Eight years, one month, two weeks, and one day. That’s how long I lived with my mother-in-law. What was meant to be a quick two-year pit stop to save money to buy a home turned into the darkest part of my marriage and my life. Last year, my word of 2019 was happiness and I spoke briefly on how living with my in-law was difficult for me. That’s why moving out was so imperative. It took a lot of work and sacrifice on Jeff’s part to make this happen for us. It was a long time coming but I’m grateful to finally be free.
It’s said that your home either nurtures you or leaves you exhausted by depleting your energy. After a full day of dealing with life and Coronavirus, everyone awaits the moment to enter their comfort space and have a relaxing ever after. But if your home is full of negativity, chaos, stress, and disturbance, it would be impossible for you to fully release and relax. Therefore, it becomes necessary that you create and maintain an emotionally soothing atmosphere at home.
This is one of the many reasons why it was imperative that we got out of my in-law’s house. The juju there was negative and far from relaxing, no matter how tranquil I decorated our rooms. The space overall was full of stress, resentment, and anger. It took nothing for me and Jeff to argue or for me to have to yell at my in-laws, especially my no-account brother-in-law. That’s why once we moved it was imperative that I create a home environment that was emotionally soothing.
These are the things we’ve adapted in our new apartment:
Speaking politely and calmly
One of the prime foundations of a soothing home atmosphere is everyone being polite to each other. At my in-laws, someone was always speaking unnecessarily loudly or rudely. Which caused me to develop the same habits out of frustration. That’s not good because loud and irritating sounds create a stressful environment between family members – me towards Jeff and the kids. So I vowed not to do this in our new home. It must never be forgotten that people tend to react better to tones that are respectful rather than shouting and overreacting. I’m naturally loud, so coupled with my tone, I sound angry all the time. It’s important for me to work on being more mindful of how my volume and tone. It’s all about more listening and less shouting.
Keeping our surroundings clean and appealing
A chaotic surrounding leads to an annoying and tired atmosphere. So this time around I’ve ditched all my old stuff furniture and decor and added mindful art, plants, and reduced the clutter inside my home. Clutter will make your surroundings uninviting and confined. Hence, the reason I’ve been on a trash/donate kick. Why am I keeping those old DVDs or knick-knacks? They don’t do anything but collect dust. I lived cramped, compact, and in clutter for so long that I refuse to do it now. I have a huge space and I want to show it off.
Incorporating relaxing colors
In my 20’s I was all about dark colors and woods. Now as I near my 40’s I only want bright colors. While my couch may be grey I’m all about adding colors and prints that move me. I have white walls and accent furniture but I also plan to add bits of pinks, teals, and greens. The key is to not go overboard with super bright tones keep it to peaceful calming tones.
Allowing natural light and air to flow through the house
There’s no other more enormous source of relaxation than nature. And this is where a lot of my arguments with my in-laws stemmed from. I am someone who needs the curtains and the windows open at all times no matter the season. My mother-in-law disagrees. If it’s below 70 it’s deemed freezing and all the windows must be closed and locked. I can’t function that way. I require fresh air to keep my health, energy, and positivity up. Also letting air flow through will take out stale smells and bacteria. In our new home, I’ve had my curtains and windows wide open since we’ve been here. It’s a wonderful feeling to not worry if someone will come behind me to shut them.
Eliminate noise and interruption
Though a well-ventilated house is a source of calm and freshness, it can sometimes bring unwanted noise and disruption. Traffic noise, construction noise, and loud neighbors can make you more stressed. My in-laws were always loud and loved to interrupt you no matter what we were doing. To overcome that situation, I used blackout curtains, candles, and played soothing music. Jeff knows by now I put my calming music on low enough for me to hear it as a way to help me block out the noise around me. For me, scent and sound promote relaxation even in stressful environments. Especially, music. It works as a therapy in helping me to bring down stressful chaotic thoughts. In my new place, I still listen to calming music cause I have kids, so, I’ll never not need it but it’s not as frequent when I was living with my in-laws.
Limiting screen time and talking as a family
Before the move, we could hardly talk about anything without my brother-in-law chiming in with noises or an opinion no one asked for. Now that we have our own space we can all have constructively fun conversations without his unwanted interference. It’s crucial that we as a family show care to everyone’s thoughts, opinions, and ideas. It’s also not about what we say in the house but what we do. We’ve also been spending more time playing, being silly, and doing fun activities. This will not only have a positive impact on my mental health but also Jeff and the kids too, thus leading us to create an emotionally soothing atmosphere at home for all.