Whether your space is stressy or messy, here are six quick ways to transform it into your very own social distancing sanctuary.
To say that things are strange right now is an understatement. In between the stress and uncertainty, a lot of us are gripping at silver linings however we can get them.
If there was ever a time to get cozy and turn your home into a safe, healing refuge, it’s now. Not only is it comforting to feel like we have a little control in a time when everything feels up in the air, but studies show that a decluttered, organized space has a positive impact on mental health and can decrease cortisol levels. And let’s be real—we could all use those benefits now more than ever.
We’ve rounded up some pro tips for turning your home into a social distancing sanctuary and the healing space of your dreams.
6 Ways to Create a Social Distancing Sanctuary
1. Make Your Bed
Whether you do it usually or not, making your bed in the morning can positively impact the rest of your day. Plus, such details can offer much-needed sanity in uncertain times. Tidying and cleaning can also provide us with a sense of control, which is beneficial when things get chaotic.
If you have alternate bedding, give your sleeping quarters a new look. Put on some upbeat music to make your bed and start the day. Straighten out that comforter, because when else in our lives will we have more time to wrestle with duvets than now? Fluff your pillows. Get creative!
2. Create a Home Gym
The moment has come to make that dream home gym you’ve been vision-boarding a reality. Studies show that exercise can significantly reduce stress levels, so the timing couldn’t be better.
Sure, you might not have the glitz and glam of a state-of-the-art stationary bike—but there are plenty of ways to create a dedicated workout space in your home. Find a place big enough to roll out a yoga mat (a towel will work in a pinch as well), and ideally a platform on which you can set your computer should you choose to follow guided workouts.
If you have free weights or other small exercise equipment, set them near your mat. If you don’t have weights, don’t worry. Canned goods can work in a pinch. You can even double up on a couple cans of garbanzo beans if you want to pack a weightier punch.
Treat this dedicated movement space as your very own studio. The association will help tip off your brain that it’s time to move and keep your fitness regimen on track.
3. Organize, organize, organize
A 2016 survey shows that 72 percent of Americans would have significantly more space in their homes by getting rid of items they don’t use. Yet still, 41 percent of people in that same group haven’t decluttered in over a year. Silver lining: You now have time to get your Tupperware in order, declutter your closet, and color code your bookshelf. Lucky you!
Creating some extra space for your social distancing sanctuary is bound to help us all feel better. Not only will organizing and clearing help us feel more peaceful in our environment, but once life starts to feel familiar again, we’ll be so happy we dedicated some of our time while social distancing to improve our space.
An added bonus? Many people are currently struggling, and being able to donate clothes, household items, and books that you aren’t using anymore is a wonderful way to help those in need.
4. Do a Deep Clean
Yep, we’re talking rubber gloves, toothbrush scrubbing, back-of-the-oven-level deep. Before you begin, we recommend putting on your favorite podcast or making an energizing playlist, the latter preferably with songs you can belt your heart out to. (After all, music is medicine of its own.)
Strategize. Go room by room and finish the deep clean before moving on to the next. Not only will it make your home even more delightful to stay in, but the sense of accomplishment is also pretty astonishing.
Bonus point: Declutter your linen closet first, so then you can use any towels you no longer want as rags for your deep clean. Doing so will help you conserve paper, and towels are far superior at picking up dirt and grime.
Extra bonus point: Treat yourself to a long, hot bath at the end of the day in your freshly scrubbed tub!
5. Hang Pictures
How many of us have framed pictures leaning against a wall we’ve been saying we’d hang since we moved in three years ago? Get out that hammer and start hanging! Not only will it bring some joy and beauty to your home, but all that productivity will also get your endorphins going.
If you own a printer, print out some photos of your loved ones and make a collage to put on your wall. Many of us are separated from our nearest and dearest right now, and it can do a world of good to see their faces smiling back at us. In fact, a 2016 study at Stanford University found that looking at pictures of loved ones activates rewards centers in the brain, and may even decrease how much pain we feel. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
6. Create a Reading Nook
…or a writing nook, drawing area, or meditation altar. Basically, find a cozy spot where you aren’t engaging in screen time or mandatory work. It could be as simple as dedicating a specific seat at your dining room table, or as elaborate as creating a fort in your living room. If you have some fairy lights to hang around, all the better. If you have a plant to sit beside you in your nook, excellent!
Carve out some time each day to sit in this special space. Read that book that’s been collecting dust, journal about the time we’re living in, enjoy the benefits of meditation, finish or start that song.
Here’s hoping that these tips get you inspired and motivated to create your own social distancing sanctuary. We like these suggestions because they’re immediate, actionable, and uplifting. So fire up that playlist, break out your hammer, embrace your space, and hang in there.