“Always be like water. Float in the times of pain or dance like waves along the wind which touches its surface.”
In this final installment of our series on how the pandemic is impacting our lives and our homes, I’d like to introduce you to the “wellness room.” Swiftly gaining in popularity, wellness rooms are simply calm spaces in our homes where we can go to unwind, relax and escape from the stressors of everyday life. And isn’t that what we all really need right about now? A place to escape?
A wellness room (or corner) can be used for meditation, yoga, massage, creative pursuits, reading or just about anything that takes you away to a better place for a short time. They are spaces that address our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. They are calm, soothing and rejuvenating. Wellness rooms offer a place to exhale.
Here are a few ways to create calm at home. What type of wellness room speaks to you?
In contrast to other rooms in our homes that are made for doing (eating, working, showering, watching TV, playing games), meditation rooms, also known as prayer rooms or “sacred spaces,” are dedicated to silence and stillness. These silent spaces give us a place to cultivate awareness and be more present in our everyday lives.
According to Leila Sadeghee, a yogini and author of the blog The Thread Journal, the word “sacred” connotes a sense of elevation from everyday life, of preserving or reserving time, energy and presence in a special way.
Do any of these meditation rooms inspire you?
CREATING CALM TIP: Greenery is a must. Research consistently shows that having plants around us reduces our stress level. So filling a room dedicated to meditation with low-maintenance plants just makes perfect sense. Snake plants, peace lilies, aloe vera and spider plants are good ones to try if your thumb is a little more brown than green 😉
CREATING CALM TIP: Comfort comes first. Think sink-in soft rugs, chunky blankets and piles of pillows. Calm and cozy are a natural pair. So be sure to include a few cuddly items in your wellness room.
CREATING CALM TIP: Keep it Simple. You don’t need a lot of space, and clutter is a no-no (unless you’re surrounded by things you love that bring you happiness and calm). Sometimes, all you need is a comfy chair and a cup of coffee. An amazing ocean view doesn’t hurt either.
Not into complete stillness but still want to relax and unwind? If you love the blissful flow of a sun salutation, and you start to release all your pent up anxiety the moment you step on your mat, a room to practice yoga might be just what you need.
CREATING CALM TIP: Think sight, sound and scent. Lighting can make or break a calming space. For example, blue light is great for productivity and horrible for sleep or relaxation. Opt instead for a soft, warm, yellowish light instead of bright, cool light. And of course, candles are always a good idea! As far as sound goes, think nature sounds; rolling waves, the trickle of raindrops, birds chirping, a distant thunderstorm. Sounds affect people in different ways, so find what brings you calm and bring those sounds into your room. Finally, make your room smell good. Essential oils, such as lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint or lemongrass released through a diffuser have a profound calming effect.
Why is water so relaxing? In his book, “Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do” (wow, that was a mouthful!), author and marine biologist explains that looking at or being near water can provide a wide range of health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, increasing happiness, lowering our heart rate and more.
He calls this the “blue mind” effect, and says it’s a response we have when seeing water.
So no wonder many of us gravitate toward pools, hot tubs, or soaking tubs when we want to relax. Spa rooms, or rooms that include some sort of water feature should certainly be included, then, in our discussion of wellness rooms.
Here are a few that have my blood pressure dropping just when I look at them!
Prefer a sauna to a spa? Using a dry sauna can leave you invigorated, reduce tension in the joints and relieve sore muscles. Both saunas and spas use heat to clean and refresh your body. Saunas just leave out the water part.
These saunas are right next to the shower! How perfect is that?
Ready to relax? Here are a few items I’ve found that I think would work well in a room all about calm.
A wall mural can bring a sense of peace to a room, too. Here are a few I like.
The Carpathian Mountains
Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe said, “The mind, if we leave it alone, if we don’t take anytime to look after it — it will start to breakdown and we won’t experience life in the happiest way possible.”
During these crazy times, as we spend so much time taking care of our bodies trying to keep ourselves healthy, let’s not forget our spiritual and mental wellbeing. Perhaps a room dedicated to pursuits such as these is truly what we all really need right now.
We’re back running full speed at Marcia Moore Design but if you’d still prefer to work virtually, we understand and can do that, too. Whatever works best for you and makes you the most comfortable is great with us.
Stay safe and healthy,
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Did you miss our other posts about the impact of the pandemic on our lives and homes?