How can our furniture help us create better habits? Here are some suggestions.
Now that our home has become the place where we carry out all our activities, furniture becomes a great ally to strengthen those habits that guarantee our physical and mental health.
Since the pandemic started, our homes have suddenly become the space where we do everything: sleep, relax, cook, work, have business meetings, study, play with the children – the list is endless.
We were forced to radically reorganize our routines and spaces, adapting our habits and needs to those of the people we live with, while still trying to maintain the same performance we used to have before the pandemic lockdowns.
Here’s the problem: when we start mixing environments, we often start mixing our habits too. Imagine this: if you use the kitchen table as a work station, it is likely that your brain will very soon associate that environment with work activities, making it more difficult to detach your attention from work when it’s time to enjoy your dinner.
Mixing different habits can also lead to more serious consequences, such as not being able to concentrate, feeling more anxious, more stressed, thus compromising our well-being and, in more extreme cases, our health.
The good news is that mitigating this problem may be easier than you think.
A place for each thing and each thing in its place
In the process of improving our habits, science shows that the environment surronding us matters a lot. According to behavioral experts, a space in which everything has its place and its function is an environment in which healthy habits are formed more easily.
So, if you want to improve your work performance, if you want to stop eating snacks during the day or if you want to enjoy some precious “me time”, one way to do this is to associate specific spaces with specific activities.
There are so many ingenious transformable furniture solutions that all you have to do is identify the activity to associate with each space, making quite small changes to your home. Here are some ideas:
One solution fits all
The simple gesture of moving a piece of furniture serves as a signal to our brain that marks the beginning or the end of an activity. For this reason, a height-adjustable table can serve as a wild card.
When you start working, for example, adjust the height of the table to a comfortable sitting position. At the end of the working day, bring it to a center table position and take away your work devices. With this small change your living room becomes more welcoming again, the perfect space to relax later in the day.
Another solution is to install a swivel table that slides over the top of the cabinet. To kick-start the children’s remote classes of the day, slide te table and open it up to delimit a desk where they can study with plenty of space. Once classes are over, all they have to do is to return the table to its original position, changing the environment and freeing the space for playful activities.
Keep what you need close at hand
One of the best ways to nurture a habit is to easily access everything that helps you put it into practice. The opposite is also true: creating obstacles and dispersion can be useful to mitigate a habit that you want to lose.
To avoid having several snacks throughout the day, here is a super simple (and brilliant) idea: store all the snacks in a single cabinet whose door also becomes a nice table. Every time you open the wardrobe, you will automatically have a table in front of you where to have a proper snack. Seating down and eating is a powerful strategy to consolidate the healthy habit of giving the right time and attention to what you eat.
A similar furnishing solution can also benefit your concentration during work or study hours. Keep all the necessary work related material and devices in one single place, close at hand, while using a folding desk to create a dedicated workstation. Close it up when you’re done and move your focus to the next activity of the day.
Out of sight, out of mind
Still talking about work: for our mental and physical health, it is essential to have habits that promote the balance between the time we dedicate to our job and to ourselves.
It’s easier to disconnect at the end of the day if your station is out of sight, for example. Retractable furniture is a must-have for anyone who wants a practical solution that does not require a lot of space or complications. A normal drawer compartment is enough to install an entire pull-out desk, which can be used as a place dedicated to study or work.
Or, even better: if you have an entire closet space available, you can create a complete workstation that opens and closes according to your work routine. In addition, the wardrobe door serves to further isolate you, contributing to the separation between rooms and, consequently, to concentrate more easily.
These are just a few ideas for designing a home that supports a healthier routine. All you have to do is to choose wisely how to apply transformable mechanisms to your spaces. After all, why be a victim of your environment when you can be the architect of it?