One of the best forms of stress relief is having a peaceful space you can retreat to at the end of the day. Whether this is your entire home, your bedroom, or just a corner of your bedroom, having a serene environment to spend a few minutes or a few hours is critical.
There are a number of things you could do to create this area, but there are a few that I think are absolutely necessary, while others are optional. Today, let’s talk about the ones that I consider must-haves.
Get rid of clutter
Whether it’s a pile of dirty or clean laundry, a stack of books you’re reading, a bunch of junk mail you need to shred, or anything else, clutter induces a feeling of tension. It makes the space look messy, and it reminds you of things you need to do. Both of these things add to your stress instead of relieving it.
If the clutter is necessary, such as a stack of books you need to have easy access to, find a better way to accomplish that. Maybe you buy a special bookcase just for those books, or make a pretty basket for the junk mail.
All other clutter should be resolved. Wash and/or fold the laundry, get rid of stuff you don’t need, and clear up some external space so you can then clear out your internal space.
Make it cozy
Cozy means different things to different people. It can even mean different things depending on where you live. Someone who lives in Michigan, for example, might think of cozy as being warm socks, hot chocolate, and a roaring fire. Someone from Florida might think of cozy as a few candles, some iced coffee, and curling up on a comfy sofa to binge on Netflix.
Your cozy should be whatever you imagine when you think of that word. Maybe it’s a plush bed with firm pillows, a cup of tea, and a good book. Perhaps it’s rocking out in the kitchen to some Aerosmith while you bake – so making sure you’ve got space for a good sound system and all the ingredients you need to bake is cozy.
Scent and color counts
Your house probably doesn’t stink, but sometimes having a different fragrance in the air can aid in relaxation. Lavendar is a top pick for stress relief and relaxation, but jasmine, ylang-ylang, and other floral scents are also good. Ultimately, the scent should be whatever soothes you. Essential oils in a diffuser will spread the scent throughout your space, but you could also dab it on a diffuser bracelet or necklace.
Choose colors that soothe you as well. Light blues and greens are often seen as relaxing and calming, but again, this should be personal to you. If your favorite color is red, use red. You don’t have to paint the walls and recarpet the space, unless you want to. You can just incorporate color with soft pillows, blankets, paintings, and other little touches. As a bonus, by using those types of items to add color, you can easily swap them out to change up the space if you get bored.
Give it a little life
Plants add oxygen and clean the air in indoor spaces. They also add some extra color and just make you feel better in general.
Add a few plants to your home base. If you haven’t kept plants before, you may need to do some research first to find which ones will thrive in your particular environment based on the amount of natural light you get. You’ll also want to consider how much effort you want to put in to caring for them – you might want succulents that only require a quick watering now and then and some light, or you may prefer plants that require water every day and for you to prune them regularly.
Alternatively, if you know that the only reason your kids are still alive is because they complain to be fed and watered and you know plants won’t do that, consider fake ones. While real plants have some additional benefits, fake ones still offer the same beauty and sense of peace without the worry of making sure they stay watered and get enough light.
Easy access to your favorites
Finding peace and relaxation includes doing those things that you enjoy. If you enjoy meditating, you’ll want to include a comfortable cushion or blanket, some incense and a small music player for guided meditations or music.
If you like to journal, you’ll want to include a nice journal and some pretty pens.
If you enjoy binging on Netflix to relax, then a nice TV and a remote will be important.
Putting these things in your home base where you can easily access and use them is critical to the relaxation process. If you constantly have to hunt for what you need, you’ll be more tense by the time you find them, which kind of defeats the purpose of the space.
Putting the things you need on a nice table or in a pretty basket will make it easier to simply settle in and start relaxing.
Make it your own
Ultimately, everything you do in this space needs to be what works for you. The textures, fragrances, sights, sounds and even flavors of this area need to be the ones that make you breathe in, smile, and feel the tension streaming from your body.
Make it a minimalist space, or fill it to bursting with what you love.
Just make sure that, at the end of the day, when you enter the space, you feel peaceful, satisfied, and able to relax.