How Interior Designers Can Practice Self-Care


It is easy to lose "me-time" when you're an interior designer. After all, you most likely have a hectic day-to-day life; meeting with clients and contractors, sourcing materials from suppliers, creating and sending proposals, and sketching and rendering designs. Not to mention, the current health crisis hasn't offered much in the way of respite for the industry's busybodies, who continue to serve clients remotely.

Renowned interior designer Stanley Sun also anticipates his peers to shoulder an additional responsibility: learning about quarantine culture and how to design spaces with it in mind (i.e., combining physical and virtual environments, designing personal bubble spaces, and incorporating good-for-health elements).

Needless to say, interior designers have a lot on their plate — which can lead to one overlooking the necessary self-care practices. In the long-term, this can result in chronic stress, increased susceptibility to illness, decreased productivity, and even diminished creativity. Fortunately, taking care of oneself is easy, and it won't require a massive time investment. These tips are a good place to start:

Get enough sleep

How Interior Designers Can Practice Self-Care

Creativity is the backbone of interior designing, and research has shown that a good amount of sleep promotes more of it. The Atlantic notes in an article on the link between sleep and creativity how adequate shut-eye allows the two main phases of sleep — REM and non-REM — to work together seamlessly so your brain can better recognize links and patterns, thereby enhancing your creativity and ability to think out of the box. Both, of course, are a godsend for any interior designer, so make sure you get those eight hours as often as possible.

Reduce Financial and Job Environment Stress

One very important aspect of self-care is managing stress, and one major stressor today is the health crisis, which has caused financial strain and changed the working habits of many designers. Over 70% of interior designers, in fact, have had clients either postpone projects or cancel them altogether, which means a significant reduction in income. And with many designers now stuck at home, the last place they want to be, it is easy to feel burnt out and stressed. This is why you’ll need some form of stress release. A Marcus write-up on coping when working from home notes how coping mechanisms can help not only in managing your stress, but also in restoring order in your life. This can range from a dedicated space to work, essential for designing interiors just as you would in a studio, to scheduling fun activities with friends and family. In today’s tough times, finding ways to handle these stressors is vital to self-care.

Rearrange Your Home

How Interior Designers Can Practice Self-Care

Designing for clients can be stressful, but doing it for yourself might be the self-care you need. Interior designer Kerrie Kelly and environmental psychologist Stephani Robson explain why, noting how rearranging your home is an evolutionary thing. In other words, it's normal to find solace and comfort in a particular spot in the house that feels safest and most comfortable. The idea behind this is actually similar to a point Rachael Baihn made as to why wellness spaces should be included in any interior design: the design of a place can affect your mood. That said, find your spot at home and start personalizing it bit by bit such that it becomes your safe haven.

Enjoy Those Meals

Working breaks might make you feel more productive, but it's actually counter-intuitive both to productivity and your health. That's because multitasking, like sketching designs while eating, can be distracting, leaving you unable to give your very best. Not to mention, it can cause you to forego meals in favor of snacks, which means you're likely not getting the nutrients your body needs to function optimally. With that in mind, make it a point to eat regular healthy meals and enjoy every one of them. Then, you can go back to work full, refreshed, and ready to give it your best.

If you are an interior designer we hope the above tips have helped you. It is important to practice self-care for your mental health and to deal with the difficulties we are going through today.

Article written by Kelsey Green exclusively for Modlar.

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