Wellness Week: Creating Space
Let's be very honest: we live in deeply uncertain times. With more and more to be anxious about in the current climate, now more than ever it is important to be very aware of how you are doing on a day-to-day basis. And while overhauling your current lifestyle is anything but easy, you owe it to yourself to improve the spaces around you.
Throughout the week, we are going to offer some gentle suggestions for ways to create spaces of wellness in your home and cultivate a little more happiness and health in your day-to-day life. This begins with today's focus: creating a space of wellness to decompress from the rigors of the work week.
Clear Your Space
Far and away, the most helpful starting place on our journey to wellness begins in the home. Most of us now spend quite a bit of time at home, so what better way to kickstart our well-being initiative? Before we can create a "wellness space" in our home, we need to being with a clean slate to work with.
Start with the intent of refreshing the way the spaces in your room function. Ask yourself which rooms do you spend the most time in? Why are these rooms your favorites? And what do the other spaces in your home lack in comparison? Asking these sorts of questions will give you valuable insights into what is needing to be improved and which spaces you could convert into a "wellness room".
The more popular rooms usually include the kitchen, a room that more than likely gets quite a bit of use these days. Start by throwing out any items in your kitchen drawers and pantry that you haven't used in over a year. Organize any drawers or cabinets that serve as a catch-all for those miscellaneous items that seem to never find a permanent place! You're feeling better already, huh?
With as much time as your spend in the kitchen (especially if you do most of the cooking for your family and friends), having an organized, streamlined space can be highly beneficial and even motivating to create a healthier lifestyle. Once you've organized the kitchen space, we suggest making it a habit to eat at the dining room table, rather than in front of the TV or standing at a kitchen nook. If you have a family, there are numerous studies touting the tremendous benefits of insisting on family dinners in the evenings.
With the hectic, fast-moving times we live in, it sure makes sense to spend time over food to check in with one another. There are a wealth of distractions in modern life as we know it: we strongly recommend leaving the smart phones and tablets in another room. Be present with open ears.
Move into your living spaces and bedrooms. Embrace a more minimalist outlook in these spaces. Less is always more when maximizing the use of your spaces. Clean up and organize the things that don't have permanent places, especially if this stuff occupies space on the floor. Always opt for clean walkways and entryways between rooms.
Define Your Space
Now that you've done some reorganizing, we are ready to designate a space that we use to prioritize our mental and physical well-being. There is no one way to design this space for yourself, so be open to modifying any of this advice to better suit your needs. Whether your "wellness room" is its own space or just the corner of a room, remove anything that will impede your ability to relax. This could mean everything from furniture to clutter to devices that pull your attention away. You may use the space for exercise or yoga, so the more open space, the better.
Pay attention to the lighting. We want our area to be well-lit, with the more natural lighting, the better. Strategically choosing an area near big windows or away from darker corners of your home will greatly benefit how your brain responds to the space. We want this space to be restful, quiet, and comfortable, so add a chair or pillows to the mix to give you a place to sit. Give yourself plenty of comfortable cushioning to sit on and stretch out.
Add a Natural Touch
Now that we have chosen our "wellness room" and defined the space within our home, we're ready to cultivate this space to foster a sense of relaxation and calm. Color and scent are both important aspects that shape your feelings towards a space. Use only soft blues, greens and grays for your immediate color palette, as they produce a calming effect on our mind. Avoid oranges and reds, as they tend to excite our sensibilities.
Scent, much like color, is a very personal decision. Vanilla, lavender and eucalyptus are proven to reduce stress and improve mood. We suggest opting for an essential oil diffuser over commercial candles or perfumes, as they provide the healthiest ingredients to be released into your air.
Whether you utilize this space for exercise or simply quiet time, having a mini-escape right at home is essential to both your physical and mental well-being. Between work, social media, and your daily routines, everyone could use a little more time to de-stress. These small changes to your living space can have pay big dividends in your mental well-being and happiness.