“If you don’t impact your surroundings, your surroundings will impact you.”
Have you heard this quote before? Ever thought about it?
If your mind isn’t occupied with reaching a goal or solving a problem on a daily basis, the chances are that you’re in a rut. Being in this state, you start being an embodiment of your surroundings. In this state, you don’t think, you are bored all the time, you lack energy. If you’re in a rut, you’re not going forward — or even worse, you’re degrading. An empty mind will try to get some info from the surroundings to prevent dullness and plain boredom.
When you think about it, it makes sense.
Our homes indeed are a center point of our lives. They are both a primal need and the primary source of comfort. But really, the impact of our surroundings on the quality of our lives is so immense, and it can’t get anymore personal than our home. Our daily lives and jobs are stressful enough, and living this way for years can have a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing. At the end of the day, we need to have a place that we gladly go back to.
If you lack energy, enthusiasm, creativity, or productivity, altering your home and improving it may change your life in a way that you couldn’t imagine. Just start doing something about it.
This is your little corner in the world, so you should organize and optimize it according to your needs and desires. The question is, what can you do?
Paint your rooms
Decorating your room should be something that you do from time to time. Not all of us are the same, and different people prefer different colors. You should, of course, pick ones that suit you and your personality. But keep in mind to combine the colors carefully so it all looks good in the end.
Selecting the right color combination for your home is probably one of the most exciting things to experience when it comes to working on your interior. Colors can influence your perception of room sizes, as well as the size and shape of your furnishings. After you read a few important details about colors that we have prepared, you will be ready for painting.
First things first, it’s important to know that every color has a value that affects your subconscious. Before you select one, think about how some colors make you feel, here’s a short guide:
It’s been confirmed that the color red can raise your blood pressure, breathing speed, and heart rate.
If you want to use this color in home decoration, we would advise you to use it in your bedroom, where you spend fewer waking hours.
This color does the opposite of red. It will lower your blood pressure, as well as slow down your breathing and normalize it.
The best place to use this color is in your living room or a room where you spend most of your waking hours.
This color resembles the sun, and therefore can make us feel happier. This is an excellent choice for a dining room, kitchen, or even bathroom.
You can apply this color in every room where uplifting and energizing is needed. Also, use it in your halls to create a friendly and welcoming feeling.
Green is considered to be the most pleasant color for the human eye. One of the most-used color combinations for living spaces is green along with blue and yellow.
Having these colors in your home, from the bedroom to the bathroom, will help to improve your mood and even your health.
Once you know the impact of colors on your psyche, we hope that you have a good foundation for choosing the best colors for you and your home.
Improve your bathroom
Painting the walls is not the only thing`that you can do to optimize your bathroom for ultimate health benefits. If you don’t spend a lot of time in your bathroom, then you should replace your bathtub with a shower cabin. By doing this, your bathing time can be decreased by 50%. However, if you enjoy sit baths, stick with the bathtub. Also, putting a few house plants in there would be an excellent idea. Since bathrooms are usually not big, having some plants will help you breathe easier after you steam up the small room with hot water.Advertising
Germs and bacteria are your worst enemies in this room and should be taken care of. Mold around the tub is the first sign of a neglected bathroom. Next, shower curtains can be toxic to your body if you’re using non-nylon ones. Clean faucets, not too many chemicals for cleaning, and chlorine in the water will all affect your mood and your health.
The design of your bathroom elements is another point to focus on. Use your favorite colors or a light blue/white combination. A big, well-lit mirror is a must. The bathroom is the place to get creative if you don’t have much space. Multi-functional, useful details that fit the overall tone will enhance the experience and contribute to your wellbeing.
Upgrade your lighting
When it comes to lighting, it’s best to consult an expert. Most people still have only one lightbulb per room, which results in low lighting and is taxing on the eyes. Today, we have bulbs that expend a lot less energy, so you can feel free to use more of them.
