According to an interior designer and environmental psychologist, making a few changes to your space can serve as self-care during these trying times.

Stay at home orders and quarantine regimens were necessary steps that needed to be taken in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, but spending more time at home than ever before has been psychologically taxing on many people. One way to beat anxiety and promote self-care when you're at home? Switching up your everyday routine. According to interior designer Kerrie Kelly, owner of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, and Stephani Robson, Ph.D., an environmental psychologist and faculty member at Cornell University, rearranging your furniture and décor is a good place to start. "You know when you're in a situation like this you still want to see things, you don't want to hide under a blanket and not see what's around you [and feel] even less psychological control over what's happening."

happy couple settle in home decorating and moving furniture
Credit: Getty / fizkes

Whether you move furniture and decorative items from one room to another or purchase something entirely new, rearrange or redecorate your space in a way that reflects what you're longing for. A chair could provide comfort, because they "really gives you that sense almost like you're being held," Robson shared. Colorful details like pillows and vases can boost your mood. "Even start with a throw pillow and just add a little color, or a little personality," Kelly said. "A little pretty goes a long way, especially during this time."

Plants are easy additions to a home, and they also give you something to tend to on a regular basis. "Give me something to take care of, something alive," Robson said. "Especially a plant that you really see something happening, whether it's regrowing scallions, or herbs… something that you can affect change on in a positive way… especially now, I need to affect positive change on something."

If you are in need of other ideas, the experts recommend decluttering cabinets and kitchen drawers, changing lighting, or adding splashes of paint to reinvent your everyday spaces. "Pick something you like that makes you smile. And if hot pink makes you smile, paint your room hot pink, it's fine, it's your room. It's important to find things that bring you a little burst of joy," Robson said.

Comments (2)

Martha Stewart Member
June 23, 2020
Wasn’t this article just posted a couple days ago on NBC page???? Not cool!
Martha Stewart Member
June 22, 2020
I liked this article better when it was written by Dana McMahan.