calming house decor

Creating a Mindfulness Space in Your Home

       Sharing a home with family is such an honor and something we can definitely take for granted at times. To have that closeness and feel connected with our loved ones is something that we as humans seem to naturally crave. We go on to move out of our family homes and start families of our own creating that bond and closeness for our adult lives. Surely, the family experience can be busy and messy sometimes. Everyone can be on their own schedule and have things they want to do that doesn’t align with the rest of the family. Most importantly, we are all individuals. It can be necessary to have your own space in all the chaos. If not your own, then definitely a calming space at the very least. If you live alone this concept still applies! You need a space where you can take a breath and just exist. A place specifically designed for you to be present in the moment. That space is just bliss when it's needed and I am going to help you create it.

       First, lets talk about mindfulness. Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment and experiencing that moment for what it is. It is taking everything in, in the moment. Notice what is happening with your body, what emotions you are feeling, and what thoughts are going through your head. Shortly put, it is paying attention. Practicing mindfulness allows us to better managing our emotions, understand ourselves, and decrease stress and anxiety.

        Have you ever heard of a coping box for a child? Sometimes, there are other names for this concept (i.e. calm down box) but it is a common idea in addressing behavioral challenges with children. The idea is that there is a box that is kept in your child's room. In this box is all the thoughtfully picked items that remind your child of their coping mechanisms. Often, this is created with the child and is a whole activity in itself. When the child needs to utilize a coping skill they go to this box and use the items inside to help them calm down or cope with an emotion. The concept of a mindfulness space is similar to this but a bigger. This is the adult version of the coping box. I will explain how this also works for kids as I go along.

       First, you are going to need to designate an area of your home to this. There needs to be seating of some sort.  A wingback chair in the den or the swing on the front porch, either will do. Just make sure it's comfortable and if possible, away from the action. Dress this area to be calming. Consider color palate—blues and light purples tend to have a calming effect on people. I’m not saying mix the two, but maybe pick one and work with it in your color scheme. Personal preference is above all here. If you are looking to promote positivity and boost mood, you may pick vibrate colors. Wall art and lighting that fits the mood you are trying to create are important here. Don’t be afraid to try things like string lights or artwork you are drawn to.

       The trick to creating this space is what comes next, which is, your coping box. Box, shelf, ottoman, chest, drawer, whatever form it may take on. Put in something that helps you use the space for what it is meant to be used for. Here’s the deal, you need to keep technology out of it. Technology has the ability to mentally takes us some where else. It gives us immediate gratification and distraction. The whole point of this space is to recognize how you are feeling and being present in the moment. Fill the space with tools you can use to do that. Some ideas would be a journal with a pen or a miniature Zen garden.

       Expand your thoughts on this one. What you choose to put in this space may not be rudimentary. In fact, I challenge you to find something that is truly relaxing. Maybe you find peace in watching the sand in an hourglass steadily drain down. Perhaps, you find Newton’s cradle completely soothing. It could be art work hanging on the wall. Or maybe you are not sure what gives you peace and that’s okay. Go take a walk in nature and then visit some of your favorite places and see what speaks to you. You might find that you connect with nature more than other things. Another option is putting mindfulness card in the space. When you sit down, you pick a card with a thought prompt and sit in those thoughts for a while. This could work if you need a little more direction on this concept. Be intentional about the way you create this space and the way you use your time in this space.

       This concept works for children as it does adults. You may think kids don’t appreciate these things as much but it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it. In fact, they need it most, hence, the coping box. Depending on your child’s age you may be able to make this a habit for them. Enjoying this space may become part of the daily routine in the home. It could also be a form of “time out” allowing them to work through things in a safe and healthy space designed for the cause. If your child is older this may be something you stock with things they enjoy in the hopes they discover this zone for themselves. Some parents may use this space as a chance to authentically interact with their child. This concept is completely customizable to your family needs. Work with it, change it up if you need to but most importantly, use it.

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