When it comes to our mental health, surroundings matter, and it’s stunning just how much joy the little things can bring. If you’ve ever gifted yourself with a cute new coffee mug or a bouquet of fresh flowers “just because,” you know how meaningful small changes to your space can be. In fact, research shows that an uplifting, inspiring physical environment can have major positive impact on our mental health.
There are plenty of easy ways to incorporate beauty to boost your well-being. And doing so doesn’t have to cost much (or, in some cases, anything at all). Here are 10 tiny indulgences that can vastly improve your surroundings — without breaking the bank.
1. Scented Soap: Is it just us, or is there something about blandly scented soap that just screams “public bathroom”? At home, most of us would rather feel like we’re at a sumptuous spa than the Walmart ladies’ room. For a better hand-washing experience, grace your kitchen or bathroom sink with a pretty bottle of soap scented with your favorite fragrance.
2. Fresh Flowers: Don’t underestimate the power of a beautiful bouquet — not to mention the refreshing scent — on your dining room table or in your entryway. And you don’t have to drop a ton of cash for this sensory upgrade, either. Grab a bunch of your fave blooms on your weekly grocery run. You won’t regret it.
3. Phone Wallpaper: The average American checks their phone 80 times a day. That’s a lot of looking at whatever image underlies your icons, making it a prime opportunity to view something pleasant. Next time you change your wallpaper, choose mindfully. What type of image truly makes you happy?
4. Art Prints: It’s obvious that art can beautify a space, but it may seem financially out of reach. There’s no need to plunk down big bucks for one-of-a-kind pieces, though. When you find art that speaks to you, a printed reproduction can bring just as much inspiration as the real thing. For your daily viewing pleasure, choose a print of a painting you’ve always admired for display in your home or workplace.
5. Cloth Napkins: Paper napkins may be practical, but they can’t compare to a luxe-looking fabric laid in your lap. Invest in a set of cloth napkins with an attractive print. You’ll have a feast for the eyes at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and be prepared when company comes over).
6. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables are a lovely little indulgence that boosts your physical as well as mental health. Keep them in an easily accessible spot, like in an attractive basket on your countertop, or store them in clear containers in the fridge. (Studies show keeping healthy foods visible makes you more likely to eat them.)
7. Music: Music could be the easiest way to fill your day with beauty. On your smartphone, you have a world of sound at your fingertips — you just might not always remember to use it. A $10/month Spotify subscription allows you to search from thousands of playlists to find whatever songs soothe your spirit. Or, for a cost-free option, check out an ambient playlist on YouTube.
8. Candles: Candles aren’t just a clichéd gift for your mother-in-law. Candlelight sets a peaceful (or romantic) mood and fills your home with fragrance. Plus, when you select one in a cool color or pattern, you add interest to your décor. Not bad for $10 or so.
9. Pretty Dishes: Ever heard the phrase, “Life is short, use the good china”? It may have begun as a marketing ploy from the good china salespeople, but there’s wisdom in bringing the extravagant to the everyday. If you don’t have a set of fine china, choose one delicate mug to use for tea, or designate a set of gorgeous plates just for desserts.
10. Water Bottle: It’s probably safe to assume you drink water every day. As you work through your eight cups, why not do so in an aesthetically pleasing way? Make an attractive water bottle your go-to for bringing to work or the gym. It may even motivate you to stay hydrated.
How do you get your daily dose of beauty? Tweet us at @BritandCo!
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