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Staying in this January?
Here are 5 easy ways to give your home AND wellbeing a boost

January is often viewed as the worst month of the year, as many struggle with the ‘Christmas Comedown’ - and on top of that, there’s the long wait until payday and cold, dark days.

However, it doesn’t have to be as unpleasant as it seems. After a busy and exhausting festive period, January provides the perfect chance to reset and spend more time at home.

With the urge to get cosy and hibernate this time of year, the property experts at Essential Living have weighed in with their advice for making the most out of this slower period, including 5 easy changes you can make to get a mood ‘boost’ from your home:


Declutter and tidy

Following Christmas with all the decorations, gifts, and hosting, it’s not unusual for things to be slightly out of place and for there to be more clutter than unusual. 

However, setting time aside to declutter and tidy your home will help you to start the new year with a clean and organised space - and properly relax during those quieter moments! 

Start by identifying specific areas or rooms that need immediate attention and begin to sort and prioritise items into different categories. For communal spaces like the living room and kitchen, remove any items that don’t belong there or are adding to the general sense of clutter. When it comes to gifts from Christmas or unwanted items, these can be bagged up and donated to charity or even regifted to avoid waste.

Once the main areas have been organised, you can then tackle a thorough clean of your home - from dusting and wiping the surfaces, washing all the bedding and disposing of the rubbish pile that has slowly built up by the back door… Ticking off each job is the perfect way to refresh your home in January.

Add greenery

As well as looking good with the splash of colour and jazzy pots, research suggests that houseplants can benefit our well-being and boost productivity too. 

On top of this, many plants act as natural air filters which can help to improve the air quality in our home by increasing oxygen levels and reducing allergens.

If you're interested in adding some greenery into your space, it might help to start with some low-maintenance houseplants first, including:


  • Aloe vera

  • Snake plant (Sansevieria)

  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

  • Succulents

  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Bring in more natural light

Being exposed to natural sunlight prompts the release of serotonin, a natural chemical associated with elevating mood and calmness. For this reason – especially during the winter months – it’s important to consider the lighting in your home. 

There are a few tricks you can try to increase the amount of natural light that enters your property. For instance, move any blockers in front of windows – be that a bookshelf or cabinet. Also, pull back the curtains as far as you can first thing in the morning to let in as much light as possible, even switching to curtains or blinds that are less restrictive. You can be strategic with mirror placement too and position them in a way that reflects the sunlight around your living space. 

If you live in a basement or have small windows, it might be worth investing in an SAD lamp as the light produced by the light box helps to simulate sunlight. 

Introduce uplifting colours - and limit red!

From soft neutral shades that give a room a gentle, relaxing touch, to dreamy pastels that add a sense of warmth and tranquillity, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to positive shades.


Here are three mood-boosting colours to introduce into your home:


  • Neutrals

Neutral shades range from soft whites to warm beiges. These colours can open up a room and make it feel more spacious, reflecting light from outside sources and bouncing it around. 

If you want to make a room feel a little more warm and cosy, opting for beige, neutral tones can create a relaxing environment. These colours are not too intense or saturated, which means they blend in well.

  • Pale greens

With their inherent connection to nature, pale greens are a great way of bringing a sense of tranquillity to your space. Considered to be one of the most balanced colours, you can expect to feel energised, inspired and peaceful by bringing shades of pale green into your home.

  • Light blues for the bedroom

If you’re looking to create a bedroom that’s perfect for unwinding and de-stressing after a busy day, you will need to consider the impact of certain colours for this room in particular.

With this in mind, Dr Lindsay Browning, sleep expert and psychologist at And So To Bed, said that light blues are a good option for the bedroom:

“With the winter months feeling dull and dreary, opting for a splash of light blue is an uplifting colour that can inspire calmness, joy and relaxation - the perfect mood to set when it comes to bedroom interiors.


Dr Browning added: “On top of colours to introduce into your bedroom, there are also certain colours you may like to avoid, such as red. While research has found that blue is associated with feelings of calm, it’s also been found that bedrooms decorated with red may be too overstimulating for sleep, as the colour red stimulates the fight or flight mechanism.”

Create a space fit for socialising

One of the best – and easiest – ways to improve your mental health is by connecting with other people.

With the darker days, it’s easy to hide yourself away but you can still spend quality time with friends and family even if it’s from the comfort of your own home. 

First, consider how well your living space is designed for socialising. Communal areas like kitchens and living rooms are perfect for gathering in – whether you’re cooking a special dinner or catching up over a cup of tea. 

Consider the seating arrangements in your home too as comfort is key when it comes to hosting. Ensure there are plenty of seating options in every room – whether that’s bar stools or beanbags – and keep them positioned in close proximity too. Also, ensure the space is cosy and inviting with lots of throws and pillows for ultimate comfort.

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