Making Your Home Your Sanctuary

Today’s life is hectic.  We all know that.  With social media, we are all closer connected than we’ve ever been before, and with many of us now working from home or on-the-go, our stress levels are maxed.

Amongst the busy hustle-bustle, we all need a place that we can disconnect, relax, and bring a sense of calm into our lives.  This place should be our home (or a part of our home if we work there).  Here’s how I am turning my home into my santuary:

1. If you work from home, designate an office space rather than designate a sanctuary space.  Your entire home should provide you with a sense of calm or, at the very least, a place that you walk into and feel happy and relieved.  If you allow your office space to overwhelm your living areas, you will only feel weighted down by your work.  Designate a corner of a room (or a whole room, if you have that available) as your office, and keep your work there.  Make physical opening and closing rituals for your work (it might be coffee & email inbox to open, or a rock on top of papers on your desk as a closing).

2. Bring in the scents.  Introduce revitalising scents into your home in the morning, and calming in the evening.  Citrus is fantastic for that ‘wake up!’ feeling, while lavendar is renowned for its calming effects.  Go to a health food shop, smell a few different essential oils, and pick a couple that wake you and relax you.  You can put a couple of drops in an oil burner with a small amount of water, or a diffuser if you have one.  Alternately there are wax melts available (soy is best), or incense sticks/cones.

3. Play music that makes your soul sing.  If anything is straight from the spirit, it’s music.  Feeling down? Put on some tunes that make you want to get up and dance!  Feeling highly-strung? Listen to some calming music and breathe deeply and slowly.  Music changes your mood faster than almost anything, and if you are surrounded by sounds you appreciate and love, you will feel happier faster.

4. Declutter and organise.  While initially stressful and overwhelming, the payoff is amazing.  I can promise you, throwing out “stuff” that no longer serves you a purpose is one of the most freeing things you can do for yourself and your home.  Open spaces make a room feel larger, allow air and energy to flow easier, and make for a more relaxing atmosphere.  If it doesn’t have a place in your home, you don’t need it bogging you down.

5. Get in the garden! I discovered this weekend just how cathartic gardening can be.  I took out frustrations by ripping and tearing and digging and throwing out weeds and dead plants, and brought myself back down to earth by planting new flowers, tidying the area around them and laying down pine bark around their bases, all with such care.  Taking the time to stop and sit under the birch tree for a break at lunch time, feeling the sun on my face and the grass under my feet, looking up through its leaves and the sun shining through – it all brought to light how much I appreciate our home and how lucky we are to have such a place to call our own.
If you don’t have a garden, you can still commune with nature with potplants – you can have flowers around your home to bring colour and life, or plant something more useful like herbs to use in cooking.  Whatever it is, get your hands in the soil and get grubby for some therapeutic fun!

How have you made, or how do you plan to make, your home your sanctuary?