Having your own personal getaway space can create positive changes to your body, mind, and spirit... and even fix a bad attitude toward the people you love most.
I have always been a person who could stay home with my family for prolonged periods of time. We homeschooled our children, and did so for many years from our hilltop country home. I didn't require much alone time at all. I was good at connecting with God in the everyday moments, and I rarely felt unhappy or to the end of my rope. I watched the majority of my friends complain about needing "me time", or time out with the girls, and while I felt sympathetic, I couldn't relate. I had no understanding of women waiting to shuffle their kids back off to school, or why they required time away from their own families.
Then came Covid 19 when the nation rolls up the sidewalks and the entire world shuts down and I find myself in the same situation as I was up on the hill, shut in with children. Only this time I wasn't handling it well. I love my family with all my might, and struggled with why I was feeling this way. I was the last person I ever expected to ever feel overwhelmed by her own family, and was disappointed that I had feelings of overwhelm and confusion.
What was the difference? I cycled through all the reasons of why my attitude towards being at home with my family was so drastically different than what I experienced as a younger mother. I thought that it might be attributed to my age. Had I become a less tolerant women? I thought that it could also be the stress of the world making everything seem like just all too much, because like many of you, my family has been effected by what is currently happening in our nation.
After some reflection, I realized that I was surrounded by stress in my earlier years of motherhood, but less effected. I realized that something that I did all my life, but was not doing now was using a personal getaway space. In years past, I started my day and ended my day in that special place, and I remember the time and the things that I learned in that space with a full heart.
So, I set out to create this a space in our home now by listing what I hoped the space to encourage, and what I hoped to use it for. For me, the space would be used for relaxing, getting creative, and for encouraging me to spend more time in my faith and in prayer. You may want to use your space for reading, yoga, journaling, or meditating. The possibilities are endless.
Once I started to use my space, the results were immediate, and it continues to get better every day. Using my personal space for some quiet time, prayer, and reflection has really helped increase my joy and gratitude, and I am enjoying my family more. I have been seeking my own heart for what I believe in these trying times and spending less time with news and social media. I feel like a weight has been lifted, and in a lot of ways, I think that it has.
Here are some tips on how to create your personal space and make it yours:
Location, Location, Location
Location can be the toughest part, especially for those of you who share your home with a family where every part of your home may already seem in use. You don't need an entire room. In fact, a smaller area is often easier to make your own.
A Sunny Corner
Who can't use a little sunshine for a pick me up? Plus, most of us do not get enough vitamin D, even when we are outside in the winter! Experiencing the overall feeling of warms, connecting with the sun, and feeling it on your skin can actually help bring your blood pressure down.
If you live in an area where whether permits, or you have an enclosed porch, it can make an excellent personal space and bring you closer to nature at the same time.
A Tent or Teepee
A regular kids sized teepee can make the perfect corner getaway for your personal space and it is easy enough to have two separate tents for couples.
I used a prayer closet as my personal getaway space when my children were very young. A closet makes a great space for being able to hideaway for a few needed moments and shut the door. Plus, it's a good option if you have toddlers who have free range of the entire house like ours did. It is important to have a space that will be the way that you left it when you need it.
A Mat or Rug
If space is a premium in your home, your space can be as simple as a yoga mat or rug. Make the room as comfortable and as inspiring as possible, and pull out your mat, or rug as needed.
Ideas to Bring Your Space Together
Large pillows or yoga cushions are great for sitting on the floor, especially if you don't have room in your space for a comfortable chair. Plus, pillows and cushions are a great way to add textile patterns and textures that make you happy.
Bring in natural elements, such as plants, not only cleans the air and adds oxygen, but caring for your plants in your personal space can be very therapeutic and may even decrease stress and reduce blood pressure. My personal favorites are herbs, of course, but you can use any plant that you like. If the caring for plants is the opposite of stress reducing because you weren't born with a green thumb, try a plant that is hard to kill. My recommendations are English ivy, Snake plant, Rubber Tree plant, Peace lily, Philodendron, Spider plant, Aloe Vera, or Jade plant.
I do the majority of my reading on a Kindle Oasis, but I love literature. I like to keep a few of my favorite classics, poetry books, and herb books on hand to flip through.
Music can really set the mood. My personal genres are classical and worship music, but you can choose anything that lightens your mood or lifts your spirits. One of my personal favorite contemporary artists is Nora Jones.
Inspiration Board and Photos
My inspiration board is my very favorite thing in my getaway space. You can add anything that makes you happy, inspires your, or reminds you of your goals. My inspiration board has goals, prayer reminders, and little odds and ends that make me happy. The sky is the limit when it comes to inspiration boards.
Having a diffuser in your personal space doesn't only add ambience, but it is also a great way to add essential oils that help you achieve your personal space goals.
- Blockade for Preparing Your Space: If your space is going in an area that hasn't been used for awhile and it is musty, freshen it up by diffusing Blockade. Blockade is a multi-use essential oil that helps kill mold, mildew, and airborne pathogens, among other things.
- Frank and Myrrh Blend for Prayer: There is just something about using oils of the Bible during my personal time, partly for symbolism, but also because the ingredients are an excellent blend for calming your mind and relieving stress.
- Focus for Reading: Focus essential oil is a great help to those who want to relax, read, or for Bible study. It helps shut down outside thoughts while easing stress and increasing focus.
- Om for Meditation: Om is our in-house yogi favorite for centering, grounding, relaxing, and focus.
- Anxiety X for Stress Relief: Anxiety X is one of my personal favorites for preparing for a stressful day, or washing away the stress at the end of the day.
- Blue Funk for Boosting Your Mood: Blue Funk essential oil blend is my go-to when the I am struggling with feeling sad.
- Tranquility for Peace: Tranquility essential oil blend is a blend of some of my favorite essential oils to bring the feeling of peace during trying times.
Make It Your Own
Remember, these are all just ideas. I'm sure that you have plenty of your own ideas and the most important thing in creating a personal space is that it is your own. Surround yourself with whatever makes you happy and helps you to meet your goals. Whatever encourages you to use the space is a good thing. If something isn't working for you, make changes.
I hope that you find the practice of having a space of your own helps you like it has helped me. I pray good things into your life, home, and family. May you be transformed and uplifted through even the most difficult of times.