Makeover Monday: Shhhh!

Life sure has its ups and downs, and these days it’s feeling a little like a roller coaster–complete with nausea and unmitigated terror. (Until I quit watching the news, that is.)

On the days when I let stress get the upper hand, one of the most helpful things for me to do is to simply be quiet. To sit and think, or not think, whatever I need to do to slow down my thoughts. Since I live alone in a 2200 sq ft house, you’d think it would be pretty easy to find a spot, plop myself down, and be quiet. And sometimes that DOES work, but other times I have trouble getting my mind still. I’ll notice something or other that needs to be done, or the phone will ring, or I’ll spot a magazine and start reading. You get the idea. I’ve got distractions even when no one is here.

To resolve this little dilemma, I’m creating a dedicated quiet space for just these times.

What’s this strange thing you refer to as ‘a quiet space’? you ask, followed immediately by, “And how to I get one?” Here’s my plan, which you may adopt and adapt free of charge:

First, we have to find our quiet space. It doesn’t have to be an entire room, even a corner of a room will do. (I have a useless formal living room, which I’m thinking will be my new quiet space. For one thing, it’s separated from the rest of the house’s distractions—things like telephone, television, internet, books, etc.)

Next, we’ll need to “deck out” the space. Some considerations:

  • A comfortable place to relax is required, whether it’s a chair, a cushion, a chaise, or a corner of the sofa.
  • Aromatherapy would be nice. Candles, incense, any sort of relaxing scent like lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, and jasmine are all calming scents. You could even use lotion in one of these scents and rub your tired feet while you’re being quiet.
  • Photos, plants, or other objects that make you happy would be good items to include.
  • Soothing colors like blues, greens, and beiges (sea and sand, forests and nature) are the most relaxing. If your quiet space is in a corner of your colonial red dining room, maybe you could have a pillow or other small object in a more soothing color to focus on for peaceful, tranquil feelings.
  • Calming sounds–soothing music or wind chimes would be another nice consideration. (It occurs to me that this would be a good use for my “sound therapy” alarm clock. It’s one of those with settings for forest or ocean or thundershowers, and it’s pretty nifty. The time display is too dim for me to see from the bed, and I’ve been wanting to get a new alarm anyway. Alternatively, I could use my portable CD player and some classical CDs. I also have a small water fountain a friend gave me that I’ve never hooked up. Maybe now’s a good time…)

The next step would be to alert the media, so to speak. Tell your family or others in your home about your quiet space, why you need it, and why you are OFF LIMITS! when you are in it. Note: you will need to do your part by not spending all your evenings in your quiet place, especially if you have chosen a section of the family room or other “premium” room for it. 😉

Now, when you find yourself in need of a bit of relaxing and de-stressing, go to your quiet place, light your candles, turn on your soothing music…and just be quiet. If you find yourself still distracted by household activities, close your eyes or turn your chair (or cushion) to face the wall.

Focus on positive thoughts only. The problems and troubles will still be there when you leave your quiet space. But maybe–just maybe–a few minutes of solitude and reflection will strengthen your resolve and freshen your perspective.

Spend your quiet time reflecting on the things you did well that day, or maybe the blessings that you have, or maybe you can simply compile a mental list of your favorite things. Soothing thoughts, empowering thoughts, happy thoughts–those are the goal.

That’s how I picture it in my mind, anyway. (Sometimes those things don’t translate as well to the real world.)

Do you have a quiet space? Tips for those of us who might be creating a space in the near future? Or do you need a quiet space, but don’t YET have one? What will you put in yours?

Wishing you all a happy, no-negative-stress week!