Community//

7 Keys to Creating Your Perfect Sanctuary

There is no need to live life dreaming of vacations when the simple solution is in your control.

Beautiful serene nature photography by Bernadette Meyers

What is your idea of the perfect escape? A tropical island, sailing the Greek Isles, a health spa in Thailand or perhaps Paris in the springtime. Dream holidays are wonderful and hopefully we all have them once in a while, but what if we could escape the stresses of everyday work, commuting and digital overload right in our own home? 

Why not?

You can create a peaceful sanctuary in your home, by transforming your entire house or even a single room into a special relaxing place that you can slip off to every day for a mini retreat.

I’ve discovered 7 keys to creating a perfect escape sanctuary and you can apply them to any room at home or in the workplace.

Light

We all know sunlight to be a natural source of healing and lifter of spirits. If at all possible, bring natural light into your room.

Candles also give a gentle ambient light which creates a lovely mood.

Keep decor and accessories in lighter tones.

Nature

The positive effects of nature in the home have been long documented. Including natural items such as flowers, feathers, shells, seedpods and furnishings made from cotton, wood, metal etc all help. It’s just as important to remove as many synthetic items as possible.

Did you know that studies show that people concentrate better even when exposed to pictures of nature? [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494405000381]

So hanging nature inspired art is a must especially if you don’t have any windows looking out on the natural world.

Harmony

You can create a sense of harmony in your space by taking stock of the things which you like and those which don’t bring you joy. Remove any which don’t fit. It is amazing how quickly a place will harmonise when only the essentials remain.

Using colours and tones which are similar rather than contrasting will also contribute to a general feeling of harmony.

Scent

With so many essential oils available there are endless choices. Here are twelve favourites for creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere.

Lavender, Cinnamon Leaf, Cedarwood, Lime, Grapefruit, Eucalyptus, Rose, Orange, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage, Jasmine.

Colour

Try to keep the overall colour palette of each room fairly tight.

Colours which are known to be calming and relaxing are:

lighter shades of blue, (darker shades can evoke sadness), green, light versions of purple such as lavender and lilac, neutrals and pink.

Sound

A relaxing place needs to be peaceful.

Sometimes you might want pure quiet, sometimes you may enjoy gentle music with or without nature sounds.

Connection

It’s sort of ironic that in order to escape, we need to connect. We only need to escape from the busyness of life, the hustle of the city, our digital devices and daily stresses. We need to connect to the real things in life, people, our emotions, nature, creativity… By having a space which is filled with only things which mean something to us and is void of things we dislike, we can become more in tune with ourselves. 

Think about each piece in your space, particularly artworks. Art is not just a decorator item. Good artists intentionally input emotion into their work. Bland art is not synonymous with peaceful art. 

So don’t waste you life waiting for that 2 week perfect escape, enjoy every day in your own home and work place by creating a refreshing sanctuary.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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