Lightning can be a big reason behind a great mood or a bad mood. It affects us on a subconscious level as we perceive light as a source of emphasis and energy. A dark room is good for movie nights — that’s it. Humans are visual beings, and today’s interior designers make wonders with rooms just by changing the lighting.
A reason to seek assistance from an interior designer is that it’s not easy to put 3 or 4 lightbulbs in a room and make it look good. Professionals know the right spots to place the lighting so that you get the most amount of light and a pleasant atmosphere.
Take care of air humidity
Air dryness can cause some troubles, especially for people who have problems with their sinuses. When the air that you breathe is too dry, your mucus won’t flow properly, and therefore your sinuses won’t drain as well as they should.
Humidity can be dangerous as well – it can be the reason for those “mysterious” headaches that come without reason. Developing mold and fungus can stimulate our allergy receptors, resulting in a developing allergy which can worsen quality of life significantly. During the hot months of the year, humidity can be very unpleasant. Both low and high humidity can make your life miserable without you even knowing it or looking for a solution.
An air humidifier is the perfect solution for your lodging. It will maintain the proper levels of humidity and remove all the potential threats to your health. The main reason to get one of these devices is the health of your respiratory organs and overall health. In order to get the best air humidifier, you need to inspect the different models and types in detail. Look for the perfect coverage and power, while following up with functions and advanced modes as well.
Get yourself a robot vacuum cleaner
If you are working five days a week and don’t have much time to clean your house, the weekend is surely not the time when you want to do this. Cleaning can be a huge problem, but it’s necessary to maintain your hygiene and health. Having someone to help you with these duties is more than welcome, and here’s an interesting idea: get a robot vacuum cleaner.Advertising
These robotic devices rely on GPS mapping to clean your house and they are built to cover as much area of the house as possible. Areas under furniture often contain a lot of dust and spider webs, simply because people don’t clean under them a lot. Robotic cleaners like this are able to go under furniture and wipe everything clean.
The best thing about these vacuum cleaners is that they’re easy to set up and prepare for vacuuming. Once they are done, all you have to do is put them back in their place. The only flaw is that they can’t go up and down the stairs. But hey, once it’s done cleaning one floor, you need only a few seconds to move it to another. If you feel that you could benefit from one of these devices, research robot vacuum cleaner buying tips to get the best bang for your buck.
Improve your yard
What makes a perfect yard? A swimming pool, a wooden table, and comfy chairs? Sure it sounds good, but adding a few plants could greatly benefit your health and sanity. Plants like English ivy, bamboo palm, peace lily, and lady palm can help you relax and provide you with shade to lay in.
Nothing’s better than a perfectly trimmed, organized yard. By working on your yard, you’ll have a sanctuary to escape to while feeling stressed. To have the perfect yard, you’ll need some tools.
- Lawn Mower – a fundamental tool for maintaining the perfect lawn. Here’s more on which lawn mower to buy.
- Garden Rake and Lawn-and-Leaf Rake – for handling leaves, soil, and grass. You can get them anywhere.
- Grape Hoe – for more demanding work.
- Pruning and Lopping Shears – to handle stubborn and problematic 1-1/2-inch-thick branches.
- Trowel – efficient for digging holes while planting seeds.
- Air Blower – for general cleaning and clearing. Here’s more info on getting the best air blower.
- Chainsaw – wood cutting, bigger works, and making wider cuts are impossible without this tool. Here’s more info on getting the best chainsaw.
- Pole Saw – branches high from the ground will be much more reachable with a 12-foot pole mini-chainsaw. A very practical and useful tool. Here’s how to choose the best pole saw for your yard.
- String Trimmer – a finer cutting along lawn edges is much more efficient with a string trimmer. Here’s how to choose a perfect string trimmer.
A lot of tools may be required depending on your yard — it all depends on the yard size and the complexity. The above-mentioned tools make for a well-equipped setup, which can get you ready for every possible situation that you might have. Along the way, you’ll start to love your yard more and more. It will become “your place.”
