Signature Styling Thought Leader: Debra Schwartz
What motivates us?
American psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed a Hierarchy of Needs that human needs to determine what motivates us. This hierarchy ranges from more concrete needs such as food and water to abstract concepts such as self-fulfillment.
“As women, we tend to be more sensitive to aesthetics and the ambiance of a place.”
According to Maslow, when a lower need is met, the next need on the hierarchy becomes our focus of attention. Maslow tells us that the highest level of fulfillment is self-actualization, which is when we reach our full potential and feel satisfied with our lives. It’s science. It’s psychology.
Self-Actualization With Style:
Aesthetic needs are a crucial part of self-actualization, as they represent our desire for beauty, harmony, and balance. It can involve surrounding ourselves with things that we find beautiful, such as art, plants, or other visually pleasing objects. It’s also about creating living spaces that are well-designed, clean, and organized.
When we talk about surrounding ourselves with beauty, it means creating an environment that’s visually pleasing, calming, and balanced. As women, we tend to be more sensitive to aesthetics and the ambiance of a place. We want to be in environments that inspire us, motivate us, and make us feel good about what we’re doing, whether it involves work-life or home-life.
5 Ways To UpLevel Our Home:
Our homes are our sanctuaries, and it’s important to create an environment that’s both comfortable and visually appealing.
1. High-Quality Linens & Bedding:
One way to do this is by investing in high-quality linens and bedding. Not only will they make your bedroom look more luxurious, but they’ll also make it more comfortable and inviting. Soft and cozy bedding can make all the difference in how you sleep (which is now proven to be a critical key to mental and physical health) and feel when you wake up in the morning.
2 .Indoor Plants:
Another way to add beauty to your home is by incorporating indoor plants. Plants not only add a touch of nature to your home, but they can also purify the air and create a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are many low-maintenance plants that are easy to care for, such as succulents, snake plants, and spider plants. A plant makes a perfect focal point for your mediation, too.
3. Artwork & Photos:
Displaying artwork or photos that you love is another great way to add personality and color to your home. Whether it’s a piece of abstract art or a family photo, displaying items that are meaningful to you can create a sense of warmth and coziness in your home. You can also experiment with different styles and colors to create a unique and personalized look. Maybe display of photo of a younger you to remind yourself of who you were, and STILL ARE.
“Sitting for long periods of time can be tough on your body, so it’s important to choose a chair that supports your posture..”
4. Choosing Scents:
Scented candles, essential oils, or room sprays are another way to add beauty and ambiance to your home. By choosing scents that you love, you can create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere that will help you unwind after a long day. For example clary sage promotes relaxation, rosemary increases focus and ylang ylang decreases stress.
5. Choosing Furniture:
When it comes to furniture, it’s important to choose pieces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Whether it’s a cozy armchair or a statement coffee table, investing in furniture that you love will help create a cohesive and stylish look in your home. These are things you live with [and look at] every day, so choose furniture that make you smile when you enter the room.
5 Ways To UpLevel Our Office Space:
Whether you work from home or in an office, adding beauty to your workspace can help you stay motivated and focused throughout the day.
1. Personalize Your Office Space:
Personalizing your workspace with photos, plants, or artwork can make it feel more comfortable and welcoming, which can make a big difference in how you feel when you’re working.
2. Don’t Skimp On The Chair:
Investing in a comfortable and supportive office chair is also essential for staying focused and productive. Sitting for long periods of time can be tough on your body, so it’s important to choose a chair that supports your posture and is adjustable to your needs. A lumbar pillow is an add-on that helps promote better back health and posture.
3. Be Picky About Your Accessories:
Using desk accessories like pretty file folders, notebooks, and pens can also make your workspace feel more organized and visually appealing. By choosing accessories in colors and patterns that you love, you can create a space that’s both functional and stylish. I use folders in fabulous fashion-y prints, ones I’d love to wear!
4. Let There Be Light:
Choosing a desk lamp that provides warm and soft light is another way to create a calming and inviting atmosphere in your office space. Harsh fluorescent lighting can be draining, so investing in a desk lamp that provides soft and warm light can make all the difference in how you feel when you’re working. Alter the task and overhead lighting depending on your natural light, so you maximize daylight first.
“Adding beauty to our lives is an important part of self-care and can help us feel more fulfilled and happier.”
Displaying some motivational quotes or affirmations can also help you stay positive and inspired throughout the day. Whether it’s a printout of your favorite quote or a sticky note with a positive affirmation, having these reminders in your workspace can help keep you motivated and on track.
I have an “accomplishments collector” jar on my desk…how’s that? Well, each time I accomplish something that was a bit of a “reach”, or moved my needle forward, I write it down on a brightly colored post it, along with the date, fold it, and place it in the jar. After several months, I empty it and reread the notes. It’s motivating, satisfying, and helps me move my self-actualization needle to have visual reminders like this. Looks great, too!
Color Choices Matter:
And don’t forget about the power of COLOR! Color choices impact our mood, our motivation. They evoke both positive and negative emotions, and are the easiest thing to change up in our homes and offices. Even the LACK of color has power over us in our environment.
Warm colors like red, yellow and orange evoke higher arousal emotions, such as love, passion, happiness, and anger. Cool colors, like blue, green and purple are linked to calmness, sadness and indifference. Picking the right colors for yourself is yet another way to further self-actualization. Try a potted orchid to add a pop of color on your desk or coffee table. Change the lightbulbs to a warmer temperature to impart a cozier light in your bedroom.
Beauty Is A Part Of Self-Care:
Adding beauty to our lives is an important part of self-care and can help us feel more fulfilled and happier. By incorporating beauty into our homes and office spaces, we can create a sense of calm and order in our daily lives and achieve that level of self-actualization.
So, if you’re looking to achieve self-actualization and fulfillment in your life, consider taking the time to create living and working spaces that are aesthetically pleasing and reflect your personal style. Surround yourself with things that make you happy and inspire you. It may seem like a small thing, but it can have a big impact on your mood and overall well-being. This becomes more important as we age, especially as we consider experiences over things to be of greater value.
About the Author:
Debra Schwartz, as stylist and wardrobe therapist, is on a mission to empower women with confidence and joy through what they wear. Her goal is to have you show up with your authentic signature style for your chapters two, three, (or four!). Debra is a stylist and designer with more than three decades in fashion, cosmetics, design and branding.
*CONTACT me for the myriad of reasons why a closet curation and edit is critical to dressing successfully without stress. And book your complementary style discovery session here to get started. https://calendly.com/crush_style/stylediscovery
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