Jan 15, 2021
Create the Space You Need with the Space You Have
Hope you’re well, Fabulistas!
This year, it’s essential that we all move self-care to the top of our New Year’s resolutions. It is not always easy to do… I have to remind myself every day! Carving out time to nourish and rejuvenate ourselves is one of the best things we can do… and something that we can actively control. Whether you live in a country cottage, a suburban home, or a cozy apartment in a big city, finding your happy place is key. That’s why I’ve put together a guide to convert your mind and your space into a temple of self-care, even if you experience it just a few minutes each day.
Self-Care is not Selfish
We all need to remind ourselves that it’s crucial to nourish our body and soul. As Buddha said, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” We must never feel guilty for taking a staycation. Self-care is more than taking care of our bodies… it’s about nurturing our minds and emotions as well. It’s about protecting our mental health and fostering wellness. It helps us have the inner strength to give ourselves what we truly need.
The first step in taking care of ourselves is to identify and address our needs. This is especially true for parents, who tend to put others… kids, spouses, parents, friends... first because we feel committed to being the best caretakers we can be. I know from experience that it can be difficult to shift the focus to our own self-care.
Your Bedroom as Sanctuary
Now more than ever, we want our home to be a place where we feel safe and inspired, making our sanctuary personal. We all crave a space where we can shut out the rest of the world, even for a short while, and enter a realm of peace, calm, and tranquility. Choose a room… it can be any room, even the kitchen… and add a few simple items to claim the space and set your intentions.
If you’re like me and begin your day with meditation, your bedroom is a natural place to start. Turn off your cell phone, forget the TV, and dim the lights. I always find that surrounding myself with a few special things helps me set the tone. A beautiful throw pillow for support or a soft blanket can help you get into a good headspace. I find bringing nature into my routine provides a breath of fresh air, whether it’s a plant, bright flowers, or dried lavender. My favorite combination is lighting a candle and using an aromatherapy diffuser with essential oils such as lavender, lemon, or rose.
A Common Space Just For You
Whether it’s your living room or family room, you can take a well-used communal space and still claim it temporarily to nourish yourself. Cozy up in your favorite chair or spot on the sofa and relax with music, candles, soft lighting, and your favorite throw. Treat yourself to a pretty tray of goodies, such as mints, chocolates, or little nibbles. Top off your self-care setup with a glass of wine and your favorite guilty-pleasure TV show! It’s not always about being meditative, it’s about doing things that make you feel good and feel taken care of.
The Bathroom: Beyond Basics
The bathroom can be your private retreat. We spend a lot of time here, so it’s important to surround yourself with things that make you feel good and beautiful. Even the container you use for your Q-tips and cotton balls can change the way you approach your day. Think outside of the box (no pun intended) and use a container that wasn’t originally meant for them, like a decorative box! Similarly, your soap dish doesn’t have to be an actual soap dish… use a small plate that you adore! Think about your towels. Buy some with either bright colors, a pattern, or a texture… something that brings you joy or happiness. If you incorporate things that are beautiful and that you love, you’ll feel special every time you look at or use them… and that is part of self-care!
One thing that people often don’t think enough about in the bathroom is decorative lighting. Opt for an interesting chandelier or a pair of wonderful sconces instead of your basic bathroom ceiling or vanity light. This alone can transform your entire bathroom experience. We always want to feel cared for and inspired, especially in the space we start or end each day. Whether they’re subtle changes or big changes, these are ways to tell ourselves that we are worth it and we matter… and that all starts from within.
Yes, the Kitchen CAN Be All About You!
The kitchen can be a happy place to spend some alone time. Even small things, like having your tools and ingredients in an easy-to-reach place or getting rid of clutter, can contribute to a pleasurable experience. It’s important to actively make your kitchen a space you want to be in. Select colors that lift you up. There are so many appliances that come in various colors now… mixing bowls, blenders, coffee makers… the possibilities are endless! The way you accessorize your kitchen truly influences how you perceive your kitchen. Think of it as another room, not as just the kitchen.
By adding a few beautiful accessories and colors that you love, the space will feel refreshed, and so will you! Surround yourself with bowls of fresh fruit, vases filled with your favorite flowers, or special containers with herbs from your garden. Even your most utilitarian cooking utensils like your pots and pans should have an interesting color or design to ensure you enjoy using it. You can also splurge on a really great set of knives or a state-of-the art food processor! It’s essential that you have all the right utensils to make your preparation easier and more enjoyable. Some of your kitchen is about decoration and some is about function! Personally, I like to cook with the lights dimmed, a candle lit, and music in the background.
Giving ourselves the self-care we need allows us to be better, to feel better, and to fully be present. Repeat after me: Self-care is not selfish! It’s healing and feeding yourself positively, so you can be there for everyone else in your life. Whether you’re looking for self-reflection, a calm space, inspiration, or an infusion of energy… it’s all part of the bigger picture of self-care. You can find all of that in your own home if you set your intentions with you in mind.
Here’s to a year of taking care of ourselves!