Summer vacations are welcomed with open arms (necessary, in some cases). But by the time the season starts coming to a close (read: now), all the hustle and bustle can leave you feeling more frazzled than relaxed. So this weekend, instead of joining the crowds fleeing town, try this instead: Stay home. We hear you—it hardly sounds like a Zen way to spend the weekend. But after a few smart decorating tweaks, your couch will feel almost as relaxing as that poolside cabana. And bonus: You won’t have to pack any bags. Follow these tips to turn your home into a multisensory, stress-free space.
1. Invest in a Plush Bathrobe
The best part of hotel living is throwing on that giant complimentary robe…and then never taking it off. Amiright? If you don’t currently have one at your disposal, may we suggest Parachute’s Classic Bathrobe? It’s not the thickest robe we’ve ever tried, but it’s somehow still incredibly warm. It’s also been somewhat of a viral hit: At its peak, Parachute’s waiting list for the bathrobe was 1,900 people long. But it’s available now for a cool $99.
2. Lean on Your Sense of Smell
Remember the aroma from the fruity drinks you enjoyed last time you hit the beach? Or the strong perfume of the fruit at your favorite farmers market? Nothing taps into fond memories like a specific scent. Use that nose-to-brain relationship to bring those calm, satisfying feelings into your home with the new Glade® Plugins® Scented Oil in Sheer Vanilla Embrace®—the serene combination of scents will put your mind at ease and set you to “relax” mode. Now kick back on the couch and get someone in your family to fan you with a plastic palm leaf, stat.
3. Seek Out Earthy Textures
Natural materials will help you embrace the feeling of the great outdoors even if you’re staying inside. Opt for accents in a mix of hard and soft textures (for example, a faux-fur throw over the wooden arm of a rattan chair). One small addition to your home can make a big difference, whether it’s a statement piece that stays around all year long or something you can easily swap out and store away, like a jute rug. Take it a step further and create a sense of calm and balance in your home with the Japanese practice of wabi-sabi—an aesthetic rooted in the idea of embracing interior imperfection.
4. Create a Sunny Reading Nook
If you find that your pile of books and magazines just keeps getting taller, but there’s no vacation in sight, set up a chair in the sunniest corner of your home for an afternoon of reading. Not required, but highly recommended: a homemade frozen cocktail of your choice.
5. Listen to Nature
Throw open the windows and let the sounds of the outdoors in. According to a study by the Acoustical Society of America, there’s a simple way to boost your mood and productivity: Listen to nature. Happen to live in a busy city where chirping birds are replaced with trash trucks? Curate a playlist instead. The psychological benefits of music are well known, but according to a University of Nevada study, music with about 60 beats per minute is optimal for relaxation. In other words, look for lyric-free soft classical music or light jazz.