Bridges Transformation Network
Creating Your Own Personal Relaxation Room
A Relaxation Room can be called by many names: Meditation Space, Oasis Room, Zen Den, Retreat Space. You can use the space to decompress, sit for your daily mindfulness practice or do some simple floor stretches. It is a powerful way to quickly unwind and refuel after a busy workday.
Creating a relaxation room can be a healthy, creative act of resistance against all the pressures and stresses that show up in your life. Time in your own Relaxation Room can offer you the restorative daily experience that will balance your inner world so that your mind and heart can come into alignment, increasing your focus, and expanding your experience of wellbeing. The exciting part is that you can tailor-make it just for you. Read on for some fun ideas to consider as you design your own personal Relaxation Room.
Reviving a bedroom or den in your home to become a retreat space dedicated to the experience of deep relaxation can be the perfect way to start. Some people creatively use a corner of a bedroom or guest room or even repurpose a large closet space to be their “Calm Corner.”
Ideally, it can be helpful to have a window or skylights to bring in natural light. However, some people prefer the dark coziness of a more enclosed space. Try out different spaces. If it is not working for you, then take time to reimagine your relaxation room in another location.
In addition to my own meditation loft in our home, I also like to go to my favorite bench in the garden that has a view of a lovely garden path with arching peach tree branches, velvet sage, chamomile, lavender, and poppies. It delights my soul to have my relaxation time in the garden.
What spaces might work for you? It is okay to have more than one relaxation space.
Consider Various Positions for Sitting, Reclining, and Lying Down
As you begin designing your Relaxation Room, start by identifying how you will position yourself when you are enjoying some mindful moments or simply resting. Many dedicated meditators love to sit on a pillow (or several pillows) on the floor. Others prefer a comfy chair, a loveseat, or even a recliner to relax in.
Allow yourself to consider the possibility of lying on your back with a pillow under your knees, or with your legs propped up on a chair or a stack of pillows, like you would if you were doing a yoga restorative pose (sometimes called “reverse waterfall pose”). These are also great poses for taking a much-needed nap.
Our meditation loft has carpeting with extra thick padding so that we can rest on the floor comfortably and even do a few stretches to deepen the experience of relaxation. Our loft ceiling is cone-shaped and has skylights that I can gaze up at as I am relaxing. I also have a padded glider chair that I use for my morning meditation. It is comfortable and fully supports my back.
What positioning do you enjoy when you are relaxing or enjoying a mindful moment?
Images, Lighting, and Objects
It can help to have warm, friendly images in your relaxation room. A simple coffee table with a colorful tablecloth can set the stage for an arrangement of things that make you feel focused and relaxed. It can include a candle, a vase, or a painting. It can be as simple as a plant and some nature items (evergreen branches, bouquet of flowers, or a small collection of shells).
Avoid setting out too many items if you are sensitive to being overly stimulated by a busy visual environment. Keep it clean, simple, and Zen.
Hang pictures of people that you love, or a picture of your pet. Include images that make your heart open. I have a favorite oil painting of Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur that was painted by my grandmother. It reminds me of family and many fun childhood summers at the beach.
Keep various pillows and bolsters handy to help support your relaxed positions. Being physically comfortable is essential to deep relaxation.
Consider painting your relaxation room with calming colors. Adding special lighting features can add another dimension of sweetness to your relaxed state of mind. Try installing a dimmer switch or a lamp that dims to just the right level of brightness for you. Use an amber light bulb or hang a string of holiday lights in the room for a magical effect.
What images or objects will you add to your relaxation room?
Music, White Noise, and Nature Sounds
I am someone who thrives on soothing sounds. At home our favorite nature sound is the sound of ocean waves. Sometimes we play it all day and all night and find that our whole house feels like a relaxation house when we have ocean waves playing.
Some people find great benefit in using white noise. It can help to block the sounds of traffic, barking dogs, or neighbor noises from outside. It is also famous for soothing babies and helping them to sleep. A small water fountain can also provide the soothing sound of trickling water for your calming space.
Another great way to relax is to create a playlist of your favorite soothing music and play it first thing in the morning to set the tone for the day. I have a favorite playlist of soothing music that I listen to while I work on the computer. I find that I am less tense and more focused when soft music is playing.
Don’t underestimate the power of silence. If you work in an environment that is chaotic or is inundated with distracting noises or intense discussions, you may find the best medicine is quietude, aloneness, and silence.
What soothing sounds would you like to hear in your relaxation room?
Amazingly, our sense of smell can be used to lower our stress. There are certain aromas from our childhood that remind us of our loved ones or happy moments we had as young children. Finding a relaxing essential oil to use in a water diffuser can add to your relaxed state of mind. We sometimes use rose or lavender scent. Some people enjoy high quality incense or sage. Another option is to boil water with cinnamon and clove spices to give your relaxation space that added feeling of warmth and comfort.
When you use the same scent everyday for your relaxation time, you will discover that just smelling that aroma will automatically make you feel more relaxed, and the feelings of stress will start to drop away.
If you are overly sensitive to scents, you will want to avoid them, especially if they are chemically-derived perfumes. Avoid chemically-scented candles and room fragrances that leave a toxic trail. Bringing in evergreen branches or a bouquet of garden flowers (roses, lavender, daphne, gardenias) can enliven your relaxation room with natural aromas.
What scents are the most relaxing and soothing to you? Do any of these aromas remind you of your childhood?
Create your Relaxation Room in a way that works for you. Try out different things from time to time. If it isn’t relaxing, pinpoint what it is that isn’t working and change it up until you feel relaxed.
Remember that a relaxed state of mind and emotions contributes to physical wellness as well as psychological wellness. It increases your ability to focus and strengthens your immune system. Your daily environments shape your human experience and your sense of wellbeing.
May your Relaxation Room bring you the happiness, contentment, and serenity that will support your inner world and your daily life.
Author: Laura Bridges-Newhouse, M.S.
Bridges Transformation Network Instructor
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