There is a popular expression we use to describe our deep appreciation for that feeling of being in the loving warmth of our home, "home sweet home". However, more and more I am hearing from folks around the globe, friends and clients, that they are feeling stuck, like they're in jail, in their very own homes as we all cope with the #stayathome recommendation so rightfully put forth by our healthcare and governments.
What worries me is the stress and anxiety that people are feeling since being closed within the four walls of their homes. Many people are not feeling "at home" in the very homes that they sleep and eat and care for themselves in. This is something I have felt so called to address the past few days. I have shared some simple methods to deal with the symptoms of this in our live, daily, meditation practices (that you can find on my facebook page) and now I'd like to address it here, with 5 tips that can help you feel comfortable and even cocooned in your home space.
1. ASSESS - PURGE - CLEAR + MANIFEST!
Take this time, that we are urged to spend indoors, to clear out and purge anything that no longer serves a joyful purpose in your life. Yes, I know I am sounding like Marie Kondo here! I love her techniques and advice! What you will find is that when you clear out stagnant and stale (energetically) objects, perhaps these are objects from past relationships, past jobs, troubling times, etc. Just because they might have a sentimental or symbolic place in your heart or they can serve a specific and utilitarian function in a time of need, I urge you to reevaluate keeping them. Look at, touch and feel this object and sense if it really is serving you the way you would like to feel in the ideal version of yourself.
What is the ideal version of yourself, you ask?
Close your eyes and imagine your favourite place, an environment that makes you feel happy and free. Now, see yourself in this place. See the version of you that you long to be and feel like. See the version of you that you would do anything to be right now. See what this "you" is wearing, what she or he looks like, what the expression is on her face, how he feels. Really focus on how it feels to be her or him. Now, open your eyes. Know that you ARE her already, simply some aspects of this ideal version haven't yet materialized for you. Notice the feeling of being this version of you and with that feeling, hold and assess each object in your home. Would this version of you want this object in her life? Does it serve her highest purpose?
You will see, that once you clear space from objects such as these, and you actually make room in your home, clear spaces, you are inviting pieces of the ideal version of you to enter into your home. Want to hear a secret? When I had manifested my current romantic relationship, I knew I wanted to share my home with this man, so I cleared my bottom drawer in my dresser and left it empty for him to place his things when the time came. It only took days, before he asked if he could leave some of his clothes, and the drawer became his and two years have since passed that the drawer is full of his belongings - so we actually need to purchase a wardrobe now!
2. PAPERWORK BE GONE!
This, to me, seems to be the PERFECT time to sit in your office, at your kitchen table or dining room table, and tackle that big box or drawer of random paperwork (I know you have one of these boxes because so do I)!
Paperwork can pile up: bills, notices, flyers, things you printed that you wanted to read another day but never got around to, well guess what? Now you have the time to sort through all of these miscellaneous papers and just like above, clear space for what is really important.
You will notice that by putting these papers in order, and even better - recycling or shredding papers that you really have no use for at all - will clear your mind of extra worry and stress. I guarantee you will find something important you were looking for months ago, and you will find a way to file and organize paperwork that is useful for you to have on hand at a moment's notice. Your heart will settle and your mind will be at ease when you know where everything lives, and how it relates to everything else in your life.
3. YOUR BEDROOM IS YOUR SANCTUARY
It's not?? Well, now is your chance to make it one! I am going to be super strict here. Your bedroom is just that - a room for your bed! It is not a cinema or technological showroom. Your bedroom is a space for sleep, sex, and relaxation. Simple right? I thought so.
So, your task for the next two days is to remove from your bedroom anything that doesn't relate to sleeping, having sex (making loooove) or relaxation. This includes but is not limited to: cel phones, T.V.'s, laptops, iPads, digital devices with blue light, and anything else you know shouldn't be there.
Then, choose your favourite linens for your bed, wash and iron them if they're not already. Dress your bed so it looks inviting to sleep in. Add candles, flowers, music, books that you have wanted to read, a journal, and anything else that inspires you in the hours of waking and right before you nod off to sleep.