Let more daylight into your living room
The psychological benefits of a proper amount of the natural light are more than positive. By using daylight, you will save money on your energy bills. When it comes to health, sunlight can reduce production of some bacteria and dangerous microorganisms that could infest your house.
Besides being a natural disinfectant, it can also boost your white blood cell counts, help you sleep better overnight, raise your energy, and much more.
On a psychological level, bringing more sunlight into your room brings more enthusiasm and endorphins into your system. Humans are made to enjoy light, so try to have it as much of it as possible. If possible, broaden your windows. It will enhance your life significantly.
Make your bed every morning
Even though it may sound silly, this makes all the difference in the world. It is proven that establishing a habit of making your bed each morning will make you more productive during the day. Just think about it like this: you wake up in the morning, make your bed, and after turning around, you notice a pile of laundry in your bedroom. Now you will be motivated to move it to the hamper. Once you do that, you might see some laundry already inside, which will make you start your load.Advertising
That is how the chain of motivation starts — from smaller to gradually bigger tasks during your day. If you are in a rush, you might not have time to make your bed perfectly. Just tossing the covers up will make it look good, and this will still give you motivation for upcoming tasks.
Don’t be a hoarder
Many of us have a drawer or a closet filled with stuff that needs sorting. For some people, it’s memorabilia from their youth, for others, it’s old magazines, and there are some that will even save old yogurt containers. Always take out your trash on time, and throw out the things that you do not need as soon as possible. If they can be used again, donate them.
How can collecting old stuff can be bad for you? More things will attract more dust and harm your breathing, but it can also lead to depression. Also, it endangers your house because even a small spark can set everything ablaze — especially if you have a bunch of old papers. If you notice symptoms of hoarding with yourself or your loved ones, we advise you to get some medical help.
Take care of dust
House dust is one of the biggest causes of allergies today. To minimize the problems dust can produce, besides vacuuming, you should pay attention to places that you can’t reach with the vacuum cleaner.
For example, windows, under the lamp, behind the TV, under the desk, and so on. If you breathe in a lot of dust, your nose cannot filter it all, and some particles will end up in the lungs. After a while, these dust particles will stack up and have a negative impact on your health. You should clean your home every two or three days to keep it dust-free.
Doesn’t sound too complicated, right? There is no real reason for you not to start working on your ideal home today. Satisfaction and the fulfilling feeling of accomplishment will accompany you along every step of your home-improving journey. Some tasks are harder than others, but the fruits of your labor will be there for you to enjoy in the long term.
When you make your personal paradise a reality, your life changes
Picture this: you are home from work, you lay on your comfy couch and sink into the cozy atmosphere of your living room. There is not a thing that bothers you, and you are peaceful beyond words.
The best thing of all is that you made it happen.
You are the one who is responsible for these positive changes. Seeing how much joy you got just from fixing up your home might inspire you to make the same effort in other areas of your life that need some work.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. It’s a cliché, but it is legitimate. Stop wishing and start doing, because to truly live means to be in action.
Featured photo credit: Alvin Engler via hd.unsplash.com
Last Updated on January 21, 2020
Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)
Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.
This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.
The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard.
Table of Contents
The Keys to Learning Anything Easily
Learning comes easily to people who have developed:
Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.
People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.
Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.
When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.
Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.
A Feeling for Connectedness
This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.
A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).
The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.
How to Self-Taught Effectively
With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:
Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:
Learning the Basics
Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.
Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.
What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.
Hitting the Books
Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.
Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.
While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.
My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.
Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.
A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.
Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.
Check out this guide for useful techniques to help you practice efficiently: The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice
One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.
These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.
Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.
For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.
Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.
In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.
If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.
At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.
More About Self-Learning
- 6 Effective Learning Techniques that are Backed by Research
- 7 Steps to Make Self-Learning Effective for You
- 42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself
Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com