The amount of time you spend in your home has a significant impact on your physical and mental health. While you may refuel yourself at the gym, yoga studio or therapy center, you can also create a dedicated space that enables you to connect with yourself—mind, body and spirit—without leaving the house. Here are some ways to establish a personal area for well-being and benefit from restoration and rejuvenation right in the comfort of your own space.
1 Plan with purpose.
Make a place at home where you can engage in virtual classes, complete a custom workout or pursue another health approach. “We’re trained to think that we need to travel to a class or gym and spend an hour doing self-care, when a few minutes sprinkled throughout your day is just as—if not more—effective,” says Chris Armstrong, C-IAYT (International Alliance of Yoga Therapists) certified yoga therapist.
Emily Thompson, RN, BSN, at Sacred Waves Energy Healing believes every home should have a relaxing place for the meditative practice of Reiki. As a trauma-informed yoga nidra instructor and Holy Fire Reiki master, she describes Reiki as a modality that helps ground chaos and keeps one in a more balanced mental state. She also recommends a safe space for meditation or prayer where you can shut the door.
Options are plentiful, and self-care will look different for everyone. Maria Serbus, a stress management consultant who shares ideas for self-care practices, also practices mindfulness and yoga in her home. “I started by creating a ‘calm corner’ in my bedroom. It’s small, but it’s just what I needed,” she says.
2 Build the ambiance.
“No matter what elements one chooses in setting up their space, it’s important to create a retreat and not an escape from the busyness of life,” advises Mike Austin, center director at the Rochester Meditation Center, which is “dedicated to the study and practice of mindfulness meditation, spiritual friendship and the cultivation of inclusive awareness, ethics and wisdom in daily life for the benefit of all beings.”
Consider adding comfort items such as a yoga mat or cozy chair; pillows, an eye mask, essential oils and a diffuser; photos of people you love; or an inspiring book. “It is 100% worth it to find some practices you can use and create calm spots at home,” adds Serbus, who incorporates visual cues like these in her environment to help reduce stress, promote focus and find calm.
Thompson suggests addressing the senses with essential oils, such as frankincense, to help dispel negative energy from stress and promote peace, and lavender, which has calming effects on both the body and mind. Burning incense like nag champa will help provide a grounding feeling, and candles and a Himalayan salt lamp can help set the mood and relax the senses.
“Don’t try to make it perfect,” says Austin. “Find what’s perfect in what you make.”
3 Bring in nature.
Living things like friends and family, plants and animals are reminders of connections to each other and the natural world. You can keep it simple because physical tools are not necessary to reduce stress, increase focus or improve your mood. For instance, look for elements in nature that are already around you—the grass, an outdoor bench, a shady spot or a tree.
Consider adding live greenery, stones and crystals, such as rose quartz, selenite and amethyst, which can help create a calming atmosphere. “Natural elements promote well-being by connecting one to earth,” says Thompson. “Crystals and stones have different healing properties to conduct or calm energy.”
4 Maintain a routine.
Caring for yourself at home can help reinforce what you’re doing at the gym or therapy center. “We sometimes overcomplicate things, or we place undue pressure or expectations on self-care,” says Serbus. “Finding practical tools to use at home will help you incorporate it into everyday routines.”
Meditation is scientifically proven to improve immunity, mental health and well-being, as well as personal growth. For example, yoga nidra meditative practice drops the client into a deep state of rest so that the brain can heal injuries. “If you have a safe space created in your home, it can take as little as five minutes a day,” says Thompson.
“A dedicated space for yoga and meditation serves as a great reminder for you to practice,” concludes Armstrong. “But if your current life doesn’t allow for that, keeping your mat and other props in a basket or in your car is a thoughtful way to have your tools at the ready—wherever you are. The best self-care is the self-care you actually do.”
For More Information:
Chris Armstrong Yoga: chrisarmstrongyoga.com
Maria Serbus: mariaserbus.com
Rochester Meditation Center: rochestermeditationcenter.org
Sacred Waves Energy Healing: sacredwavesenergy.com