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9 Ways to Create a Self-care Sanctuary at Home

JANUARY 25, 2022
Photo credit: Architectural Digest

We’re living in a new age of self-care and it’s a pretty sweet place to be as we hit refresh on a new year. With so much uncertainty lingering on in our lives and across the world, adopting rituals and steps to stay on top of our physical, mental and spiritual health is good medicine. Feeling confident, capable and in control of the little microcosm that is our personal world will go a long way toward seeing us through these tough times.  

The fact that most self-care rituals are low cost, low tech and performed right at home makes them even more appealing. Whether your life is already designed around self-care or you’re doing your best to be mindful of it, you are a happier, healthier person for it. So, in that spirit of health, and with a brand-new year laid out in front of us, we are excited to share our list of creative ways to transform your space into a self-care sanctuary.

These simple design updates can help turn your living and work space into an oasis of positivity — a place you can reflect, find balance and recharge for the year up ahead.

 1. Invite in natural light

Image credit: MyDomaine

Light-filled rooms promote feelings of positivity and awakeness, not to mention increased focus which can help improve productivity. But the upsides don’t stop there. Other benefits are a reduction in stress and even a boost to your sleep quality and immune system. And we didn’t even touch on your energy bill that will likely benefit from lighting your space the natural way.

Inviting natural light in is one of the most affordable ways to promote wellness. Some simple ways to take advantage of this free resource are to de-emphasize window dressing like heavy black out drapes and thick blinds in favor of semi-sheer window coverings that let natural light fill your space while still providing a level of privacy. At the times of day that privacy isn’t a necessity, open drapes and blinds fully to let light flood into every room. Make sure your windows are squeaky clean inside and out to filter the most light and allow you to connect with nature when you can’t be outside.  


2. Carve out a meditation area

Image credit: Leanne Ford

Finding just the right space for a meditation area can be a challenge, but finding space in a distracted and overwhelmed headspace is even more challenging. Stillness and meditation are an important part of a holistic self-care regimen, but this practice is still catching on. Thankfully there are dozens of apps and live-stream classes to guide you to whatever your meditation goal is. People who meditate regularly experience less stress and anxiety, more self-awareness, better sleep, lowered blood pressure, and the list goes on.

To create your peaceful little meditation spot, all you need is a little square footage and some decent privacy — an inviting spot with few distractions and outside noises. If you’re in a common area where traffic flows, consider a room divider to block out any activity. Having a good amount of distance from areas where you work, interact with kids and pay bills is helpful, too. Floor sitting and lying on your back are popular meditation positions so experiment with yoga mats and floor pillows until you find what suits you. Bring in only what will help you quiet your thoughts — a plant or essential oils — but often nothing more than sunlight filtering in and comfortable clothes is needed. All the magic is happening on the inside.      


3. Make your space more meaningful

 Image credit: MyDomaine

Making your space more meaningful means making it feel more personal. By designing with pieces that are connected to a special person or memory, or just something we fell in love with and had to have, we are creating a space that reflects the many facets of our personalities. It is the opposite of cookie-cutter and you will never find a space quite like yours.

We love this design style as a road to wellness as it’s all about creating what’s comfortable for you as an individual. Immersing yourself in the process of finding what resonates with you on a personal level is a healthy exercise in self-expression. You get to throw away the rulebook and liberate yourself by going for it with blended design styles and unexpected pattern combinations. Whether it’s a curated corner or an expressive art wall, the point is to have fun putting more “you” into your décor.


4. Declutter and create better flow

 Image credit: MyDomaine

You don’t have to be a feng shui devotee to benefit from a home that has a healthy flow. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that a clean, clear space translates to a clear mind. If fashion is more your reference point, think about what Project Runway has taught us…to edit, edit, edit. So how do you carry that concept of “less is more” over to your living space? 

With streamlining being essential to achieving a peaceful space, start by removing any furniture or décor that isn’t useful or doesn’t truly bring you joy. Corralling smaller items like loose odds and ends into chic trays and baskets, and recycling what’s of no use, will help reduce visual stress. After your purge and item inventory, walk through each room making sure your eye doesn’t fixate on any one area. If it does, that area may need another edit. Find a pace you can comfortably keep to complete this project as it’s a big undertaking. The upside is that getting organized and decluttered can have a ripple effect so that other systems in your life function better too.


