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Apartments, by nature, are small. It can be difficult to carve out spaces, for work, for play, for relaxation, and it can be even more difficult to carve out personal spaces that aren’t shared with roommates or family members. However, it is crucial to your mental and emotional health to create spaces in your home that will promote calm, comfort and contentment. Here are three things you can do to create your very own personal sanctuary.

Find Natural Light

Natural light can be difficult to come by in apartments, especially considering that most only have windows on one side and those windows may be facing a direction that only yields light for half the day. Even so, exposure to the sun’s rays can have a powerful effect on mood. Studies show that just 15 minutes of sunlight exposure daily can reduce feelings of depression by 18% and increase levels of mood-boosting endorphins by 50%. If you’re able to in your apartment, place a chair or a mat near a window so that you can enjoy your morning coffee, read a book or catch up on emails in the sunlight. And don’t skip it on cloudy days—the sunlight through the clouds is still strong enough to produce benefits.  

Fill It with Plants

Not only are they lovely to look at, but plants also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, making the air healthier for you to breathe. Many species of houseplants actively remove toxins from the air as well, yielding perks like improved concentration and better mood. If there’s an area in your apartment where you like to spend time or where you need to be productive—perhaps your chair by the window or the place where you’ve been working from home—place a plant or two there. Your mood and your space will be instantly brighter. 

Decorate with Bright Colors

Color has been shown to have a profound impact on mood: The duller the colors around you, the drearier you feel. Meanwhile, bright colors like yellow, pink and red can brighten your mood almost instantly. Toss a yellow quilt or throw over the back of your chair near the window or house your plant in a green or pink pot. Fill your space with colors that make you feel happy, awake and inspired, not those that make you feel sleepy or bored.

Do you have a personal sanctuary in your apartment? If so, snap a photo of your space and post it to your Instagram or Facebook story, but be sure to tag us for a chance to win a prize! The giveaway will end on Friday, 7/17/20.

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