It has the usual components of homeworking (the distractions, the isolation, the procrastination) but with added twists and turns, an emotional rollercoaster.
Our safety and protection has been under question, which is a primal need for all human beings (hence the loo roll fiasco). We’re all trying to stay safe, protected and nourished.
One sure-fire way to support you during this ‘new normal’ over the next few weeks and months is to create more calm in your home.
Homes are a sanctuary. I’ve always felt this and that’s what led me to this work, but everyone is tuning into this right now. We are immensely grateful for the safety of our homes.
So, as we look to spend more time in our home sanctuaries, it’s important to create spaces that align with how you want to feel.
It doesn’t necessarily mean a big interior design project (although there are so many wonderful virtual services at the moment!), it can be just small tweaks to your home to ensure its intentionally designed to create the feelings and emotions you want to feel.
Your environment impacts your mind
It’s a fact. The environment you are in directly impacts the way you think, feel, behave and act. There’s a direct correlation with your space and your mindset.
Think about it – have you ever walked into a room and said, “I can sense the tension” or “You could cut the atmosphere with a knife” or “This doesn’t feel right”?
Our brains are wonderful, complex things. There are two well-known parts of the brain – the conscious mind, which is the analytical part of the brain, and the subconscious (or unconscious) mind, which is the more primal part of the brain focused on feelings and urges.
Your subconscious mind is scanning and processing your environment all the time. Even when you are consciously focused on something else, your subconscious mind still notices the physical space, the energy of the space, the noises, the smells, the atmosphere, etc..
So your environment can actually trip your conscious mind up, unconsciously!
You could be focused on the most calming activity, but you won’t feel completely calm because of the environment you are in. While self-isolating, use this to your advantage. Create a home space that creates the mindset you want right now.
Most people want to feel calm amid the chaos. This is how you can create a calming space in your home. Whether it’s a work sanctuary, a sanctuary for your children, a cooking sanctuary (cooking can be meditation) or whatever you need right now.
Creating a calm space in your home
The number one tip for creating a calm home is to clear any clutter. Once you understand how the subconscious mind works, you understand that cluttered spaces create a cluttered mind. Indeed, when your mind is cluttered, emotions and feelings are heightened and less calm.
If creating a clutter-free home is not practical at the moment, I suggest creating a ‘calm sanctuary’. A space in your home that is dedicated to feeling calm and relaxed.
What does calm mean for you?
To create an intentional and meaningful space, you first of all have to understand what calm feels like for you. One person’s calming music is another person’s distraction. Spend time journaling on what helps you feel calm and grounded. Write down as many calming things that you can connect with.
It doesn’t have to be home-focused activities – as you can re-create the feeling in your own home. E.g. a spa day can become a 5* bath experience at home!
Choose a space
Find a space in your home that you can dedicate to your calm sanctuary. It could be a calming piece of furniture or a corner space. Anywhere away from what isn’t calming for you right now – perhaps a moment’s peace from those you are self-isolating with or time away from your phone and social media.
The key question to ask is – Does this space align with what calm feels like for me?
Listen to how your body feels as your subconscious mind assesses your space. Colours, shapes, noises, visuals, smells – everything will impact how you feel in this space.
Check you feel safe and supported
I mentioned it earlier – a primal focus for us as human beings is that we want safety and protection. Even where we sit in a space affects how safe and protected we feel.
There’s a wonderful feng shui technique called the ‘Power Position’ which means that you choose the space within a room where you feel most powerful and in command. It usually means you can see the entrances and have a solid wall behind you. This allows your subconscious mind to relax as it knows it will be aware of any danger (I know… unlikely in the comfort of your own home… but your subconscious mind was made in the sabretooth tiger days!). Your brain waves become calmer.
Surround yourself with what brings you calm
This is where step one comes into play – connect with what makes you feel calm and surround your sanctuary with these things.
What you see – ensure that anything you see (images, photos, words) align with feeling calm. Everything you see creates an emotion. Choose to surround yourself with what helps you relax. It could be calming colours, photos or images that create calm, or calming words.
What you hear – silence may calm you, or you may prefer soft meditation music. Bring equipment into your space to send calming vibes to your ears.
What you smell – choose to be around smells that calm you – whether it’s your favourite candle, essential oils or even the smell of your favourite drink.
What you taste – If you choose to consume anything, ensure it creates calmness. Perhaps your cup of tea, flavoured water, or a glass of wine (#nojudgement)
What you feel – be mindful of what are you sitting on and physically feeling. Choose textures and materials that calm your senses. Perhaps something soft, cosy and fluffy.
Dedicate time to be in your ‘calm sanctuary’
Now that you’ve created this gorgeously calm space, ensure that you use it. It’s like a beautiful new habit – and the beauty is that because you have designed it intentionally and thoughtfully, you will want to use it.
You could use this space for your calming morning ritual, or when you need a few minutes of calm away from work/family/chaos or to even use as your reading nook.
The most wonderful thing about a ‘calm sanctuary’ is that it will help you be calm and more present in the moment. And when you are present, you cannot feel worry, anxiety or overwhelm. They only exist when you are thinking about the future (mind blown!).
You can connect with the NOW and be so happy that you’ve created a sanctuary for being present and grateful.