As much as many of us crave the fresh air and wide-open spaces of the country, the reality is that not all of us are able to live there.

If work requires you to be in the city, but your heart longs for the peacefulness of the country, we have some tips that will help you make your city apartment feel more like a country cottage.

Plants!

Most of us know that plants help make your space more welcoming and greener, but did you know that having a home filled with plants can actually improve your productivity and emotional well-being? Turns out just having plants in your home can help you feel calmer, more focused and even healthier… kind of like living in the country!

For even more of a country feel, consider growing your own herbs or even a few vegetables. There are many resources available to learn how to maximize whatever space you have available for gardening.

Lights!

Natural lighting is one of the best gifts you can give your body. It’s been proven to boost your mood, help your sleep, and load you up with Vitamin D. But, of course, as much as we’d all love to have a home full of big bay windows, it just isn’t always possible, especially in a city where any affordable housing is hard to come by.

If your home doesn’t have sufficient windows, consider adding extra lamps or even fairy lights to mimic the country sunshine. If those long city winters really have you down, light boxes can be a non-intrusive way of staving off depression.

But, in the case of artificial lighting, too much of a good thing can really be bad. Using artificial lighting to disrupt our natural sleep schedule can lead to a number of health problems including obesity and other metabolic disorders. Turn off electronics a few hours before bedtime and, if you do have windows, make sure to invest in thick shades so that you can shut out the world when it’s time to wind down. Which leads to our next tip…

Sleep!

The 24-hour cycle of major cities can disrupt our entire internal system. One of the biggest benefits country living offers is the natural cycle of rising and sleeping along a similar pattern as the sun. To provide some of that good country sleep in your urban home, think about what your life would look like if you lived on a farm.

Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, eat meals with simple, natural ingredients, stay very active, and make your bedroom as peaceful as possible.

Noise Control!

One of the most peaceful things about living in the country is waking up to the sound of birds and falling asleep to the sound of crickets. The constant noise of traffic and people is disruptive to sleep and mental health. White noise machines and earplugs can both help minimize sleep disruptions. Positioning your bed away from windows and thin walls and investing in thick carpets can also help keep your home an oasis of calm within the busy city.

Decor!

Incorporating some simple country accessories like mason jars or farm tools can give your apartment that cozy country vibe. If you aren’t especially skilled in interior design, there are an endless supply of online resources to help make your urban home feel more rustic.

Fresh Air!

If you’ve ever spent a weekend away in the country, you know that amazing feeling of breathing in air free of exhaust fumes and chemicals. Having plants in your home is a great way to make your air feel fresher, however, current research has shown that they don’t actually do much to reduce pollutants, particularly volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

VOCs can be found in almost any household product with a scent, including shampoo, nail polish, paint, and drywall, not to mention vehicle exhaust, which can easily leak into your home.

For air that is truly free of pollutants, consider purchasing an air purifier that specifically focuses on removing harmful gases from the air. Not only will your home smell cleaner, but you will also be giving yourself one of the most important benefits of country living… good clean air.