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Change Your Relationship with Your Living Room without the Anxiety

How Your Home Can Help You Calm Your Anxiety – The Living Room

How Your Home Can Help You Calm Your Anxiety – The Living RoomThis is the fourth post in a series. For the first post, please start with the bedroom.

I think the living room has become a bit confusing for most of us. The living room is a common room but also a place for a number of different activities. In the living room we might read, watch TV, listen to music, entertain friends, talk with our families, use the computer, surf the internet, play video games, fold laundry… and the list goes on. How we use our living rooms depends upon our various interests and those of the people with whom we live. Some things to consider when assessing your living room are seating, lighting, storage, traffic patterns, activities and ambiance.

Do you have enough seating? If your family wanted to congregate in the living room, would there be a place for everyone? If you need extra seating but don’t have room for more furniture, think about floor pillows, ottomans, and window seats. Also, if your living room feels crowded, think about a loveseat instead of a couch. Even though there is room for three on a couch, most of the time only two people will sit there.

Think about your lighting. Sometimes just using lamps instead of overhead lighting can calm your nerves and increase your enjoyment of the living room. If you are a reader, do you have a good lamp next to your reading chair? Candlelight can also add to the ambiance.

Declutter your living room so that you have enough storage for your things. If you need more storage, consider furniture that has built in storage, like drawers and cabinets, a trunk for a coffee table and perhaps some baskets with lids in a corner.

When you think about traffic, you don’t want there to be lots of opportunities for people to become frustrated if they don’t feel like they can easily navigate through the room. However, you also do not need a six foot wide swath between every piece of furniture, either, no matter what your husband tells you! Three feet is quite generous. Sometimes you only need two feet. You don’t want there to be so much room that you have to reach to the edge of your seat just to put a drink down on the table! People do not need to be able to walk through the main seating area. They can walk around.

What activities do you and your family do in the living room? If you read, have a comfortable chair, a table you can put a drink on, and a good reading lamp. If you play games, try to have a place to house your games in the room somewhere. No use walking all over the house to get what you need if you have room to store stuff where you will use it. Having storage in the room where you use the items will also help when you need to tidy up. It makes a difference when you don’t have to take things to four different rooms, especially when you know your family will bring those items right back out into the living room!

Spend some time creating a pleasurable ambiance, but remember to make it livable too.  If you are a bit of a clutterbug, choose closed storage. If you have young children, don’t try to have a “Zen” living room where one toy will throw the whole room off. If you have three black dogs, don’t have a white couch! Make it easy on yourself while still taking into account your tastes and preferences, and those of the other members of your household. Some ideas to get you started are… put a plant in the corner, use candles at night, tone down the overhead lighting, make use of natural light, use a rug to establish an area, and replace your blinds with curtains.