Creating Your Home Sanctuary
If you’re like me, your stress levels have been at an all-time high these last few months. Between the state of the world, working from home with kids, trying to stay healthy, feeling isolated, it has been a lot! But being home has really shown me how important my surroundings are for my own mental health. Enjoying the space that I’m in and keeping it somewhat clean and organized goes a long way in creating a home sanctuary.
Now more than ever, it is important to have a home that makes us feel at peace and rested. Our nervous system is greatly affected by our surrounding environment. When our environment triggers anxiety, we respond, whether we know it or not, with the production of stress hormones, and these hormones can make us sick.
As we think about what can make our homes feel more like a retreat and contribute to positive mental health, here are some ideas.
Bring in nature. Flowers and plants are not only beautiful, they are soothing and enhance the serenity of your environment. We are a big fan of bringing the outdoors in. Something about fresh greenery makes you feel more serene – and studies show they have an indirect effect on psychological health. If you don’t have a green thumb, cut flowers also bring freshness and vibrancy to your home.
De-clutter. This clears your space and your mind. Reduce or eliminate piles of things to read, sort, work on, and donate. When I am on my game, I tackle one project like this a day for ten minutes. Creating a peaceful home sanctuary begins with eliminating the clutter. How can your mind relax with toys thrown across the floor and several weeks’ worth of mail piled on the table? Go through the room and put away anything that isn’t a part of the décor. Consider the KonMari method and ask yourself “does this spark joy?” You’ll probably find you don’t really need so many things.
Put things in their place. Continuing off de-cluttering, home feels more zen when things are put away and are easy to find when needed. Its easy to not want to do this – I especially find at the end of the day I look at the kids’ toys and think “but they’re just going to pull them all out again tomorrow.” But taking a few minutes to put things “back to zero” goes a long way in making your home feel restful – especially in those evening hours when you get a chance to sit down with a glass of wine and finally relax.
Choose soothing colors. For some people, soothing colors are soft pastels, blues, and greens, for others, it is bold bright, and vibrant. Choose a color palette for your home that makes you feel at peace. For me, that color palette involves a lot of teals and primarily soft tones. Those colors remind me of the ocean, and the ocean is my happy place.
Choose one room to be your escape. In an ideal world, our whole house would feel like paradise, but that is not always a possibility. Sometimes, all we can do is focus on one room to be our sanctuary. Start by removing potential distractions. Don’t plan for your peaceful home sanctuary to be in a room where you normally do work or where the kids play. Think about what you would like to do in your oasis. Do want a place to read or do a craft? Do you simply want a place to sit in silence? What does recharging look like for you?