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Right now, people around the world are spending unprecedented amounts of time at home—which means that a lot of us are starting to think about paint DIYs we want to attempt or those massive reorganization projects we’ve been putting off. But above all, we’re looking for ideas that can help us stay comfortable and relaxed during a stressful time. And there are plenty of ways your surroundings can help you to do just that.

We turned to a couple of creatives to learn what tweaks and updates they’re attempting in their spaces to make this period of isolation a little more tolerable—and dare we say cozy. Here, they share the strategies that are helping them keep their mood lifted and their spirit strong. 

Get Crafty

Photography by Tyna M. Rhoads

I converted my living room into an art studio. I’ve been making art as a meditative practice—this piece is an original work I created, inspired by an anxiety-relief trick I picked up at Kripalu, where I studied Ayurveda. Jen Batchelor, founder of Kin Euphorics

Strategize Your Kitchen

As soon as I realized we were going to be stuck inside and doing a lot more cooking, I allocated some time to deep clean and reorganize my refrigerator and pantry. Keeping track of what ingredients I have on hand helps me to be more efficient and creative with my meals. —Trinity Mouzon Wofford, founder of Golde

Create Zones for Your Routines

I’ve wanted to create a self-care corner in this underused area of my bedroom for a while. Now I can look forward to the daily rituals of relaxing and getting myself ready in the mornings and preparing for bed at night with all my things in one place. With the new practice of social distancing, work life, personal life, and family life are suddenly crammed into one—so creating dedicated spots for specific routines can really help us (both mentally and physically) relieve stress and reconnect with ourselves. —Justina Blakeney, founder of The Jungalow

Tackle That To-Do List

We’ve been tackling projects around the house to keep our hands busy and our eyes off the news. It’s a lot of small things that we’ve been putting off for years: rehanging and hemming curtains, swapping switches for dimmers, caulk and paint touch-ups, tightening doorknobs. It makes us feel more productive during the nights and weekends, when we experience the effects of social distancing the most. Erin Kestenbaum, photographer

Let the Outside In

I’ve been buying flowers when I can, and I plan to take home a few plants from my yoga studios, which are currently closed. I’m trying to bring more nature inside during this time. —Krissy Jones, cofounder of Sky Ting Yoga

Have Game Night Every Night

We’ve been inundated with screen time lately, so we put out a puzzle on our dining table. It’s a constant visual reminder to look away from our screens and mindlessly play for a few minutes each day, which is a welcome, calming break. —Alisha Ramos, founder of Girls Night In

Make a Calming Spot

Having a little nook full of things I love—plants, candles, furniture made from earthy materials, and my dog—sends a signal to my brain that it’s okay to relax. Keeping it near the window so I can get natural light is also key. Whenever I sit in this spot, I feel happy—sometimes it even brings a smile to my face. —Lee Tilghman, founder of Lee From America 

Rearrange and Redecorate

Courtesy of Marie Jedig

I’ve redecorated a lot of unfinished corners of my apartment—spending this much time at home really puts your decor choices into perspective and is a good moment to rethink your aesthetics. I just ordered yellow paint for my closet as a new indoor project. Marie Jedig, blogger

Embrace Bold Hues

My art studio is in the same building as our apartment here in Chicago, so I’ve found myself spending extra hours there. Since it is finally spring, I’m gravitating toward adding pops of color into my work and home. It’s bringing a little life and cheer, given our current quarantined state. I recently created a new piece called Giverny, 1908, with the theme and mind-set of a spring awakening. Josh Young, founder of Josh Young Design House

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