January can be a particularly stressful time of year and I often find that I get a little over-whelmed. I think it’s a combination of being back at work after a long Christmas break, dull weather and shorter days, and it makes me feel like I’m running out of time to get everything done. Inevitably I end up stressed out and I often end up run-down or a little ill with a sniffly cold. It even happened to me this week – I ended up with an ear infection which made me dizzy – I think it’s my body’s way of making me rest when I’m over-worked or stressed because it knows that I won’t sit still for any other reason! Anyway, in order to combat the January blues I’ve been looking into stress-relieving options and I’ve come up with a solution; water.
There is something about water that mystifies people and it intrigues the mind and soothes the soul. Gently flowing water generates a calming effect, creating a captivating ambiance through sight and sound. I recently downloaded an app on my phone which plays the sounds of running water, and you can choose different effects including rain, waves or a stream. I love listening to this when I feel a little stress and it instantly calms me down. I get the same feeling when it is actually raining or snowing, so I wish that we would get some interesting weather here – all we’ve had is cold, grey days. Rather than wait for a rainy day, I’ve been looking at how water features can recreate this the phenomenon by mimicking the relaxing sights and sounds equated with the serenity of a babbling brook.
Indoor water features bring nature’s magic inside the home and today there are many styles and themes from which to choose. Do you remember Joey’s rain frame water feature on Friends? It makes be laugh every time I watch it, but I’m sure something like that would work perfectly well to keep me calm. In terms of modern water features there are so many choices that retailer’s shelves are practically spilling over (excuse the pun). Here are some great ones that I’ve discovered recently.
Wall art: Imagine a work of art on a wall that moves. Wall art water features are extremely popular these days because you don’t need a big garden to install them – if you have an empty wall, you can hang a water feature. Most are made of wood and metal so are reasonably priced, and this type of water feature is self-contained with a pump and cable. Water continuously pours from a jug or urn to fill a bowl that never spills out. These water features look spectacular on any wall, adding a touch of old world charm to any house and the sound of trickling will help you to relax.
Bring the outdoors in: Add a touch of nature’s magic to any room with a water feature that looks as if rain water has trickled to pool in the hollow of an old, gnarled stump. Just like their outdoor counterparts, these water features are self-contained and come with LED lights. The water pools but never spills, circulating in a continuous cycle, inducing a feeling of calm. When my husband and I work from home we can’t work in absolute silence, but even having a radio on proves to be too much of a distraction. I think that the sounds of a water feature would probably do the job to block out background noise without disturbing my work.
Table top water features: Spheres, vases, jars and jugs in polished metal or ceramic are beautiful accessories for the home, and can be used as water features too. Table top water features are small so they can fit just about anywhere, such as on the mantelpiece, shelves, or as a table centrepiece. Indoor water features like these add a serene comfort to any room, bringing the soft, soothing sights and sounds of water into the home. Also, the feature doesn’t need to be running continuously, just turn it on when you want to chill out or have it running in the evening with the lights twinkling. I would love to see what kind of effect these features would have on me – I’m certain that I would end up much more chilled out and relaxed as a result.
I found these water feature ideas (and more!) on the OutdoorLivingUK website, which is the UK’s largest supplier of water features, patio furniture and other accessories. The selection is great and the prices are competitive so I found it easy to find a small water feature for my home. I hope that these ideas have inspired you to use the sound of water to keep you de-stressed and relaxed throughout the rest of the year.