Make your room sexy. Add colours and textures that feel luxurious or that you would want to envelop yourself in. Or if you are super minimalist like I am lately, simply keep your room really clean of dust, add plants for atmosphere and small touches that spell out your personal style. A little colour can go a long way!
4. MAKE YOUR OWN ALTAR
Number four has nothing to do with religion or spirituality, unless you want it to. It has to do with creating a special place where you feel completely at peace. This may be in your bedroom, your office, or a corner of your home that emanates serene vibes. Whether you meditate or not, whether you pray or not, whether or not you do yoga or any other mind-body practice, every home needs a small space where one can go to "escape" or be at peace with one's thoughts or feelings.
Your altar, or corner, can include some of the following; items which help clear the energy in a space and invite higher consciousness:
- flowers (fresh cut)
- plants (that you care for)
- a cushion to sit on
- books that call to your spirit, soul, or highest self
- essential oils for aromatherapy
- stones, feathers, shells, anything inspired from the outdoors or nature
- pictures of loved ones who make you feel whole and nurtured
- anything else that makes you feel peaceful and calm
- sage or pure incense to clear the air or toxic energy
Use this space any time you need to chill, relax, or centre yourself. Perhaps this space is only meant for you, or you invite others to use it as well, making sure that everyone leaves it in as pristine condition as possible, so that you can enter without the need for tidying and cleaning before relaxing. Of course this can act as your meditation or yoga space in your home, but it doesn't have to be that. It can be a place for reflection, prayer, or simply a place to be quiet with oneself.
5. CREATE YOUR OWN SPA OR GYM
Ok, so creating your own spa might require quite a bit of imagination, but think:
- essential oils for aromatherapy
- facial masks, creams, scrubs, be creative here!
- body scrub or exfoliant --> you can even make your own!
- fresh towels rolled or folded neatly
- bath bomb, or bath salts for detox and relaxation
These are just some ideas, you can be SO creative here. The spa can be your bathroom, including some of the elements listed above, or the spa can be a part of your bedroom, using a beautiful bowl and pitcher of water, as needed, to cleanse the face during a facial. Make sure you have a few small face towels available.
I think this is my favourite of all! Creating your own home gym. This is actually MUCH easier than you think. For this you will need, an empty space approximately 6x6ft, or enough to be able to lie down fully on the ground without any obstacles, as well as being able to swing your arms around when standing without banging into anything. Once that space is selected I would like you to collect the following (anything you don't have, be creative and make out of things you own at home):
1. yoga or pilates mat - Don't have one? Use a beach towel or small rug
2. a large body towel that you can use for certain arm and leg exercises, or a yoga strap
3. yoga blocks - Don't have? Use some old textbooks
4. hand weights or barbell - Don't have? Use canned goods, 1.5 L water bottles filled, cat litter (full or half bag),etc.
5. clear wall space for wall sits and other exercises
Other things you could use or add as time goes by:
- skipping rope
- bosu (a balance apparatus)
- medicine ball
- resistance bands
- pilates disc and ball
- stability ball
Creating your home gym is the easiest of all, because essentially you could do all exercises with your body weight, think plyometrics, yoga, pilates, tai chi, barre, etc. This requires no equipment and endless amounts of exercises to choose from. You can find exercises online, and even here at pranalakshmi.com/movement.
So, there you have it, 5 ways to make your home feel more home-y now that you are confined to it for days on end during this unprecedented time in our history. Why is this such an important topic to me? Our home is our sanctuary, our safe space, our haven. It is essential at this time now, more than ever before, that we feel safe, comfortable, sheltered and nurtured in this space. It is important that we show the most paramount, thorough acts of self care, and outfit our home with the essentials so that we are able to care for more of our needs with items we find in our own homes, for prevention and protection.
Enjoy your homes, implement these ideas and others and comment below to let me know how it goes!