Ways to Be Happier at Home
“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home … it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.”
This quote from author Chuck Palahniuk is really great—and it speaks to me, especially when I think of home. I love my home first and foremost because of the people who are in it. When I reflect on my main goal for the house as a structure, the vibe I want it to emit, I want my home to be a respite from the world for my family, a place of belonging, love, joy, nurturing, and peace. But the truth is … it’s a nuthouse! Total chaos. Kids running here and there, homework undone, piano lessons, kids fighting, items lost, late for practice—you get the picture. Nuthouse!
How can I get my vision closer to reality? How can we all be happier at home? When I looked up strategies to be happier, here were the suggestions that I found most helpful.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation.
One thing you can do to be happier at home is to meditate. A gratitude meditation is a great habit to begin. Take a few minutes to sit still, breathe slowly and deeply and think about the things in your life that you’re grateful for. If you’re not the type of person who enjoys being still, one style of mindfulness practice is to play a favorite song and dance around the house, focusing on just being you in that moment.
Put down the electronics.
Most of us are simply too attached to our cell phones. I know we’re busy with work and life juggles, but having electronics-free time is a really great step in improving happiness. Play a board game. Read a book. Go for a walk. Read a poem out loud. You can still return that phone call in 30 minutes.
Fill Your Space with What You Love.
Get rid of the unnecessary clutter in your home and fill the space around you with items you love and need. My husband and I are currently in the process of going through outgrown children’s things and getting rid of them. It’s a pain and a chore, but periodically going through and checking what still works for you is well worth it.
Use Colors You Enjoy.
When was the last time you looked at your home with a fresh set of eyes? Do you like what you see? Is your home filled not just with items you love but with colors you love as well? Whether you want to add some pops of color with accessories in your favorite color or paint, colors are powerful. If you’re looking for ideas and expertise, Hirshfield’s has great paint advice in Minnesota.
Accept Your Stage.
Part of my journey is to embrace my life stage. Yes, it can be crazy and draining and please, would the kids stop fighting already? But this nuthouse is my nuthouse, and the crazies who inhabit it are my crazies. Some days, I just need to revel in the juggling and appreciate what is. When the kids are grown I’ll miss the noise level—or so I’ve been told.
In the meantime I need to realize that nurturing for now means allowing screeching at times. Peace may descend only after 8:30 pm when the kids are asleep. But at that time of night, I can be still in the quiet, the peace, and the joy. Especially the joy.
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