As the old saying goes, home is where the heart is. But unfortunately, for many of us home is actually where the stress is. In our fast-paced world we all need a safe haven where we can relax and recharge. It is worth making a few adjustments to ensure your home environment is supporting you to be as healthy and happy as possible.

1. Grow House Plants

Numerous studies have shown that houseplants improve indoor air quality, reduce stress, boost the immune systems of the residents, and add to quality of life. There are many varieties of plants that are easy to care for and can add beauty and vibrancy to your home.

2. Start a Garden

Turn your yard into a healing and nourishing environment by cultivating a vegetable, herb, or flower garden. This is a longer-term project, but well worth it to provide food, pleasant sights and smells, and a soothing atmosphere for your home.

Planting a hedge and ornamental plants in your front lawn can create a buffer between your home and the street, reducing noise pollution and providing a more serene atmosphere.

3. Get Rid of Your TV

This is pretty self-explanatory. While some programs can provide life-affirming stories and supportive information, most television shows are violent or promote unhappiness and consumerism. Give your TV away and start talking to your family, playing board games, making art projects activities that inspire you to engage with each other and awaken your creativity.

4. Turn Off the Electronics

We are bombarded all the time with endless electromagnetic frequencies (EMF). These vibrations stimulate our nervous systems in a stressful and unhealthy way. Limit the use of electronic devices in your home. Unplug appliances that are not in use.

Install a breaker switch that allows you to shut off the electric current to your bedroom when you sleep at night. When weather permits, consider turning off the power in our whole house at night. This will save you money and help preserve your health.

5. Reclaim Your Bathtub

Turn your bathroom in a healing space. Make it sparkly clean, and empty out all superfluous towels and dirty socks. Decorate it with soothing colors. Devote at least 45 minutes, a few times a week, to your bath time. Use scented candles, herbs, sea salt, and a bath pillow to give yourself a rejuvenating spa experience at home.

6. Make Your Bedroom Into a Nest

Bedrooms should be the place where we sleep and make love. Doing anything else in the bedroom makes it harder to get good rest. In addition to kicking out the electronics, make sure your bedroom can be completely dark, quiet, and pleasantly cool at night. Do not watch movies, work, or read in your bedroom, and especially not in bed. Make sure your bed is a perfect firmness for you and you have appropriately comfortable pillows and bedding.

7. Keep It Clean

Biblical axioms aside, there is a reason that cleanliness is considered important in most traditions. A clean environment inspires physical health, mental clarity, and productivity. Nothing makes a home stressful like stinky odors or having to search for your keys every morning. With a few organizational tools and structures, and maybe a chore wheel, you can keep you home neat, orderly, and clean to help it feel more relaxing.

8. Meal Times Are for Eating

To keep the sanctuary feeling going, make it clear to your family (and yourself) that dinner is not for checking social media or watching television (another reason to boot the box). Eating a meal while practicing full presence with each other will help everyone enjoy the meal more, and give your family time to connect. It is also a great opportunity to feel and express gratitude.

9. Establish an Emotional Safe Zone

With all the masks that we usually have to wear in the world, home should be a place where we can simply be ourselves. Invite everyone in your home to be free to feel whatever they are feeling that day. This does not mean that family members dump their problems on each other, but rather that authenticity is encouraged and respected, and no one is expected to pretend to feel a certain way. This kind of safety engenders trust and comfort within a family unit.

10. Cultivate Aesthetic Pleasures

Make your home a place that inspires joy in all the senses. Chose color schemes that are pleasing to your eyes. Use high quality diffused essential oils, incense, or scented candles to spread soothing and uplifting smells. Get throw rugs, couch cushions, and other textiles in soft textures and interesting shapes. Use a fountain or wind chimes to provide pleasing sounds. And keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the table.

Home is our castle, our sanctuary, and our place of refuge from the wild world. Or at least we hope home can be that for us. To ensure that you have the energy and sense of rootedness necessary to thrive in our crazy world, use these tips to make your home a safe, comfortable, and nurturing place to rest and be renewed.