• Emily Campbell

A Conducive Space

How Your Home Can Encourage Good Habits

Drink a full glass of water. Move. Have something to look forward to. Create a welcoming environment, or an enlivening space — sunlight, dim light, aromas of mint, bergamot, grapefruit, ginger. Wake up at the same time every day.

If I still made New Years Resolutions, giving up the snooze button would top the list. Most of the year, my mornings start in darkness. May until early August things feel as they should. The sun encourages my brain’s circadian rhythm. Waking happens without much effort. I feel energetic throughout the day.

Keeping the lights low and warm toned help the body wake up gradually. It feels more pleasant. When you're renovating, install dimmable switches, and use warm lightbulbs. Look for a colour temperature of 2,300-2,700K

The rest of the year, the snooze button wins. Good feelings are replaced with lethargy, lack of focus and guilt. “Insufficient sleep is associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, including obesity, type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, injuries, depression and reduced overall well-being” Between 2007-2013 Statistics Canada found about half of all adults had troubled sleep. When we don’t have the sun or routines of physical labour to guide our bodies, a helpful space can nudge us towards quality restful sleep.

My morning begins slightly before the alarm goes off. The alarm illuminates gradually until it glows warmly. At its full glow, the radio turns on. I wake gently within a 30 minute interval. I drink water that I’ve left on my bedside table. Compacted shearling within my slippers keep my feet warm as I slide them in. With my house coat wrapped tightly around me, my feet scuff down the hallway.

I move through lowly lit spaces. (Look for bulbs that have a colour temperature of 2,300-2,700K) Cool or bright light is disruptive. Hospitable and long, a shower is one of my favourite indulgences. Wet warmth patters gently on my skin, heavy humid air hydrates my lungs, rich smooth soap lathers. Alternating between crisp and sophisticated neroli or invigorating eucalyptus, glass jars of essential oils, with closed eyes, turn my bathroom into a spa.