5. Upgrade to comfortable seating

 Image credit: Lonny

Comfort is everything when you spend any amount of time in one static position. Whether it’s a marathon zoom meeting or movie night with your favorite person after a long week, creating a supremely comfortable place to sit definitely counts as an act of self-care. Posture promoting

For your home office or go-to spot for video calls and knocking out your work deliverables, ergonomics are everything. Supporting your lumbar and adjusting seat and arm rest height is very important for avoiding muscle and joint pain, and for maintaining good posture.

For the seat you sink into to dig into a good book or zone out to a feel-good film or a Netflix binge, it’s all about plush comfort, soft materials and a cozy feel that enveloped you in comfort.

Don’t forget plush pillows and cozy throw blankets when you crave those quiet moments to decompress and feel effortlessly Zen.


6. Create an inviting cooking space

 Image credit: Lonny

The kitchen can be a great place to escape the stressors and setbacks of the day. Cooking and baking are scientifically proven to be a therapeutic activity — the physical, mental and creative demands allow you to take your focus away from your mounting to-do list and on to the task of creating something delicious to share and enjoy.

To create a kitchen that’s inviting to work in, keep your work surfaces spotless, your counters clutter-free, and invest in a few essentials that will allow you to stretch your culinary muscles in any direction. Keeping a large bowl of beautiful seasonal produce on your counter creates the warm feeling of being connected to the garden and earth, and fragrant potted herbs like rosemary and basil will make the kitchen the happiest place in the house. A well-stocked pantry will allow you to whip up anything at any time, and minimize the stress from having to run out for missing ingredients. It also encourages healthy eating and snacking, knowing you have what you need to whip up something wholesome vs. reaching for a bag of chips.  

Given its feel-good combo of creative effort, confidence-boosting and connecting with others, cooking delivers an impressive boost to your emotional wellbeing. So turn off your devices, stream in a little music and grab a willing sous chef for some good, yummy, healthy fun.


7. Connect with nature, outdoors and in

Image credit: Architectural Digest

Winter may not be the best time of year to embrace outdoor living but there are still some clever ways to equip your space to feel one with nature. We like setting up a workout area next to the most scenic windows in your house. Practicing morning meditation or some afternoon yoga stretches while soaking in a little scenery and natural light is an instant mood booster.

If the weather is prohibitive to spending time on a patio or deck, planting hardy winter-friendly plants just outside your windows is an easy and beautiful way to bridge the gap between outdoors and in. Try incorporating natural, sustainable décor made from reclaimed wood, rattan and stone that reinforces your connection to the outside world. Our link to nature and living things is hardwired into our DNA and essential for maintaining our wellbeing, so look outside for inspiration and spend at least a part of each day appreciating it.


8. Elevate your beauty routine

 Image credit: Leanne Ford

Elevating your beauty routine isn’t just about looking your best, it’s about feeling your best too. One of the advantages of more time spent at home is more time to really care for our physical selves and pay attention to what needs nurturing or finetuning. Creating a comfortable, inviting space conducive to self-care is a great way to stay committed to a routine and even create a ritual that becomes a highlight of our day.

A clean, decluttered vanity area is a must, so consider a thorough edit of your beauty tools and products so only what is used on a daily basis is left out or in a nearby bin or cabinet. Try switching to a reveal- or true-light light bulb for natural, clean illumination that doesn’t have you avoiding the mirror from looking washed out. An antibacterial lightbulb that actually purifies your air is another good option. Keep water bottles stocked and revamp your vitamin regimen if needed, and stick with it. Once a week, treat yourself to a home spa with some streaming music and candles or an essential oil diffuser to promote feelings of calm.  


9. Boost your well-being with plants

 Image credit: Brigette Romanek for Architectural Digest

Who doesn’t love a beautiful potted plant? Just looking at them makes us happy but actually caring for them can boost our sense of wellbeing too. They may not do a whole lot to purify the air as we once thought but, much like spending time in nature, they offer a cornucopia of health-boosting benefits including stress reduction, improved focus and even increased creativity. All the more reason to get your greenhouse up and running today. Luckily, there are dozens of houseplant delivery services these days to make that fantasy a reality.

Health benefits aside, decorating with plants is fun and a creative way to put more of your personality into your décor. Try a wall of plants arranged in decorative wall planters as an alternative for wall art. Incorporate flowering plants like cacti that only bloom a few times a year. The anticipation that comes from waiting for the bloom promotes hope and optimism. Another fun way to showcase your green is to repurpose a piece of furniture into a plant station. Think vintage Lucite bar cart or an old clawfoot tub. Unleashing your creativity is another form of self-care, so think outside of the box and have fun.

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