Creating a Zen Den

If you’ve struggled to implement a daily routine to meditate, pray or relax, consider your surroundings. Be mindful of when, where and how you’re practicing self-care. If you have a dedicated time and place to relax, you’re more likely to create a routine with lasting benefits.

Even though you can’t go to a spa each day to relax and unwind, you can bring that same feeling into your home (and even office) to help you transition into a restful state of mind.

If you can dedicate an entire room to your serenity, indulge in that luxury!

Start with a neutral palette and natural lighting. Although bright colors can lift your mood and inspire creativity, it can prevent you from being still and quiet. It stimulates the brain as opposed to calming it, so avoid bringing in even pops of color or accents. To keep the room pleasing to the eye and senses, incorporate varying shades of the same neutral color (grays are a great choice) and use lots of different textures in rugs, throws, pillows, etc. If you don’t have much natural light, use soft lamps and dimmers instead of direct overhead lighting.

Then begin to add other natural elements to the space. Live green plants, fresh cut flowers, a water feature, soft polished rocks, minerals and crystals, sand, and even the flame of a candle can help you feel relaxed and more spiritually connected.

Make it your own. If you enjoy meditation, have meditation pillows, malas and guided meditations handy. If you prefer yoga, have a mat, blocks and blankets ready for use. If you enjoy the sound of relaxing music, purchase a speaker for dedicated use in the room. You don’t want to have your phone or I-pad out for music as it will likely distract you and take you out of the moment. Have inspiring and soulful books on a shelf ready to read. Whatever fits within your idea of relaxing, incorporate that into the room.

Last, be clear on the purpose of the space. What are your intentions? Create rules for how the room is to be used. Is it just for you? Or can other family members enjoy it as well? (You may find your kids enjoy quiet time in a relaxation room where they’re not disturbed either.) Is it a “no talking”, “no electronics,” or “no interruptions” zone? Keep the area sacred and you’ll find it easier to relax as soon as you enter.

If you don’t have the space or resources to create an entire zen den dedicated to your peace of mind, you can still create an area that helps you unwind. Use a corner in your bedroom or office to dedicate to your self-care rituals. A chair, side table and lamp with a candle is sufficient to create a relaxing environment. The key is to keep it sacred. Don’t be tempted to use it in any other way. Don’t let it be a place to pile up file folders or clothes or otherwise work. It shouldn’t be multi-functional or it will lose its calming effect and you’ll stop using it to relax.

To help you get your creative juices flowing, I’ve created a board on Pinterest with lots of ideas.

Do you have a space dedicated to nurturing your body, mind and spirit?

Feel free to post pictures of your sacred spaces and share your ideas in the comments below.

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