Creating a self care sanctuary in your own home is easier than you might think.
While the term “self care sanctuary” might sound fancy, it’s really just a place filled with things that make you feel comfortable and at ease. Having a dedicated space to practice regular self care can make doing it seem like less of a chore. For women battling postpartum depression and anxiety, it can be a place to get away from the everyday mess and chaos that’s associated with motherhood.
Your self care sanctuary can be anywhere you choose. It doesn’t need to be a separate room in your house – it can be your bedroom, bathroom, or even an outdoor space in your backyard. You should be able to access it easily and on a regular basis. Most importantly, it should be a place that you enjoy being and where you feel like you can focus on yourself, regardless of how much time you have.
Here are some tips on how to turn your space into a self care sanctuary.
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Detoxify the Environment
The first thing you need to do to create your self care sanctuary is detoxify the space. Clean the area thoroughly using non-toxic cleaning products and get rid of any clutter or unnecessary items. A minimally styled space opens the door to peace and healing and will allow you to focus on yourself without being distracted (and let’s face it, who can relax in a dirty room?).
Once you have a clean, clutter-free space, you can start to incorporate different things to purify the air.
- Burn some dried sage. The ritual of sage burning can remove the negative energy from within the room (also called smudging).
- Light candles or incense to promote a healing environment. Try a Himalayan salt candle holder for extra purifying benefits!
- Use essential oils in a diffuser. There are blends that reduce anxiety, improve immune health, promote mindfulness and boost your mood.
- Adopt a houseplant. Choose one of several plants that clean and purify the air in a room. Outdoor spaces filled with flowers and greenery are also perfect locations for a self care sanctuary.
Your self care sanctuary is a place where you can go to detoxify from the inside out.
This is why it’s so important for it to be free of toxins and negative energy. The environment should never feel sterile, but it should feel fresh, clean and pure. Every mom should have a place where they can avoid dishes, dirty diapers and scattered toys – even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.
Select Comfort Items
When it comes to self care, comfort is essential. It’s almost impossible to relax when you feel too hot or too cold or if your clothes are restricting and uncomfortable. Escaping to your self care sanctuary means you get some time away from being climbed on like a jungle gym, or constantly being needed and pulled in different directions.
Consider all the different aspects that make you feel comfortable.
- Choose furniture that you truly love to curl up in. It can be a bed, sofa, lounger, hammock, swing or something else. Try to think outside the conventional idea of comfort.
- Dress comfortably, whatever that means to you. You can put on pajamas, a robe or even relax completely naked! Slip on some wooly socks, house shoes or try some toe spreaders.
- Invest in a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets have been scientifically proven to help ease stress and anxiety.
Your self care sanctuary is the ultimate place of comfort and relaxation.
This means different things to different people. For example, I prefer to be warmer rather than cool and so I love my cozy blankets and fireplace. But someone living somewhere hot may need a fan or open window to feel comfortable instead. Try out different things until you find the right combination of comfort.
Surround Yourself in Beauty
Stimulate your brain visually and create a feast for the eyes. Even if you plan to keep your eyes closed the entire time, your self care sanctuary should still be filled with beautiful views. The things we look at each day, whether we focus on them or not, form part of our subconscious.
Use positive imagery to help retrain the subconscious mind.
- Look out the window. If you have a naturally beautiful view through your window, then make it your focal point. If you don’t have a great view, install beautiful window coverings or hang plants or sun catchers instead.
- Cover the walls. Cover the walls in artwork, favorite photos or motivational posters. Paint the walls a soothing color or make a chalkboard wall where you can write your own inspirational messages.
- Decorate with intention. Lighting fixtures, decor, plants and furniture all contribute to the overall feel of your self care sanctuary. Try to choose pieces that you love or that have special meaning to you.
Your self care sanctuary is a visually stimulating place that inspires you.
If your self care sanctuary is normally a communal space, then you can still keep it in line with the design of the rest of the house. Print and frame quotes that inspire you and hang them up in the rest of the house too (Etsy is a great place to find some). Even if you don’t read them everyday, your mind will soak up the beauty, inspiration and positive vibes.
Soothe the Skin
Our skin has a lot to put up with on a daily basis, and yet, it’s one of our most neglected organs. Treating the exterior of our bodies is a great way to feel refreshed and should be an essential part of any self care routine. As mothers, we tend to keep things low maintenance on a daily basis, sticking to the bare necessities of skin care.
