Guest Blog: How to Create a Quiet Space for Unwinding
Life can be a busy place. This mantra has never been more applicable than in the modern world, where work and school follow us everywhere we go, our smartphones are always a jean pocket or purse zipper away, and social media relentlessly beckons us to respond to that notification about our cousin’s new pet cat. The constant buzz — and the endless stream of coffee we consume to stay attentive to it — can often leave us wired and strung out. It can leave us feeling like all we need is a chance to sit alone for a few minutes to rest, recuperate, and prepare ourselves for the next adventure.
But having a place to genuinely tap out can be difficult to come by. Often it requires a purposeful effort to create a space that can authentically let you unwind, turn off your thoughts, and bask in a few moments of well-earned peace. Here are a few great tips to help set up a quiet space for those rare moments when we can manage to find five minutes to spend alone.
Ambiance Is Everything
If you’re going to set up a quiet space to truly relax in, there are a few different factors you’re going to want to consider:
A Little Treat for Those Overstimulated Olfactory Senses
While it’s easy to take into account things like looks and sounds, we’re going to kick things off with one of the subtlest yet most important quiet space factors of all: smell. A clean, neutral odor can be good enough for your home or work space, but when it comes to a quiet space, there are ways to wield that sense of smell to your advantage.
One particularly popular way to do this is by using essential oils to tickle those nostrils and send your mind into a state of relaxation. Not only should you get a good diffuser for your space, though, you’re also going to want to specifically consider using lavender essential oils when you go to fire it up. It’s no secret that lavender essential oils are excellent for mental health, freshen the air, and help with numerous ailments from headaches and allergy relief to better sleep quality.
Set the Mood With Music
Music can be an emotional haven. Even in the workplace, music is known to improve the atmosphere and increase staff morale. However, using music as an emotionally therapeutic part of your quiet space game plan should be done thoughtfully. Popping in your favorite heavy metal album or even a long, wordy ballad can end up overstimulating your mind and completely undermine the whole point of your retreat into quietude. Try to aim for soft, calm music. If you can find an artist you like that doesn’t have lyrics, that can often be the perfect solution. Remember, we’re trying to calm down, not create a concert-like experience.
Another critical element for setting the stage of your quiet space is mood lighting. Consider getting blackout curtains in order to help create privacy and give you control over the softness of and quantity of illumination within the space.
When it comes to the actual light you’re utilizing, if you can have a fireplace or a few candles going, the presence, heat, and warm glow of a flame can be a huge factor to help create an aura of relaxation. As for light bulbs, go for an orange light hue, as it is an excellent way to recreate and add to that feeling of a flickering fire or a candle.
That Personal Touch
Remember, this is your relaxing space. Once you’ve got the atmospheric bones in place, it’s time to make it uniquely and specifically tailored to your own brand of tranquility. From rugs to chairs and the throw pillows that adorn them, be purposeful (and picky!) about what you populate your space with.
Don’t allow it to become a cluttered mess, either. Make it a piece of art, as minimal or filled as you want, with color schemes that are easy on your eyes. Use clean, tidy decorations if neatness and order put your mind at rest. If shiny and new aren’t your thing, consider using recycled materials to create a tranquil yet responsible space that provides peace of the mind.
Setting Your Mood
Once you’ve got your space all set up, you’re not quite done yet. In fact, you still have the most important part of all, setting your mood for the experience. There are many different ways that people use to detach from the rigors of life in order to experience periods of rest and tranquility. Here are a few to keep in mind when it comes to a quiet space within your home:
Don’t Dictate the Experience
One of the hardest things to do in order to genuinely enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet is to resist the urge to control it. Setting expectations for what you’re going to get out of an experience like this is a surefire way to be disappointed. It may take some practice, but try to simply release yourself into the experience itself.
While you don’t want to control the minutiae of quiet time you have, it can be helpful to plan when the time itself will occur, especially if you have a full schedule. Whether it’s a day, a week, or a month ahead, purposefully scheduling your quiet time in advance can be a good way to ensure that you actually get it.
Ease Back Into Things
Finally, don’t rush back into the bustle if you can help it. Try to make sure that you have some time to ease back into your normal schedule after your quiet time, slowly ramping up your responsibilities without having to suddenly make a million decisions at breakneck speed. Diving back into the thick of things can be a surefire way to make all of your preparations for naught. Instead, slowly taking up your responsibilities can help create a determination to take on the challenges they present, rather than resentment at their replacing your calm experience.
A Chance to Let Go
Remember, the goal of a quiet space is to have a time and place where you can genuinely unwind, relax, and let go. We have lives of control. It’s human nature to try to organize, order, and dictate how things will go. And that attitude can often yield very positive, helpful results. But in order to prevent burnout and frustration, it’s critical that we regularly take time to simply lay down that responsibility of control and allow ourselves to live in the moment.
The entire concept is a mental battle at its core, but having a well-thought-out quiet space to retreat to in times of need can be the perfect tool to help us reach that state of tranquility on a regular basis.
About the Author:
Magnolia Potter is a muggle from the Pacific Northwest who writes from time to time. She covers a variety of topics and prefers not to settle on just one. When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her in the outdoors or curled up with a good book and a mug of butterbeer. She is still waiting for her Hogwarts acceptance letter. You can chat with her on Twitter @MuggleMagnolia.