Shelter. Aside from air and water, it's the most important human need. Where would we be without a place to call home? Whether it's an apartment, a townhouse, a quarter-acre block, a minivan or a mansion, our home should be a safe space where we feel respite from the problems of the world.
Yet familiarity breeds complacency. How often do we take our homes for granted? Choosing to constantly focus on the aspects that we don't like, rather than the ones we are thankful for?
In this article, I'll encourage you to reconnect with your home, sharing specific activities you can undertake to foster a sense of gratitude for the space that provides shelter in your life.
When you live in a home for an extended period and battle with day to day inconveniences, they become our focus. Maybe you have a home with tricky access, facing the wrong way for sunlight. Maybe it's hard to heat or too far away from your place of work. Maybe it feels too small, or too big. Perhaps the features are dated and it's in need of a complete renovation.
My first suggestion is to spend a few minutes thinking of things you do like about your home. Find at least 3 aspects that you love. Maybe it's the birds you can hear outside, the proximity to a certain park or café, the friendly neighbours. Perhaps it's just the fact that it's a roof over your head, a luxury many people don't enjoy.
The next step is to add some life. Bring a new houseplant into your home. It has been shown that being around plants on a day to day basis can improve our moods and wellbeing.
Next up, walk the perimeter of your property. Touch the back fence. Visit every part of your home that you haven't been to in a while. Pause and take a few minutes to just be in that space. What can you see? What can you hear? What can you smell? Use this as a reminder to enjoy every part of your home, not just the parts you frequent every day.
Last but not least, set an immediate goal to improve an aspect of your home. This should be a task that is actionable in one weekend. It might be to add a rug to your lounge to add warmth. It could be to plant a fruit tree in your garden or set up a bird feeder on your balcony. It doesn't have to be a big investment. The idea is to show your home some love and attention.
Now that you have completed those steps, do you feel more connected to your home? No doubt it still has its downsides and aspects that you don't like, but we can improve our day to day happiness if we choose to focus on the positives. To count our blessings if you will.
One last exercise: Start saying this sentence out loud, and see what comes out at the end of its own accord:
"I love the fact that our home......."
As you can imagine, in my line of work I see the good in every home. I notice the aspects that future owners will fall in love with and it's my job to champion those features when you decide to move on to your next abode.
If you are considering a move in the near future, I would love to help you present your current home at its best so you can maximise its value and use it as a springboard to your next safe space.