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If you?ve ever lived in the countryside, you?ll know that life there is often considered much more straightforward and, crucially, far more relaxed. Even if you haven?t, you?ll have heard about it, and it?s far more than just a stereotype. There?s less noise ? unless you want it ? and everything seems to move at a slower pace without so many people around.

I can?t speak for everyone, but I?d be inclined to say that a fair few of our readers here at Robode prefer things more laid back and relaxed. We enjoy time on our hands and nothing to pressure us into doing anything that we?d prefer not to. It?s a valid way to think ? but what if you don?t live in a rural area? I have no magical tips to make the world outside your front door any calmer, but what I can do is share nine tips to change up your home for less of an inner-city vibe and more of the relaxed, rural lifestyle that I?ll assume you crave if you?re reading this. I won?t promise that these tips will change your life ? but they just might!

Use Greens and Blues to Get Closer to Nature

You won?t need any further explanation when I say that greens and blues are the right colours to use if you want to get closer to nature. The colours of trees, fields, the sea and the sky will often bring more peaceful times to mind. It?s no surprise to see that these colours work best if you have decent soundproofing throughout the home ? all the visual stimulation in the world isn?t going to cover up cars screeching around corners and drunken revellers going past at all hours. Nevertheless, if you find yourself with a reasonably quiet room in the house, go with greens and blues to evoke emotions that are more than capable of whisking you away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Grow a Houseplant

If there isn?t much by way of nature in your immediate vicinity, then there?s never any harm in bringing that nature indoors. Resist the urge to go with a plastic recreation of popular plants, and go with something real. A bonsai tree cannot be beaten, as far as I?m concerned. You not only receive the sheer pleasantness of nature in the home, but you also get to experience the therapeutic benefits of staying on top of keeping the tree pruned and healthy, and that can do wonders for your mental state.

Bring in the Fish

Ask anyone that owns a fish tank and, preferably, some fish, and they will be more than happy to tell you about just how calming and relaxing their fish can be. Like the plant idea above, you?ll start to reap the benefits as soon as you sit and watch your fish go about their business, but you can also expect secondary enjoyment and withdrawal from the real world when you carry out the tasks associated with keeping them. Cleaning tanks and feeding fish might not sound like your idea of a great Friday night in, but it?s oh so easy to get caught up in the moment, and well worth it too.

Take Control of Sound in the Home

I already mentioned the benefits of soundproofing for those seeking to turn their home into a sanctuary, but I have to remain realistic too. If all else fails, take steps to drown out the sound. It has never been easier to place a speaker in every room, especially if you remember the days of crowding around the hi-fi and arguing over which of the six CDs in the changer should go on next. Something as simple as an Echo Dot is more than sufficient to add some natural sounds into any room. It could be the noise of a waterfall, birdsong or anything else that gets you in a better mood ? there are limitless options out there to anyone with Spotify or Amazon Music subscription or anything else along those lines.

Switch Out Your Mattress

Be honest here. Do you wake up of a morning feeling rested and ready to tackle the day ahead? Assuming you?ve got enough sleep and don?t have a hangover if the answer is no, then it might be time to get a bit more peace in your day to day life with a better mattress. You can?t turn on the television and sit through an ad break nowadays without some kind of mattress being lauded as the best in the world ? so good that you can return it any time in the next 500 years. If you?re on a cheap one or an old one, it is always a good idea to upgrade as technology does move on. If you haven?t experienced the wonders of memory foam on your mattress, plus the accompanying pillows, then there?s no better time to get started for a more relaxed vibe in the home.

Take Care of Scents with Candles

To paraphrase, life is what your senses make of it. We?ve already looked at colours, touch and sound, so why not go even further with smells? Just for the record, I refuse to get into home decoration based on the sense of taste until we have a real-life version of the wallpaper from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Smells are far more accessible, and if you?re not in the business of candles or anything else that gives off the precise smell you want, then you might want to get started. I?m not sure when and how Yankee Candle went from nothing to a household name, but we can be glad they did as you can recreate just about any pleasant smell that comes to mind, and add an alluring, flickering light source to your home into the bargain. You can go for something traditionally relaxing, such as lemon, jasmine or lavender, or something that specifically reminds you of simpler or more relaxing times.

Keep Televisions Out of Your Relaxation Spots

If you?re going for the rural feel, imagine you?re in a field of beautiful flowers. If you?re going down the relaxed memory route, picture yourself on the beach. They?re two very different locations, but there?s one thing they both have in common: no televisions. I have nothing against TV in general, and I?m sure I spend over a day each week watching something or other, but I don?t associate it with chilling out like I would reading or listening to soothing music.

Place Images of Nature Around the Home

I mentioned literally bringing nature indoors with something like a bonsai tree, but you can achieve similar effects without the need for being quite as literal. Consider what your favourite elements of nature are. It could be snow-capped mountains, massive waterfalls, open plains or anything else, from anywhere in the world. Put up some pictures of your chosen scenes around the home and, hopefully, they?ll bring out the right frame of mind every time you notice them.

Set Aside Somewhere to Relax

Even if you?re pushed for space, if you really need to take time out from the day to day, a sanctuary of sorts can work wonders. It might be an entire room where you?re free to control the sights, sounds and smells, or might just be a corner where you can shut off the TV and do something particularly relaxing like yoga or meditation. The more different to the world outside your door you can make it, and the closer to your idea of a relaxed location, the better. Once you use it as a spot in which you can switch off a few times, you?ll prepare your brain and your emotions to let go a bit and destress without even trying.

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