Relaxation Room 101
By Caitlin Hall, Contributing Writer
Our new home is a renovation project my husband and I have been working on together for the past two years. With only two bedrooms and limited space in our small home, the second bedroom was the obvious choice for my relaxation room. Thankfully, this space feels great and is not a high traffic area so it does not disturb my relaxation time.
Your relaxation room, however, can be anywhere in the house you feel most at ease in. My relaxation space is an extra bedroom converted to an office in my home. My friend has her relaxation space in a closet. Your space can be big or small. The only requirement is that it is a space not highly trafficked and relaxing.
So many relaxing colors
I love earth tones. Browns, blues and greens are my favorite combination of colors to put in a room. The colors are extremely soothing to me and help me relax.
That is why I chose to use all of those wonderful earth tones in my own relaxation room. It is a color expression of what I want my soul to feel when it is doing the work of letting go.
Your space should speak to you in the same way. Often, relaxing spaces are all about soft tones such as beige, pale pinks, whites and greys, but it truly is up to you what colors relax you the most. For you, black walls with soft lighting and gold accents might be what puts you in the mood to let go and relax. As long as it inspires you to rest, choose whatever color you want!
Comfort is everything
Comfort is the most important part of any relaxation space. My relaxation room provides space for reading, meditating, crafting, playing music or sitting in silence. The furniture or pieces in my space were chosen according to their use.
For example, I use my space for meditation, yoga, reading and crafting. To do all these activities comfortably I bought a large fluffy floor pillow, comfortable yoga mat, a small couch and a table I can use while sitting on the couch comfortably. All these elements make my experience in my relaxation room very pleasant.
For a small room, like my friend’s closet, consider buying a colorful floor rug with comfy pillows to sit on when you are enjoying the space. Regardless of the size, it should still be comfortable.
I have never been in a relaxing space that used fluorescent or LED lighting. Wanting my space to be as relaxing as possible, we decided to use Edison light bulbs in our overhead light and table lamp. This keeps my room from feeling too harsh and bright. Most often, however, I use candles as lights. I prefer the soft glow from the candle light especially during meditation and in my yoga practice.
Play with the kind of light that feels best for you. Do not be afraid to use a combination of lighting to make your space personally relaxing.
Studies show that spending time in nature can be soothing and healing in many ways. So, why not bring some of that healing inspiration indoors?
I like to focus on creative ways to include the four elements – earth, air, fire and water – into my relaxation space. I feel this gives balance to my room, and it helps me focus during meditations.
The addition of plants to my relaxation room makes a big impact on relaxation. Plants are not only beautiful to look at, but bring oxygen to my space. As a new “plant mom” I choose plants based on levels of care which means my room is filled with low-maintenance plants, like succulents. If you are a more responsible plant parent you can certainly go wild with your plant choices!
Other ways I like to include nature in my relaxation room is the burning of candles, displaying a mason jar full of acorns, placing wind chimes in my window or adding a mini water fountain.
It is personal
Relaxation spaces should be personal to you. My friend, who has her relaxation room in the closet, uses that space for daily prayers and reflection. She decorates her closet with inspiring scripture verses, prayer lists, pictures of family members and people she cares about. She has created a closet solely dedicated to her spiritual walk and soul healing.
My relaxation room looks entirely different from hers. It is a larger room filled with books I cherish, craft items neatly put away and oddities I have collected over the years. Each item in my room tells a story of my personal journey. Every item in my room brings me joy in some way. You want items in your space to help you transition to a quiet, present mind-set and to inspire you.
Free from distractions
Electrical devices can be a huge distraction when trying to relax. However, most of us do not have the luxury of dedicating a room solely for mindfulness and need to utilize our room for a dual purpose. That is okay!
My zen space also serves as my husband’s game room, complete with a television, Xbox and a gaming computer. As long as I turn off all devices while I use the room for relaxation, I am able to disconnect without feeling distracted.
If your room houses various electronic devices, consider turning off all devices before using your space. You can also make your room a no phone zone which will eliminate additional distractions.
It smells great
My favorite thing at the end of a long day at work is to come to my relaxation room, light an incense stick and sit in silent meditation. I always choose an earthy incense stick to burn as I sit and let go of the day.
Earthy scents remind me of happy memories of hiking in the woods with my dad when I was younger or with my friends when I got older. In the woods, I have no cares. My phone rarely has service, my backpack is always full of snacks and the scenery after an arduous hike is breathtaking. Breathing in those smells again as I silently meditate takes me back to those moments of pure bliss and aides in my relaxation.
Scent is a memory and our sense of smell allows us to have multisensory experiences. These experiences can be relaxing if smells are chosen purposely and with intent. Using scents I associate with relaxation and grounding allows me to focus on the more important experience of letting go of my stressful day.
It is clean!
“Clutter is the destroyer of relaxation” – Me. Seriously, clutter is the worst, and it is a reminder of your to-do list. My relaxation room is always the cleanest room in the house and completely free of clutter. I only keep essential items in this space or hide non-essential items with clever storage. I have a horizontal cubby on the floor with fabric boxes which house craft items while the open cubbies showcase my books neatly. Keeping your relaxation room tidy will allow you to focus on what is important, you.
Making space for my self-care in my home is one of the best decisions I have made in my adult life. As a teacher I am blessed to be able to pour myself into my students and their lives. I have the opportunity to teach them in the classroom, but to also teach them how to be good humans.
This too often means pouring my whole self into my career. While that makes me a caring educator, it also zaps me of my personal energy I need for myself and for others in my life outside the school building.
Having space to recharge, reset, and refill has allowed me to grow in all areas of my life. I highly recommend you considering making a relaxation room in your home.