An indicator of hope is how one can maintain internal peace while transitioning through turbulent times. While we are within the four walls of our home, doing the best we can, I am inspired to share a sense of reprieve from the unknowns and offer a new way to attach meaning to our space. This is about being intentional and dedicating space to live in, to love in, to learn in and to grow in – highlighted in my new coffee table book out this fall, The New Southern – A Lifestyle and Design Book. By doing this, we are able to bolster the energy empowering us to show up; it begins within us and starts at home. Below, I am walking you through how we can incorporate wellness into our space to yield more peace, productivity and organization.
Set up wellness stations at home.
Working from home is not new for me. In order for us to maximize our output, we have to reimagine our everyday spaces and reassign meaning to create not just literal space, but also emotional and mental space for ourselves. Co-opt a few spots at home as “Wellness Stations” — literal places in your home to find a sense of peace and calm. Here’s how your space can reflect a schedule for wellness:
- Morning Wellness Station: The Shower. Water soothes most of my needs. It is a source of renewal and in our day-to-day lives, a reminder for stillness. I encourage waking up early to give yourself quiet time in the shower to start the day off with an intention. A few questions to get going are: How do I want to feel today? How am I going to show up for myself today and for the world around me?
- Afternoon Wellness Station: The Outdoors. Go for a walk. Take time over lunch to connect with the sun, the clouds and the wind. Even taking a moment to rest by a window can reveal simple splendors — natural light, the details of winter transforming to spring, birds singing.
- Evening Wellness Station: Tub Time. Carving out time for a bath is a sacred way to take stock in the day. This stillness yields awareness of what was working during the day and where we need to pivot. Taking this time to recharge along with a mindful meditation is one step closer to a good night’s rest and optimizes your effectiveness for a brand new day ahead.
Create a schedule: Time Management vs Energy Management.
Over the years, I have had time to fine tune the levers of my schedule to accommodate two growing businesses, speaking engagements, managing a team, and writing my first book. I discovered the vital force behind our effectiveness is the quality of our energy. I am a firm believer in energy management over time management. Working from my home studio is normal when I am not traveling for clients; however, due to the current #socialdistancing climate, we are all adjusting to new characters and new schedules adding complexity to a new normal. Husbands are at home, moms suddenly have kids 24/7, remote learning is taking place, and domestic responsibilities have increased (and are hopefully being shared!).
More than ever, it’s critical to manage our energy, to be innovative with a new schedule and to be forgiving with ourselves. It’s about a flexible approach. Develop a loose schedule that not only prioritizes family and work, but also provides for conscious media consumption with an equal amount of space to unplug. And finally – let yourself do something new!
Do something new.
I recently did this by incorporating my husband, Ben, into my creative space on social media. He is a highly trained head and neck surgeon, and, after finding myself overwhelmed ciphering through the rapidly changing news everyday, I noticed I felt much calmer hearing it from his (scientifically-trained) perspective. So I decided to share that with my New Southern community, and now our nightly Q+As on Instagram Stories not only helps us to stay on top of news and share unbiased data with others, but also brings us and others together.
Whatever it looks like for you and your household, now is the time to tap into creativity as a resource. Here are a few ideas to explore:
- Art Therapy – This can look like anything from picking up a paintbrush to simply picking some greenery on your afternoon walk to arrange in a vase.
- Cook with intention – A tradition as old as time, cooking is a way to show love and nourish relationships around the table.
- Create a dedicated reading space – Steal a throw or some pillows from somewhere else in your home and break out the good candles. Get cozy!
- Create a dedicated meditation space – Carve out a corner that cues your body and mind to slow down when you’re in it – wherever it may be.
- Start a book club -My friend Allison Moorer, an Academy and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, is taking it virtual on Instagram daily, reading and highlighting passages out of noteworthy, soulful reads. She is curating accompanying playlists weekly as well. Take a note from Allison’s Instagram and start supporting artists and authors. A few books I recommend starting out with: Blood by Allison Moorer, Vibrate Higher Daily by Lalah Delia, You Are Enough by Panache Desai, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, or Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward.