With the on-going pandemic, we’re all spending a lot more time at home these days. This is why we should dedicate time to creating a feeling of sanctuary in our homes – a place where we feel we can find refuge from the world outside.
From simple things like decluttering to things that can help infuse our home with that “zen den” vibe, there are numerous things we can do to create a feeling of peace and a place of sanctuary in our homes for our bodies, minds, and spirits. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of treating your home as a sanctuary, and to get some of my favorite tips!
Why Making Your Home a Sanctuary is Important
Imagine walking through your door and immediately feeling a sense of relief and safety from the outside world. You know that your home is a place where you can be 100% yourself and that it contains things that nurture and nourish you.
Before the pandemic, we’d often look outside our homes for the emotional and spiritual fulfillment we need to live balanced lives. But now that we’re spending more time at home, we need to take an active role in adding those same forms of fulfillment to our living spaces.
We need a place where we can shake off the stress and tension we face outside – not just the regular everyday stress of work or school, but also the constant stress that living through a pandemic is causing.
According to Psych Central, creating a safe, serene space combats stress and hypervigilance. We need a place to come home to that is a refuge during these turbulent times, and one that is a place we like spending a lot of time in since no one knows when this thing will end.
How You Can Make Your Home Feel Like a Haven
Creating a sense of sanctuary in your home goes beyond the basic home keeping chores like picking up after yourself and doing (and actually putting away!) the laundry regularly.
Our ancestors understood the importance of the home as an oasis from the outside world. They spent time creating a warm and inviting space that not only provides comfort, but also spiritual nourishment.
Since the home is where most of us begin our most personal spiritual pursuits, it only makes sense that our homes reflect our spiritual aspirations and values, as well as inspires us on our paths.
Below are 10 easy ways to begin turning your home into the sanctuary you need so you can rest, restore, and soothe your body, mind, and spirit.
10 Easy Ways to Make Your Home a Sanctuary
Tghink about what you want your home to feel like, not necessarily look like.
- This will help you know what to purge, rearrange, or what items to bring in to give your home the peaceful vibes you need to be able to properly unwind and recuperate.
- Consider what colors, scents, and textures soothe you and find ways to bring them into your home.
- Maybe you love incense or essential oils, or the soft glow candles can provide. Perhaps bold colors and prints are the styles you prefer, or maybe you prefer softer colors like neutrals and pastels to soothe your senses. Do you love cuddling up in fuzzy blankets and soft pillows for a sense of security? What about your furniture? Having furnishings made from real wood (hand-me-downs, antiques, or reclaimed wood is best for our planet) can bring an earthy sense of grounding and stability to our homes.
- Bring the outdoors in with houseplants and other natural elements.
- Consider adding items you collect on a nature walk (I like to collect feathers) to a tray or vase that you can display in your home. One word of caution: if you’re prone to collecting crystals and/or using them in your spiritual practice, be sure they are ethically sourced. You can learn more about why it’s important to know where your crystals come from here.
- Create little altars everywhere.
- Keeping visual reminders of your spirituality and the values and people you hold dear is an easy and creative way to add to the feeling of sanctuary within your home. If you follow a particular religion where this is more a customary thing, such as placing a crucifix in every room if you are Catholic, you already know the power of such visual reminders of your faith. Other ways to do this include a collection of sentimental items on a shelf, a family (not just blood family – chosen family counts, too!) photo display, or artwork that helps you feel the presence of the Divine. Everywhere you look in your home, you should find something you can tune into before you go about your business to keep the energy of a soothing and restorative place flowing.
- Try turning your daily tasks into mini-rituals.
- Sanctity is all about intention and focus. From giving thanks for a nourishing meal while you do the dishes to saying a little prayer before you leave the house for the day, everyday activities can become a way to connect with Spirit and infuse our home with sacred energy.
- Keep your bedroom as a sacred place to rest, rejuvenate, and connect with yourself & your partner.
- While I understand that sometimes there is a need for a workspace in the bedroom or perhaps a television if you are prone to being bed-bound some days, the majority of the space should reflect the intent of the room: relaxation, rest, connection, and intimacy. Keeping your bedroom tidy and filled with comforting things will give your mind the visual trigger it needs to be able to fully release the day’s stress and settle into a good night’s sleep, or to really be able to focus on creating and enjoying intimacy.
- Turn your bathroom into a spa.
- Whether you enjoy soaking in the tub or are more refreshed by a shower, the bathroom is the place where we can go to “wash our cares away”. There’s no need to spend money on expensive bath care products – simple invest in things that delight your senses. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your tub before bathing or showering for some relaxing aromatherapy. Dim the lights a bit (you can completely remove bulbs for a softer light) and add some candles. I find that tea lights are great for this because they fit easily on the tub ledge, don’t make a mess, and are inexpensive. You can also make sure you have comfy towels and a nice mat to step out onto. If you have the space, try adding a humidity-loving plant to your bathroom to add even more sanctuary vibes to your space.
- Make time to go unplugged.
- I know that when I’ve been on social media or watched TV all day, I feel more restless and anxious and find it hard to settle down at night. I also consider TV as a way to bring outside energy into the home, and so I’m careful about how much I watch certain subjects like horror movies or soapy dramas – I don’t want to keep those kinds of energies floating around my space! While it’s fun to indulge in social media and TV, I find it helpful to wind down without the TV on and like to play music while I read, journal, or do some yoga to help rebalance my energy to something more conducive to the kind of sleep I want to have.
- Everything in your house should contribute to the feeling of a place of refuge and safety.
- Be mindful of what you bring into your home – physically and energetically. If you get a lot of junk mail – purge it ASAP. Don’t put it aside for later, as it will probably just pile up. Set aside time to get rid of items that you no longer use or – to use Marie Kondo’s phrase: doesn’t bring you joy. Another way to make your home feel like a place of safety is to literally make it a safe place by keeping up with maintenance. It can be hard to relax if things aren’t working properly!
- Clear your home of anxious/stressful energy regularly.
- Science tells us that every living thing creates its own energy (known as chi in Chinese medicine, and prana in ayurveda & yoga philosophy), and that this energy is sent out and can linger in a space. Think about it this way: the feeling you get when you walk into a church sanctuary is very different from the feeling you get when you walk into a nightclub. Why? Aside from the decor and purpose being vastly different, the energy is also different. Any time you’re stressed out in your home, or there is an argument or sickness in your living space, you’re bringing in energy that is not supportive of the feeling of sanctuary (I don’t like callign energy “positive” or “negative”, as I think each type of energy has its place in our lives). Since there are some energies we just can’t avoid, because life happens, it’s important to make time to regularly cleanse our space of these energies. You may choose to do this on a weekly basis, or maybe every full & new moon, or only on the first of the month. You know when is right for you. Cleansing after there has been disharmony or illness is also important and should be added in addition to regular cleansing. There are various techniques you can use such as burning incense (let’s avoid closed practices like sage smudging & environmentally harmful products like Palo Santo, though), using music in the form of bells or chimes, praying over/blessing a space, and “sweeping” the stuck energy out an open door.
Don’t forget the most important ingredient in creating your sanctuary…
The most important thing you can do to make your home feel inviting and like a place of refuge is to fill it with love in any way possible. The love that you have for yourself, and for your family hour housemates is something that really adds those cozy feelings to your space. Whatever tips you follow from the above list, or if you find others you prefer, make sure you approach it all from a place of deep love and you’re sure to add those sacred sanctuary vibes to your home in no time!
Until next time,