When the idea came up to dedicate a blog to “self-care” I had to frown and ponder for a while in my easy chair. After all, in my mind I gave that word a very different connotation. I associated it with medical perils such as keeping yourself healthy, keeping your body and mind in balance, meeting your own needs and requirements. But I never thought for a moment that lazy couches, beautiful dining tables, beautiful lamps or any piece of furniture in our interior could have a link with self-care. However, then I realized, with my language studies as a background, that a language is something organic. After all, we no longer speak as Vondel wrote and how about words that were first written with the letter K, then with C, to be written with K again today? Language is not static. Good thing, too. We use it daily and that's why it's alive. And what lives that evolves. If this is the case with language, then this also applies to the individual words. One day it has one meaning and slowly another grows out, with the same value but with a broader meaning. And so I understood the idea of self-care better in our domestic life.
And so I came to understand that self-care does have to do with our home furnishings. How many women are there who prefer a home birth than the sterile appearance of the hospital. At home in a familiar environment between your own things, such as a cozy table lamp, an easy chair and of course with the loved ones nearby. The crib ready, pram in the hallway and a nice bedroom for posterity to come. We are now also convinced that we need good beds for our necessary night's sleep, and the easy chair may also have ergonomic properties. So we choose the furniture not only because it is beautiful and attractive, but also because it has to sit or lie well. Better-caliber seating areas support us in the back and chassis and also give the feeling of luxury and comfort. Today sofas are turning into completely cocooned places to relax with adjustable head and footboards. And the armchairs now have fold-out footstools and the backrest is electrically adjustable. There are even armchairs that help with getting up if we are less agile.
But not only practical furniture has to do with our subject. It is also about what we call our well-being: our mental well-being, our comfort, our state of happiness. For many, stress is a daily factor that we have to take into account. Everything has to be fast, fast and fast, fast and we have to produce at a fast pace and be efficient too. That puts a lot of pressure on our physical and mental well-being. So stress. After a tiring working day, nagging with colleagues, work pressure due to approaching deadlines, we often only want one thing: to go home, to our home. Home is our safe haven, where we can breathe, put things into perspective and relax. Feet on the couch, a candle, music or a TV series or whatever you do to get back to the level of peace that makes you feel good.
And so self-care and interior flow together. Years and days ago I left my student days behind me. In those years you threw yourself on your bed to forget the world for a while and go back to yourself. A student room often had only one piece of furniture to relax in and that was your bed. But those are different times for most of us. We now live in houses, apartments with different rooms with their own functions. A house is for living and there will be little contradiction about that. But a house is not just a roof over your head, it is also something to live in pleasantly, to feel good, to have its place. So the layout has everything to do with that. The lighting to keep it bright and sunny or dim to cocoon and slumber. The colors can also influence your mood, including the busy wallpaper or upholstery. And don't forget the furniture. A pew can be a beautiful piece of furniture and artfully put together by a carpenter or furniture maker and has its function in the church for the salvation of souls. At home it is a beautiful and interesting object, but not the most pleasant seat to meet your need to get rid of that extremely busy working day by relaxing. The atmosphere at home also partly determines the feeling of well-being. I already mentioned colors and lighting and upholstery. But the small trinkets also have an influence: a nice picture frame of the partner or of the family, a figurine brought from Greece that brings back fond memories or a pair of antique crystal glasses discovered during a romantic trip to Paris and found in a container with "things" at the flea market. Little things that positively influence the mood.
A house therefore does not only reflect the character of a person. But because of the way we have decorated it, in any way because we are all different, the house can "take care" of us by giving us rest. Open the front door, cross the threshold, close the door again and one is in another world, one's own world. Returning to oneself again both in the head and in the body that makes our house our home. Self-care, or taking care of yourself, therefore has to do with what you do to get back into balance. Self-care is not about self-righteousness or selfishness. A person can feel another person better if he or herself is also doing well. Our house and home is a very good help with that. After all, we say to others with whom we mean well "take care of yourself". And that's exactly what we should maybe do a little more often.
Do you know:
Feng Shui, according to Wikipedia, is more than 3000 years old philosophy that teaches how the environment can influence happiness. Feng shui is considered pseudoscience . Feng shui literally means 'wind and water', after the funeral book Song Shu that says: “Qi floats on the wind (feng) and disperses, but stays where the water (shui) encounter". Feng shui teaches what influences design and furnishing have on people's well-being and happiness, and also how negative influences can be changed into positive ones. Feng shui is about the relationship between people and the living or working environment and is aimed at harmony between natural and created forms.Everything man makes is essentially not natural, but can be brought into harmony with nature.The aim of Feng shui is to adapt our living or working environment in such a way that a harmonious flow of qi is stimulated. Chinese philosophy is all about harmony and balance between the opposing but complementary forces of yin and yang.