Creating your Sanctuary.

Sacred Space, Self Care • May 22, 2023

Expert Tips for Transforming a Corner of your Home into a Serene Self-Care Space.

self care space
Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Self-care has become something of a buzzword in recent years, and social media conjures up images of bubble baths, spa treatments and other kinds of pampering.

And a little pampering certainly has its place in a self-care regime. But true self-care goes deeper. It’s about getting clear on what we need to be able to function at our optimum level. And then engaging in practices and developing habits that will support us in getting there.

What that looks like will be very different for each of us. But the global experience of recent years has shown many of us that a vital part of our wellbeing is living in a home that feels like a sanctuary from the worries and stresses of the world.

Regardless of ownership or budget, I believe we all deserve homes that provide us with that sense of sanctuary. To achieve that, most of us don’t need an expensive and time-consuming renovation. Simple tweaks can make a huge difference.

I like to suggest to clients that they identify a small area in their home that they can dedicate as a personal self-care spot. If there’s a space in your home that is generally un-used day-to-day, maybe clear that out – or even a corner of it. Use this space to sit in and reflect on the day ahead, or the day just gone. To journal, if you’re into that. To listen to soothing and relaxing music, or a favourite podcast. To read, dance, do yoga, meditate – whatever is your personal medicine.

If every room in the home is actively used, then choose a corner of your bedroom or living room. It could even be a spot in your kitchen that you feel drawn to sit quietly in at a particular time of day. Then ask the rest of your household to allow you to enjoy that space solo as part of your daily routine. That could be the first hour in the morning, or for an hour after dinner in the evenings. Whatever works for you.

Once you’ve identified your self-care space, then you need to set it up to be that nurturing sanctuary. For the most part, this doesn’t need to cost a penny – or require landlord approval for renters.

For me, it depends on how it makes you feel. If there’s a particularly positive and uplifting memory attached to a dried bouquet, then who is anyone else to tell you that it’s not appropriate for your self-care altar? Tune in to your own inner wisdom and choose what you believe will support you in where you are now, and where you aim to go.

The first step is to clean and declutter. It might not be the most fun task, but it is the fundamental step. Setting up a self-care zone without doing this is like putting clean clothes on a dirty body. If you do nothing else, do this.

Not for everyone, but I love to smudge the space with incense or white sage. Set an intention around what kind of energy you want your home to support and then burn incense or herbs. Please, always choose incense with natural ingredients over synthetic.

Then personalise the space with a little altar. I’m not talking about religious paraphernalia here. In the simplest terms, your altar is a space where you display items that are symbolic of what you value. It can be on a little table, a shelf, a window sill – or just a corner of a sill. Whatever works for you and your space. The important thing is that it feels like a mindful and meaningful corner to you. Tend to it daily by lighting a candle or incense, or sounding a bell. This will help to remind you that this little corner of your home is a sacred space – and also remind you to take some time out for self-care.

Bring nature into this corner. My favourite way to do this is with a live plant. Plants are proven to support our wellbeing, bring in vital living energy and detoxify the air. But other options include cut flowers, sea shells, conkers, pine cones, pebbles – whatever calls to you. There are no hard and fast rules – although Feng Shui does recommend not using anything dead (eg dried flowers).

If there is artwork or ornaments already in situ in this corner, review the symbolism they portray.  Do they reflect what you want in your life? Or symbolically represent what you’re working towards? If you have nothing decorative in place at the moment, then this is your opportunity to mindfully select a few pieces to add in.

For a peaceful and happy home it’s important that the subliminal effect of what your eyes are landing on everyday – especially in your self-care space – helps to evoke and maintain happy and peaceful feelings. If they’re not aligned with your self-care intentions, then consider replacing them with alternatives that help to subliminally set you up well for the day ahead.

Next up you want to set the right ambiance. Soft lighting, relaxing scents. Maybe a source of music. Or maybe you prefer silence? Whatever helps you create a relaxing and soothing atmosphere is the right thing here – it will be different for everyone.

Review the colour palette of the room in which you have set up this space. Is it conducive to relaxation? (Hint: pale or neutral colours, or greens or blues will work well. Avoid reds, oranges, yellows, loud or bright hues in this space.

Make this corner comfy and cosy. You need to actively love the chair, or floor cushion, or whatever you’re choosing to sit on. Don’t just make do on this one – if it’s not physically comfortable to sit here then it doesn’t matter what else you do to make the space feel enticing. You simply won’t spend time here, and that’s the point of all of this.

So maybe this is where you might need to spend a little money, if you don’t already have the perfect seat for the space then consider investing in a new one. Add in a cushion and soft blanket and have a little basket of treats that help you to relax….hand lotion, lip balm, rose water…so you have what you need for a mini-pamper within arm’s reach.

And once it’s all perfectly set up, remember to make regular use of it. Set aside time – ideally daily – to spend here engaging in an activity (or inactivity) that makes you feel good, and helps you decompress and de-stress.

Your self-care space need not be elaborate by any means. Simplicity aids easy upkeep, so don’t go overboard with what you add. Being able to keep it clean and tidy with minimal effort will ensure it remains an inviting space that draws you to it. And by enjoying this space on a regular basis, you’ll be supporting your wellbeing.

Thank you for reading. You might also be interested in:

Create a Home Altar to bring the Sacred into your Everyday Life.

Space Clearing to Release what doesn’t Serve us.

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You might also like to check out these free resources:

Guide to Budgeting your Home Makeover

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