Escaping to a self care sanctuary is the perfect time for a little bit of pampering.
- Do a home spa treatment. Apply a face mask, cooling gel eye mask (or cucumbers), coat your hair in coconut oil and wrap it in a warm towel.
- Soak in the tub. Add some epsom salts to soothe sore muscles and absorb magnesium to help fight anxiety and depression. If baths aren’t an option, then soaking your feet offers the same benefits.
- Exfoliate and Moisturize. Exfoliating the skin is a great way to feel refreshed and soften the skin but don’t forget to moisturize afterwards!
- Try dry brushing. This is one way to stimulate and exfoliate the skin while also improving blood circulation and reducing stress.
Your self care sanctuary is where you go to feel renewed and refreshed.
Keep a basket of your favorite skin care products in your self care sanctuary. This way, you’ll be able to pamper yourself any chance you get. You don’t need to go all out on skin care every day, but remember to take care of yourself on the outside as well as on the inside.
Cleanse the Body
As important as it is to take care of the outside of our bodies, we also need to remember to take care of what’s inside as well. Leave any thoughts of dieting or weight loss outside the self-care sanctuary. Eating healthy food is something we should be doing all day long and not just during our self care time.
There are still things we can do routinely while in our self care sanctuary that help to cleanse the entire body.
- Drink lemon water. This simple combination has many health benefits, especially for those suffering from depression and anxiety.
- Indulge in healthy drinks. Sip on smoothies, green tea or naturally flavored water.
- Practice deep breathing. Take long, slow breaths to help clear the lungs and feel energized.
- Meditate. Try using a guided meditation app or simply spend some time being mindful.
Your self care sanctuary is where you can reset your mind and body.
Create a routine for yourself that includes daily trips to your self care sanctuary. Then incorporate all the things you should be doing on a daily basis, such as taking vitamins and checking in on your overall health and well being. Eventually, it will become second nature.
Make Room for Physical Movement
While your self-care sanctuary doesn’t need to be fully stocked with gym equipment, it should have enough space for some physical movement. You should never feel obligated to “work out” during your self care time, because that can cause added pressure and might make you avoid it altogether. But physical movement releases happiness-inducing endorphins, which are definitely a good thing.
There are several different ways to incorporate physical movement within your self care sanctuary.
- Stretch. Simple stretching can loosen up a stiff neck or back, a common side effect of stress.
- Run. Running on a treadmill can help to burn off extra pent up frustration or anxiety.
- Yoga. This popular option has several benefits for treating depression and anxiety.
- Dance. Turn on your favorite music and let it move you. You can literally dance like no one is watching.
- Punch. If you find that you suffer from anger management problems or postpartum rage, install a punching bag.
Your self care sanctuary is an outlet for releasing emotions in a physical way.
The point is not to burn calories or build muscles. The point is to connect with your body, get your heart beating and find an outlet to express any negativity. And if you just don’t feel like doing anything physical that day, it’s perfectly fine. Don’t ever feel pressured to have to do anything at all during your self-care time.
Embrace Your Creative Side
A self care sanctuary should be a safe place for you to express yourself. Often, it’s hard to communicate what we feel using words alone. Art is a different outlet for expressing the stress and feelings that often get built up inside of us.
Artistic expression comes in a variety of different forms.
Journaling, drawing, coloring or painting. You don’t need to be a professional artist, and it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.
Crafting, knitting, sewing or macrame. Don’t try to copy something you saw on Pinterest. Instead, use it as a way to express yourself and only do it if it makes you happy.
Singing or playing a musical instrument. Don’t feel like you need to be a good musician, sing along to your favorite songs or teach yourself how to play a new instrument without any judgement.
Blogging. This can be a job, but it can also be a hobby that helps you express yourself through writing and graphic design.
Your self care sanctuary is a place for self-discovery.
It might take some time to find the right creative outlet and it may change regularly. If there’s something new you wanted to learn how to do, then the serenity of your self care sanctuary could be the perfect place to start. You never know what you are capable of until you give it a try. Having some time and space to work on what’s important to you is a great way to practice self-care.
Once you’ve created the ultimate self care sanctuary, schedule some time to use it!
Download this free PDF workbook designed to help you establish a working self care routine, even as a busy mother.