When you are in the hospital, the only place you want to be is home. After surgery, however, your home must be ready to support your recovery. That’s why you and your family need to take steps to prepare your home prior to your procedure so you can be as comfortable and stress-free as possible there to help you heal physically and emotionally.
- Make Your Home as Functional as Possible
While your home may be decorated tastefully, you need to put away nonessential recovery items to make room for the essential items that will be difficult for you to reach during your post-op period. For example, remove candles, trinkets, photographs, and other items from your bedside table and replace them with books, a television remote, your medication, bottles of water, and your phone so you can reach these items easily while you recover.
Likewise, leave your toothbrush, toothpaste, and other essential grooming and hygiene items on your vanity and put away your candles, potpourri, and other knickknacks that decorate your bathroom. Once you start feeling better and are more mobile, you can put your decorative items back in their places and make your home more decorative and less functional.
- Focus on Creating a Stress-Free Environment
Stress impacts your emotional and physical health, so it is essential to create a stress-free home environment for your recovery from surgery. There are several ways to reduce stress in your home, including decluttering, creating a quiet space for meditation and reading, and adding comfortable furnishings and pillows to your living areas.
If you enjoy certain scents, fill the space in which you will spend the majority of your recovery time with them. You may choose an essential oil diffuser, candle, or potpourri with your favorite smells. If you don’t have a favorite scent, consider using those that have proven relaxation benefits via aromatherapy. For example, lavender, chamomile, vanilla, lilac, and rose are among the best scents for promoting relaxation.
If sounds are more relaxing for you than scents, you are not alone. Music soothes people and helps us minimize stress. Research also shows that music therapy helps people recover from surgery, both physically and emotionally. One of the best genres of music for relaxation is classical; it positively impacts physiological functions such as slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing stress hormone levels. But, music preference varies, so you should experiment to determine which music is most effective for you.
- Bring in Elements of Nature
Another way to prepare your home to support your post-op recovery is to bring in elements of nature. Studies show that nature helps minimize stress and that indoor plants in healthcare environments help patients reduce stress.
While you may not be able to take a walk in a nature area or park during your recovery, you can place live, potted plants around your home to promote healing. If you aren’t sure which plants to put in your home, consider those that have other benefits, such as houseplants that increase oxygen levels and purify your air. For example, aloe plants help rid the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products, and English ivy is a top air-filtering houseplant.
If you are worried about caring for houseplants during your recovery, your stress level will not benefit from having them in your home. Fortunately, the research also shows that looking at pictures of nature can be just as helpful in reducing stress levels as being near live plants. Consider hanging a few paintings of landscapes or seascapes in your home prior to your surgery, or spend some of your recovery time looking for images of nature online.
You will have a more successful recovery from surgery if you take steps to make your home a peaceful, calm, stress-free environment before your procedure. Make your home more functional, fill it with relaxing scents and sounds, and bring in elements of nature to support your physical and emotional recovery.
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