Aleteia

How to fall in love with the place you live

cozy home
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Are your surroundings getting you down? Here’s how to find more contentment.

Is your current living arrangement making you crazy? Maybe it is the city you live in, or the people you live with. Maybe you’re just tired of looking at the same walls and floors and you don’t have the energy or money to change it right now. After being stuck inside for months, home might make you feel a little more claustrophobic than normal.  So, what’s a person to do? 

There’s virtue in finding contentment where you are, instead of wishing things were different. In that vein, here are some ways to find the bright spots of your current home.

1
Explore your city

Google where you live as if you had never been there before. Sometimes it takes an outside view to see the beauty or uniqueness in a place that has grown too familiar. What does TripAdvisor say about fun things to do? Where does WikiTravel say you should visit? If you google “best free things to do in <name of your city>” you might come up with some good ideas. Try driving a different route to work or go to a different grocery store from your normal one. Those little changes in scenery are helpful to get a fresh perspective.  

2
Change your schedule

If you’re sharing space with hard-to-live-with roommates, and no one’s moving anytime soon, try changing up your schedule. Maybe you’re crossing paths with someone at a time when you’re both at your worst. What if you showered half an hour earlier or half an hour later? What if you tried eating at a different time? Tiny changes like these could help your day improve considerably, because now there’s a different traffic pattern in your house.  

3
Clean your room

If at least one room in your home is enjoyable to be in, you have a place to retreat. Perhaps your entire apartment or house could use a deep clean and major junk removal session. But that’s a more daunting task, and thus much easier to put off. Instead, let’s try step one: Make your bedroom as peaceful and beautiful as possible.

If it just needs a deep clean, make the time. Don’t have piles of junk there that make you crazy. At the very least, push them out of sight as a first step. Then, move from de-junking to sprucing up. Make sure you have something beautiful that you love on display. Maybe that’s a special blanket, a picture, a statue you love. Whatever it is, put it front and center. Then, check the lighting. Do you avoid your room because it is too bright or too dark? Fix that — pick up light bulbs that are a different kind or at least wattage. If you need more light, co-opt a lamp from another room and set it up in your room. For the final touch, make your bed!

4
Get outside

Do you have any kind of yard? What about a deck or tiny apartment balcony? Plant something, even just in a small pot. Do a little yard work. It could be as simple as collecting sticks that have fallen since the last rain or doing some raking. Beat the dirt off the doormat. Clean the mailbox. Clean the front door. Try any little touches that can make the outside of your house a little more appealing. 

You don’t need an extreme home makeover to freshen up your surroundings or your outlook about where you live. Try a few baby steps today! I’d imagine that the Holy Family had to learn to make Egypt feel like home, as well as a cave in Bethlehem as they prepared for the birth of a child. They would be great intercessors in this endeavor. Holy Family, pray for us! 

 

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