If there’s one thing that’s improved during lockdown at home, it’s my self-care routine! I was already pretty committed to carving out time for myself before I was spending all my time at home, but now it’s an art form. One thing I noticed early on during lockdown was how important it is for me to have a space that’s just for me. No dogs licking my face while I’m perfecting my downward dog and no phone or laptop nearby to distract my mind.
I started thinking of this space as my sacred space, a place in my home where I could go to recharge and switch off from all the scary news stories and information overload.
For me, my sacred space has always been in my bedroom, mostly because I can close the door and know I won’t be disturbed. The most important thing is to choose a space that is quiet and that has natural light if possible. And hopefully somewhere you can place a yoga mat so you can do you preferred workout in peace.
How to Create Your Sacred Space At Home
Once you have chosen the place in your home for your own space, it’s time to think about how you would you like your sacred space to look, smell and feel.
If possible, it’s always a good idea to include houseplants in the room you have chosen. During these times of lockdown, it’s hard to spend as much time in nature as we might usually. Bringing plants into your home is a wonderful way to connect to nature, and taking care of plants, by watering them and singing to them is great for your mental health. Having plants around us helps to lift our spirits and we all need that during these trying times.
Candles are one of the best ways to make your space feel special, especially if you are going to use the space for early morning meditation or in the evening for relaxation. There’s nothing nicer than waking up slowly in the morning with glowing candlelight instead of harsh artificial light; it can help aid your morning meditation as well. It’s also beneficial to wind down at the end of the day with the soft glow of candlelight as you prepare to sleep.
Smudging and Scenting Your Space
Adding some incense or essential oils to the room helps to set the tone for your space. The scent you choose can help you feel relaxed or uplifted depending on what you need that day. I love using lavender essential oil for relaxation and rosemary and peppermint to uplift my mood and energy.
I always smudge my space and I make my own herbal smudge sticks for this rather than use palo Santo. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to making your own herbal smudge sticks. The advantage of this is that you can choose the herbs you want yourself. If you don’t fancy making your own, you can find lots of handmade herbal smudge sticks on Etsy. I especially love smudging mugwort before I go to sleep if I want to enjoy more lucid dreams.
It’s great to cleanse your space before and after you use it, so you can leave behind any unwanted energy from your day.
Yoga Mat & Cushions
I always have my yoga mat, several bolsters, a lavender eye pillow, blocks and blankets stored near my sacred space. I teach and practice a lot of yin and restorative yoga so this is a must for me. If you don’t practice yoga, then you can have a soft rug in this space with cushions; so that you can sit on the floor for meditation, writing or just plain relaxing. It’s really grounding to sit on the floor after so many hours at your desk. Even if you don’t practice yoga, you can always stretch a bit if you feel tired and achy after a long day.
For some, an altar might sound too religious or spiritual but really, it’s just a part of your home where you place things that are meaningful to you. This might be your favorite grounding crystal, photos of your loved ones, or perhaps a beautiful vase in which you can arrange your favorite seasonal flowers. Your altar is an extension of what is sacred to you, if you have a specific deity you work with you can always place them on your altar as well. I have a little Ganesh gifted to me by a friend who lives on my altar, a reminder of persevering through difficult times.
Working with the Seasons: Spring
One of my favorite parts of my sacred space is bringing in the seasons. I always go outside every day no matter the weather (the upside of being a dog owner) and I often collect little treasures from my walks. As we are transitioning into early spring it’s a wonderful time to bring things in from nature that reflect the seasons. Pick a posy of flowers from your garden or choose seasonal flowers from your local florist. Even sticks, leaves, stones, or pretty shells that you find on your travels can live on your altar. Changing your altar with the seasons helps you to reflect on the cyclical nature of life.
Your sacred space is for you to use as you wish so really create a cozy space you want to spend time in. It’s very calming to start your day by smudging your space and sitting quietly for a while with a cup of herbal tea. Maybe light your candles, open a window and listen to the sounds of the birds and the natural world waking up. Begin your day with a meditation and some movement, and then whatever you feel called to do; journal a bit or think about how you’d like to move through your day.
I suggest keeping an inspirational book nearby, that you can dip into at the start of the day rather than grabbing your phone first thing. I personally love all Pema Chodron’s books and I often read a chapter of one before I get busy with my to-do list.
Also by Rebecca: These Principles of Shojin Ryori (Japanese Temple Cuisine) Nourish You, Body & Mind
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Photo: Daniel Chen via Unsplash