The challenges of lockdowns manifest differently for each of us - a result of our living, working and personal circumstances. Living alone versus a full household; working overtime versus reduced hours; whether you have introvert or extrovert tendencies; pre-existing anxieties or mental health… There are just so many variables that can affect the way we process these lockdowns and ever-changing restrictions.
I am not here to tell you that buying a mat and practicing yoga everyday will remedy the oscillating emotions you may be experiencing. God knows my own practice has been intermittent this past year as my motivation has waxed and waned along with my moods.
I was, however, reminded by a friend last week of the benefits in setting up a designated space for solitude, downtime and self-care.
It is a simple way to welcome some personal space, calm and rhythm into your day.
This doesn't need to be a room of its own... a small nook can be enough to create this grounding and transformative space.
What matters is that a symbolic boundary is drawn between this space and the rest of the home.
This is your place to retreat, be in solitude, and recalibrate.
So much of your sacred space is in the mind... creating those invisible boundaries and shedding stressors as you cross the threshold.
This means that, when push comes to shove, you don’t need anything at all - just a willingness to drop into a different headspace and frequency.
That said, there is also a lot you can do in the physical space to deepen and enrich your experience. We’ve created a step by step guide to inspire, but we welcome you to freestyle and fill the space with whatever is calling you at this time.
Do you have a nook, corner, alcove, balcony or room that you can turn into your sacred space?
Here is our step by step guide to turn this into a warm, grounded and calming retreat of your own...
Step one: locate your nook
What do you find most calming? Silence, natural light, warmth, privacy?
If you need silence then choose a place away from the bustle of the living room or noisy street-side balcony. If you need warmth then prioritise a sunny spot or warm room.
When we are restricted to our home or apartment in lockdown there will be limitations, but try to find a spot that fills your needs, where you won’t be interrupted by others, and can be permanently set up if possible.
Step two: add a floor covering
If you’re on tiles or floorboards add a small rug or yoga mat to soften and add warmth to the ground beneath you.
Step three: add your support
Include a piece that will support you in a comfortable seated position and even in restorative poses (if you are using the space for yoga).
Step four: make it a sensory experience
Create a sense of calm through a sensory experience.
You could think about all five senses or focus on just a couple.
- Sight: Keep your lighting natural or dimmed. You could light the space by candlelight or with the warming glow of a salt lamp.
- Sound: Put in your earbuds, block out the world and connect to a playlist or guided meditation. We love Insight Timer for guided meditation and the beautiful meditations including yoga nidras offered by Carla at Malu Yoga Melbourne.
- Smell: Burn some incense or grounding essential oils in a ceramic oil burner. Alternatively, spray the space with an aromatherapy mist.
- Touch: Create a nest of cushions, throws and other soft objects, to create a comfortable, tactile space to melt into.
- Taste: Make yourself a tea or cacao to help unwind.
Step five: add extra padding
Step six: keep warm
Keep a warm blanket nearby to cocoon into or use during shavasana or meditation.
So there you have it: our guide to building a designated space for solitude and peace when you need it most in lockdown.
We want to emphasise that creating a sacred space is very personal - use this as a guide but fill your space with objects that most resonate with you.
We also know that times are tight for many... the great news is even on a budget or in the confines of a small house or apartment you can create a personal and calming space with pieces you already have at home.
Sending our love x