For those of you who are living with chronic pain and just don’t have access to the outdoors, perhaps you live in an urban city or your hectic schedule just won’t allow you to indulge in the beauty of the natural world, then bring nature inside! There are numerous things that we can do in our homes to mimic the healing power of nature and help make our living spaces much more relaxing.
- Plants: House plants are a great place to start. They certainly bring the essence of nature inside the home and also help purify the air. There are so many varieties that are easy to care for and will make a lovely addition to the aesthetics of your home. And if you can’t do real, fake works just as well.
- Colors: Have you ever wondered why fast food giants like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King use the colors red and yellow in their logos? It’s because these colors are excitable and elevate your energy. Have you ever noticed that Spa’s or Wellness clinics often use a color palette that incorporates blues and greens? This is because these colors are calming and reflect nature. If you want to bring a much more tranquil vibe inside the home, stick to colors that mimic natural elements; blues, greens, and light browns are a great place to start. Also incorporating more neutral tones and adding pops of color here and there can help create more flow throughout the home, which can feel more expansive. Dark colors tend to create more shadows and darkness, giving the illusion of being more confined.
- Scents: The smell of flowers, freshly cut grass, pine trees, or other natural elements can be very calming. Part of the beauty of being outdoors is to inhale all the wonderful aromas of nature. Adding some of these fragrances throughout the house is a great way to enhance the feeling of tranquility. Essential oils like lavender, lemon, bergamot, or rose are a great addition to your home.
- Light: Not everyone has the luxury of natural light permeating every nook and cranny of the home. People who live in condos, townhomes, or basement apartments may find it even more difficult to get the sunshine in. Light is really important to our wellbeing, not only because it is connected to the body’s circadian rhythm (physical, mental and emotional cycles that responds to light and darkness) but also because light restores us. Just think of how you feel in the dead of winter when the sun sets by 5pm. So much darkness during the cold winter months can wreak havoc on our mental and emotional state. Ensuring that you have ample light throughout the home is another way to tap into the healing power of nature. And it your can’t get it naturally, try using a light therapy box so you can get your daily dose of sunshine even on the gloomiest of days.
- Sound: What are you listening to for the majority of the day? Many people turn on the TV and catch the morning news over breakfast, tune in while on the commute to work, and then catch the evening news before bed. Have you ever thought about the impact this has on your life? While it’s important to stay up to date with what’s going on in the world, being completely absorbed in negative news can have an impact on your wellbeing. Try replacing the morning news with soft sounds of nature. Rather than hear about all the terrible things that are happening across the globe, listen to a Youtube track of birds chirping, or ocean waves, or the sound of trees rocking and swaying the in the breeze. This can help keep your stress at bay and start your day more positively. And remember, you can always catch up on current events, you just don’t have to do it repetitively.
These are just some of the ways that you can bring nature inside when living with chronic pain. Remember, our physical environment can either boost your energy or leave you feeling drained. Let the healing power of the natural world help facilitate a calm and tranquil home for those living with chronic pain.