. This is a great way to make sure that you do take time for yourself during the day and do something you love and something intentional with your time.
Her ideas included a journal with pens, essential oils, etc. These are all great ways to make sure that you can jump into your “down time” without having to hunt down what you need around the house. It also makes it really easy to do this in a short amount of time.
Keep Items of Comfort Nearby: For me, I have some personal time after my kids are in bed. I usually take the corner of the couch, a mug of tea or golden milk, my fuzzy white blanket and read through a devotion. Having my devotion and blanket nearby makes it so much easier to just sit down and get started.
If you have a basket, you can put your favorite book in it with a soft blanket and have your diffuser nearby to create the perfect space to make sure you’re taking care of you. Having a Himalayan Salt Lamp in the room can also help promote a grounded and calm feeling.
Create a Non-Toxic Spa Basket: Sometimes you need a self care routine that involves some pampering. By keeping a basket or caddy of some skin care treats in your bathroom or linen closet, it will be easy to create a spa like atmosphere in your bathroom.
Keeping your bathroom clean and uncluttered will also help you WANT to do this for yourself more often. If you had to clean the bathroom before you could relax, you likely wouldn’t have time to enjoy your time.
Create a Space for Healthy Sleep
I’ve done a few posts about creating a retreat for yourself, or a sleep sanctuary that promotes a restful and restorative sleep. These posts below are some great resources for creating a space that promotes healthy sleep habits:
Here are some design elements that can help encourage healthy eating in your kitchen:
– Have a fruit bowl out on the counter
– Declutter your counter tops
– Keep a cutting board handy for food prep
– Use a diffuser after meals to curb hunger and sweet cravings