Creating a “self-care space” is an easy way to take care of your mental and physical health. Taking care of your psychological and physical health is one of the essential things we preach at Awakenings Treatment Center.
Making healthy choices is challenging when you’re mentally and emotionally worn down. People with mental health problems are more likely to eat unhealthy foods, sleep inconsistently, be sedentary, engage in negative thinking and reach for substances.
We strongly recommend that clients working through our intensive outpatient program create this type of space in their homes. We want them to have a relaxing space to meditate, write in a journal, and remove themselves from harmful situations.
Read how to set up a self-care space in your home where you can slow down, live in the moment and nurture your recovery.
Designate a Specific Area
Choose a designated space in your home, far away from other people. It should have at least one window to let in natural light. If you don’t have an entire room, that’s okay! You only need a small space, such as a corner in a guest bedroom or den. The goal is to pick a space that’s quiet, private, and away from your everyday obligations like work or school.
Choose Calming Colors
If you have a room to work with, consider painting the walls a calming color, such as green, blue or beige. These colors keep us grounded, peaceful and safe, while also boosting feelings of hope and creativity. If you’re unable to paint the walls, bring in these calming colors in other ways. For example, you can hang up artwork or buy throw pillows and blankets in shades of green and blue.
Try Out Different Lighting
The lighting in your self-care space also deserves careful attention. Avoid bright or fluorescent lights, because they can suppress melatonin and contribute to stress. Instead, try dimmer lights that help slow down the mind, such as string lights or lamps with shades. Also use natural light from the window, as this helps your body produce Vitamin D and improves your circadian rhythm.
Fill Your Space with Plants
Adding plants to your indoor space is an effective way to lift your mood. In fact, it’s backed by science! People and plants are naturally connected, which is why greenery has a positive effect on the mood. Houseplants can also recharge our energy and ease symptoms of depression. And, if you’re new to recovery, taking care of a houseplant eases you into responsibility.
Finish with Cozy Furnishings
You’ll need a comfortable space to sit and relax, so choose a cozy chair or sofa. We also recommend a small table, so that you can set out a diffuser, candle, inspiring books, plants, etc. Then add in the furnishings – blankets, pillows, an area rug and relaxing scents. You don’t need much, as you don’t want the space to be cluttered.
A self-care space does not have to be expensive or elaborate to create. You can use the furniture you already have, or shop for used items at a secondhand store or Facebook Marketplace. We’ve seen clients set up these spaces all over, including on balconies, attics, guest bedrooms and reading nooks. Anyone can do it, and having this space will encourage you to spend more time on self-care.
Call us at 833-832-7176 to learn more about Awakenings Treatment Center’s intensive outpatient program.