The place where you lie your head after a long day is supposed to be a respite for your dreams, where your mind, body and soul find soothing relief. Instead, my room had been a place where I hardly managed to get into my PJs before flinging myself in the general direction of mattress, pillows and sheets.
That’s the story for most of us coming home at the end of the day, and it’s likely that coming home isn’t your true end of day. You have to prepare for tomorrow, cook dinner and attend to your loved ones before closing your eyes.
Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, where you venture to reconnect, rest and boost your mood. It wasn’t until I reserved that space for myself that real balance entered my life. Here’s how I turned my room into a mood-boosting sanctuary:
Out with the Old
To have a perfect rest nest, you need the right combination of blankets and flat to fluffy pillow ratio. Out went the scratchy yesteryear blankets replaced with rustic quilts. Out went the too flat pillows, except for two, replaced with the most cloud-like of pillows for my ever-aching neck and shoulders.
“Out with the old” applies to more to than bed things. I also donated or gave away old clothes and other clutter closing in on me. If you reverse your hangers as you wear items, it’ll force you to either wear something you typically don’t or toss it in the giveaway box. If you feel brave, reduce the items in your closet to 33 pieces, and know you can store a few extra items, just in case.
What about old paper files? It’s a good idea to get rid of anything beyond five years old, aside from important documents, such as deeds or loan papers. Shred it! Out with the old and with the truly comfortable essentials.
Once you feel comfortable with reducing your clutter, consider going with a minimalist bedroom. Remove the television, and relax with a book instead. Stick with a simple writing desk, chair and comfortable mattress to go with your essential wardrobe and bedding. Since I’ve done this, I typically get my eight hours of sleep in.
Bring in the Green
I love nature, but my history with growing green things has been iffy. Succulents on fridge magnets have been my only successful planting endeavor lately, but I resolved to surround myself with nature.
Create an indoor container garden in your bedroom, with moth orchids, peace lilies and palm trees. Many vines and lilies work well in indoor environments with partial shade, a few hours of sunlight and just right temperatures. I started with a peace lily and added a fake tree in the corner for effect. Fake it until you make it has some merit.
Plants cleanse indoor air, and if you have any sensitivities to dust or issues with humidity. The oxygen produced by your indoor plants may help. I have felt like I can breathe a little easier, even if the effect is only psychological.
Soothing Scents Calm the Soul
Scientists say scent is your most powerful sense, with the body containing over 1,000 receptors for smell as versus roughly four each for sight and touch. It’s funny how one smell can bring back the vaguest of childhood memories in detail. A brand of candles labeled “apple pie” reminds me of my grandmother’s baking.
What scents comfort you? What smells relax or revitalize you? Think about the memories that comfort you. Did your mother or grandmother wear a rose or lavender perfume? What smell instantly relaxes you.
Lavender is always a go-to, because it’s known as a cleanser and a soother with its herbal properties. I place a little lavender essential oil in a diffuser in the bedroom, an hour before bed time and lie down early to ease myself to rest.
By saying out to the old clutter and in with the green plants and soothing scents, I cultivated a mood-boosting sanctuary. This environment helps me to re-center at the end of a long and hard day.
It’s important to have a soothing space to end your day with — a space that is all yours.