How to Create a Restorative Sanctuary


B.Youngquist Art Creating a Restorative Sanctuary

          Never before have our lives been more automated and never before have we been  more distracted and over committed. With everything at our fingertips we have the ability to do more, learn more, experience more, and work more. As a result, creating  time and space for ourselves to do some inner reconnecting is essential to our overall health and well-being. When we are connected to self we are better able to connect with others intentionally and authentically.  While I enjoy being connected to others and experiencing new things, I can easily become overloaded with energy I have absorbed from other people and experiences. My home is my sanctuary. With a little thought you can create a sanctuary that is peaceful, restorative, and inspiring.

10 things you can do to create your own restorative sanctuary.

1. Start with a space in your home that feels good to you. You may want to choose a space that is away from traffic to and from the kitchen and away from intrusive noises. If you have a view to nature in your space all the better, if not bring some nature into your space.

 2. Include comfortable seating, down pillows, and a soft blanket. When your body is tired a comfortable place to rest, daydream, journal, or read can feel like a bit of heaven.

 3. Only include objects with personal meaning. You've heard it before. If it isn't useful or beautiful to you, eliminate it. A cluttered space clutters the mind. Favorite photos, fresh flowers, and objets d'art are all inspiring and make a space feel like home.

 4. When selecting colors reflect on how you want to feel in the space. Color is energy. Think about what you want to feel in your particular space. Choose colors that make you feel relaxed and calm (typically blues and greens), energized (typically reds and oranges), or connected to nature (earth tones).

 5.  Include the elements water, fire, metal, wood, and earth. Consider bringing the elements of Feng Shui into your sanctuary. You can find books and guides to what each of the elements represents and how to set up your space to invite optimal energy flow.

 6. Consider the senses. Sight, smell, touch, and sound. What do you want to smell in your sanctuary? What are your favorite scents? Include a candle, essential oil, or incense that are personally pleasing. How does the floor feel beneath your feet and the chair that supports you? Do you love the sound of nature out your window, or music that makes you feel joyful, reflective, or relaxed? What do you see? Is there artwork that you can contemplate and enjoy?

7. Place artwork that is inspiring, grounding, energizing and intentional. Art can be so many things in a space. It is not only beautiful, but also elicits different feelings, and inspires possibilities. The more you sit with a piece of art the more you notice it's subtleties and begin to create a personal dialogue with the piece. If you're looking for serenity choose a serene artwork. Likewise, if you're looking for calm and balance, choose a work that makes you feel grounded. Original art elevates and brings authenticity to your space. Different textures, colors, shapes, and lines all have something to express.

8. Keep a basket with personal care items. It's like a small act of self kindness to have a basket with hand cremes, lip balms, essential oils, and tissues at arms length.

9. Use soft lighting. A table lamp or reading light with soft warm light can feel like a hug.

10. Keep a stack of books you love. Whether it's poetry, a self-help book, an inspirational biography, or historical fiction; a small stack of your favorite reads can transport you out of your head and into your imagination.