Home should be a calm oasis that brings us happiness, especially when the world is hectic. To me, there’s no better feeling than coming home at the end of a long day to a place that relaxes me, and turning my house into a personal sanctuary has been more important than ever since being quarantined during COVID-19. I’ve rearranged and redecorated to surround myself with objects I love, colors that make me feel calm and focused, and family photos and trinkets that bring back happy memories with friends and family.
However, I know I’m not alone when I say that these past few months have sent my anxiety spiraling in ways that feel a bit out of my control, and one of the things that has helped me cope has been starting a daily meditation practice. I’ll be honest, before this quarantine, I wasn’t sold on meditation and all the benefits experts say it has for your mind and body. I had tried it before in yoga class and even have several apps on my phone for it, but it wasn’t until I read this quote by Headspace Co-Founder Andy Puddicomb that I decided to commit to it for 30 days and really give it a go to see if it could help me with my anxiety. (Spoiler alert: it really does.)
“The mind,” he said, “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. We often think that happiness is somewhere in the future: if we just get that thing, if we get that job, if we go to that place, if we can just be with that person. We’re always looking to the future and some place else in the hope that we’ll find it. You’re going to have to give up looking for happiness outside of yourself. The only thing to do is to get comfortable with the mind as it is. Whether it’s a busy mind or a quiet mind. Thoughts you like, thoughts you don’t like. Pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings — you just have to get comfortable with it.”
Woah. Lightbulb! This is when it all changed for me. I realized after reading this that I needed to stop trying to answer all of the unknowns in the world right now and just sit with my uncomfortable feelings to try and work through them. I needed to be present. I needed patience. I needed stillness. I needed a meditation practice.
Enter: my personal meditation space. Having a designated meditation space gives me a place in my home that is dedicated to silence, stillness, and getting comfortable with my uncomfortable, anxious thoughts.
featured image: jenni kayne
image: urban outfitters
I suggest that everyone create a special corner or even a room in their home to practice a daily meditation; a space that provides you with the opportunity to recharge both physically and mentally, and keep you balanced. You absolutely do not need an entire room for it – an empty corner, a space in your closet, bathroom, living room, or even a spot in your backyard or garden will work just fine. You just need to set aside a special place that is completely devoted to being still and working out your mind. It’s less about space and more about about picking out and prioritizing an area where you can focus on you for even just five minutes a day.
When creating your personal meditation space, there are certain things to think about that will help improve your practice — comforting surroundings, thoughtful design details, and small things that will go a long way in creating feelings of zen.
Here are 5 tips to help you create the perfect meditation space in your home that you’ll actually want to use every day. Namasteeee.
image: teal thomsen
Pick somewhere that has natural light.
Natural light is huge in helping me feel awake, grounded, and focused. I recommend choosing an area in your home for your personal meditation space that has a window or skylight and allows natural light to flow into your space. If you are living in a small apartment or have minimal windows, consider rethinking certain rooms or areas in your home to accommodate — can you sacrifice some space in your WFH area, dining area, or living room to devote to your meditation space? Get creative in choosing the perfect corner — remember, this is a space that you will (hopefully) be using every day, and rethinking areas that may not be getting used as much as you had originally thought may be the best option for creating your perfect meditation space at home.
image: west of main design
Keep it clean and uncluttered.
When it comes to a meditation space, oftentimes less is more. You want this space to feel light, bright, and clean. And, having clutter around you will most likely have you feeling more cluttered in your mind. Try to choose an area that has distractions like the TV or your computer out of sight. Remember, the whole point of meditation is to remove stress from your life, so don’t create extra stress by trying to perfect an over-the-top meditation space. You want a minimal, no-frills, quiet and relaxing space that instantly makes you feel calm when you step into it.
image: jenni kayne
Make it feel calm and cozy.
When you meditate, you want to be as comfortable as you possibly can, so loading up on rugs, throws, meditation cushions, or floor pillows can transform your corner into a cozy meditation oasis. We love layering sheepskins on top of rugs, and using large pillows to deck out the space. Or, if you have the budget, consider investing in a few meditation cushions — they are designed to help alleviate pressure on certain parts of the body, as I know it can be challenging to stay present if your leg is falling asleep or your back starts to hurt. We also love using sound baths (if you don’t want to buy your own, there are lots of sound bath playlists on line you can play instead), Himalayan salt lamps and candles are another great and easy way to set a comfy, serene vibe in your space.
image: molly culver
Bring in nature.
Nature is organically relaxing and healing, so it’s important to bring some natural elements into your mediation space. While it’s ideal to meditate on the sand by the beach or another calming, outdoor environment, it’s not always possible if you live in a busy urban environment like myself. But, adding natural touches of plants, stones, and/or greenery to your meditation space will instantly infuse it with harmony and balance. You can choose any natural elements you like or any type of nature that brings you joy — this can be a potted plant, a vase of cut flowers, a small succulent garden, jars filled with sand or seashells, or even a small electric water fountain that trickles in the corner if you have space — (talk about zen vibes!) If you’re trying to keep things compact, built-in shelving is an ideal way to display lots of little green things without encroaching on valuable real estate in your space.
image: coco kelley
Add a personal touch.
When creating your mediation space, you definitely want to include some of your own personal touches. This can be anything from a smell, sound, or object that particularly soothes your body and relaxes your mind. Think of incorporating things like a diffuser with essential oils, candles, bells, chimes, crystals, a statue of Buddha, mala beads, words of affirmation, or artwork. Adding any of these to your space are great ways to create a serene and peaceful environment that feels unique to you, and allows you to get excited and focused on meditating. Remember, however, that you do not want to overcrowd the space. It is important for a clean and clear environment to keep your mind open. Choose only a few pieces at a time, and swap them out for different ones every now and again if you cannot decide. Remember, this is a personal experience and is meant to inspire you to connect with yourself, so have some fun with it!