Life in an urban environment can create stress levels that you may be entirely unaware of. Dealing with daily commute, work, traffic, arguing neighbours and loud music are all factors that can lead to mental stress and strain that can and does affect one’s health and well-being.
Living in a flat or condo often exacerbates the stress occurring to you on a daily basis, as you may feel that your only refuge is tantamount to coming home to a cage. You simply don’t have time during the week to visit wide open spaces, the beach or a park.
You are simply too busy to deal with your mounting stress effectively. But, before you start tearing your hair out, why don’t you consider bringing the outdoor oasis into your apartment as a way to deal with the stress of urban life.
The benefits of plants, water and fresh air on human stress levels have been well-documented over the years. They have proven to be effective in helping people deal with their mental reliefs.
All of these factors can be incorporated into how you can create an oasis in your home, making your apartment a much more pleasant place to come home to.
Let’s assume that you’re not a plant person and you’re starting from scratch in creating your oasis. In order to provide you with plants that have the best chance of survival until you get used to regularly caring for them, I’d suggest sticking mainly with plants in the dracaena genus of houseplants.
As you get used to the care and maintenance of your indoor Garden of Eden, you can experiment with other varieties. However, starting with dracaenas will give you the best chance of achieving immediate success.
This variety of plants, which has upwards of 40 species to choose from, is extremely forgiving to beginners. They don’t require much water or light. And, they can be left pot-bound for a long time without much consequence.
Pot-bound or root-bound plants are plants which have outgrown the pot they are planted in. Dracaenas can live for a long while in a pot-bound state. This isn’t to say that you can simply neglect the care and maintenance of your plants. But, we want to start relieving your stress, not immediately adding to it.
As long you examine plants in the nursery and only purchase plants whose roots occupy no more than 50% of the volume of the pot, leaving plenty of visible soil, you should be okay for a while.
We’re confident that once you make tending to your plants part of your weekly schedule, you’ll find a noticeable decrease in your stress levels. And, we’re just getting started.
Indoor Water Features
Indoor fountains and water features have become big business in the past 20 years. The engineering refinement and miniaturization of re-circulation pumps and the demand by stressed-out city dwellers has combined to create a perfect storm in the water features industry.
There is a wide variety of free-standing, self-contained fountains and water features to choose from in creating your oasis.
Simply read the instructions and do as directed to operate them. They are basically hands-free. The only things you need to concern yourself with is maintaining the water’s chemical balance in order to prevent algae from forming.
This is generally accomplished by adding a little chlorine bleach to the water every few days. Remember, sunlight breaks down chlorine. So, if your fountain is in direct sunlight, you’ll have to keep a closer eye on the water in order to prevent algae growth.
And, remember to top up the water level to prevent the submersible pump from overheating. Submersible pumps are designed to operate under a load. Letting the water level drop too far will ease the load on the pump and cause it to spin too fast, making it burn itself out.
In that regard, also try to choose a fountain that offers easy access to the pump in case it develops any problems. It probably won’t. Most of them run forever. But, you might as well make certain that you can access it if it does. Remember, we’re trying to lower your stress levels.
White, pink, brown and grey noise – these are all noise classifications that signify the audio spectrum that the noises are created in. You might not be able to tell much difference between them, and that’s perfectly okay.
But, if the noise of your fountain’s running water is not enough to drown out the noise coming from the outside world, you might want to consider a noise generator.
YouTube has plenty of videos that offer the entire audio spectrum of noise generation. You can listen to them and simply choose the one that you like the most. Most of them offer a link to an MP3 version which you can download.
Noise generation is designed to provide a ‘mask’, a background noise that is benign enough to be barely noticeable, while masking other outside noises and providing you with a further barrier from the intrusions of the city on your personal space.
The last factor in the equation leading to the creation of the perfect indoor oasis is fresh air. There is nothing worse than having gone through all the trouble to create an oasis that you can finally relax in, only to have the odor of your neighbour’s fried fish begin to permeate your living space.
There a number of air-purifiers, ionizers and ozone generators on the market, as well as aromatherapy products.
It is best to do your research carefully before choosing an electric air purification system, in order to be able to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each type of system.
And, be sure to calculate closely the amount of volume in your particular apartment, and choose a purification system designed for that volume. Don’t be tempted to choose a larger volume air purifier than you need for your volume of space, as this can lead to health risks.
If, on the other hand, you simply want to take the simpler, ‘analog’ route, there is a wealth of aromatherapy products available that will quickly make short work of that fishy smell coming from your neighbour’s apartment. And, let you get down to the not-so-serious business of enjoying life in your own personal indoor oasis.