15 Ways to Make Home Feel Cozy When Everything Feels Uncertain

Bathtub with candles and roses

cake_away_cancer / Instagram

As many people around the globe prepare to hunker down and practice social distancing, it's important to remember that your home can be a source of calm and tranquility. Small changes you can make throughout your house can turn it into a sanctuary to help you feel calm during anxious times.

From candles to natural light, here are some ideas to prep your home for an extended stay—and help you decompress while things are stressful outside.

  • 01 of 15

    Invest in Candles

    Tray with candles and matches

    orianabarron_estates / Instagram

    There's just something about the warm glow of a candle to take away all of your stress and worries. This lovely little scene from orianabarron_estates is the perfect inspiration to order a few candles from your favorite small business and add a dose of atmosphere to every room in your house. Look for scents that encourage calm, like lavender and rosemary.

  • 02 of 15

    Make Your Bed Every Day

    Bed made with green wall

    theorganizingblonde / Instagram

    While it may seem like a small act, making your bed every day has many benefits and will help you feel productive right when you wake up. Focus on keeping your bedding clean (we recommend washing once a week) and set a priority to make the bed, like in this space from theorganizingblonde.

  • 03 of 15

    Tackle a DIY Project

    painted side table

    happyretrofurniture / Instagram

    Now is the time to finally tackle that DIY project you've put off. Painting a table a bright, fun color or design like this one from happyretrofurniture is a great way to occupy yourself and bring a burst of color into your space.

    A happy color such as coral or yellow can help lift your mood and brighten up any space.

  • 04 of 15

    Learn to Knit

    Table with knitting on it

    aliiloue / Instagram

    Knitting has been proven to help relieve anxiety and manage depression, and if you're looking for an easy new skill to learn, consider learning to knit. Even a beginner can learn to make a beautiful piece like this from aliiloue.

    From placemats to throw blankets, once you become a pro, knitting can be a great way to add a bit of cozy-feeling texture to your home (while taking your mind off of current events).

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Declutter Your Home

    plants on a side table

    thekiwihome / Instagram

    A clean, clutter-free space is the best way to promote productivity and reduce stress while you spend more time at home. Consider removing extra items and adding a few plants, as seen in this vignette from thekiwihome.

    Focus on one room at a time and use the extra hours to Marie Kondo your life—and get rid of all of that stuff you never use anyway.

  • 06 of 15

    Take a Bath

    Bathtub with candles and roses

    cake_away_cancer / Instagram

    A bath can elevate your mood, improve blood circulation and help you destress after a long day. Let this calming scene from cake_away_cancer inspire you to spend some time alone and take a bath. Invest in aromatic bath salts or rose petals to turn your bathroom into a personal spa.

  • 07 of 15

    Invest in New Bedding

    Bed with linen bedding

    diana.mwabala / Instagram

    A good night's sleep is key to maintaining a strong immune system and reducing stress. Now is the time to splurge on those linen sheets you've been coveting and make your bedroom feel like a hotel. Whether you opt for soft neutrals like in this bed from diana.mwabala or bright patterns to lift your spirits, high-end sheets and pillowcases can improve your sleep and give your bedroom an easy makeover.

  • 08 of 15

    Clean Your Windows

    Window seat with white furniture

    jessicamendesdesign / Instagram

    When is the last time you cleaned your windows? Natural light is a proven antidepressant, so now is the time to ensure you're getting as much of it as you can. Even if you don't have a lovely window seat like this one from jessicamendesdesign, cleaning your windows in every room in your house (but especially your living and bedrooms) is an easy task that can make your home feel a little brighter.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Change Out Your Lighting

    Hanging lightbulb

    enkontrast / Instagram

    It's important to pick the right lighting for every room in your house. One easy way to add a little comfort to your space is to switch out light bulbs for softer, warmer options. Even swapping standard bulbs for Edison bulbs (like this one from enkontrast) can make your bedroom a calmer place.

    Plus, warmer lighting won't keep you awake the way harsher bright light can.

  • 10 of 15

    Play Soft Music

    Record player with a hanging plant

    livmont / Instagram

    Consider keeping soft background music on throughout your home to give your space a serene ambiance. Whether you go old school with a classic turntable like livmont or you set your smart speakers to play classical music, some quiet tunes can help you relieve stress and concentrate if you're working from home.

  • 11 of 15

    Set the Table

    Table with plates and napkins

    wohntraumzuhause / Instagram

    It can be pretty easy to get into a routine of taking your dinner to the couch and Netflixing over every meal. Help create a little more structure to your days by keeping your table prepped for dinner and instituting a set meal time every evening. A minimalist setting like this one from wohntraumzuhause can encourage you to utilize that dining table even when you're practicing social distancing.

  • 12 of 15

    Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spa

    Vanity with plants

    rubyandpeachphoto / Instagram

    While you may not be able to renovate your bathroom right now, a few simple things can make your space feel like a home. Bring in something live, like the eucalyptus seen in this bathroom from rubyandpeachphoto. If you usually stack towels in a linen closet, consider pulling out a few of your very best ones and setting them out on a vanity to give your bathroom a hotel-like feel.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Rearrange Your Bookshelf

    Green bookshelf

    blacklacquerdesign / Instagram

    Not only are books a great distraction during times of uncertainty, but they also make for lovely decor. Spend some time giving your bookshelves a makeover with these DIY ideas. You can go the minimalist route (as seen with this bookcase from blacklacquerdesign) and only show off your favorite books, or create a new system to categorize your favorite reads.

  • 14 of 15

    Tidy Up Your Office

    Desk with pink chair

    teresalaucar / Instagram

    If you're working from home more than normal right now, it's important to keep your workspace tidy to promote productivity and reduce stress. This lovely home office from teresalaucar is not only color-coordinated—it's clutter-free and clean. Consider purchasing a few mood-lifting desk objects, like a plant or a candle, to make your space a little more inviting.

  • 15 of 15

    Rearrange a Room

    Kitchen and dining room

    jamielee_designs / Instagram

    Getting tired of your home after spending days inside? Consider moving furniture around to give your home an easy makeover. If you have an open concept living space like this one from jamielee_designs, try switching the direction of your couch or table to give your room a subtle (but effective) update. Look for easy ways to readjust to keep things feeling fresh and new.

Your home is your sanctuary, but spending days inside can be taxing even if you love your space. By focusing on a few small adjustments, you can create an oasis that you love, and one that welcomes tranquility in times of uncertainty.