Note: This article was originally published on the Redfin Blog on January 30th, 2022.
We all strive to have a haven that brings us peace, security, and tranquility. However, amidst all the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities that pop up in our lives, oftentimes it can be hard to take a break, center ourselves, and focus on mindfulness. Having a dedicated space or bringing in items and decor that inspire mindfulness into our homes can serve as a reminder to take a breath and focus on what is going on around us. To help you get started, we reached out to mindfulness experts across Chicago, IL to Kelowna, BC to give us their best tips to inspire mindfulness at home. From emphasizing things that create heat to incorporating plants into your decor, keep reading to see what they had to say.
1. Choose quality items and decorations that make you happy
Don’t buy into short-term decor trends, instead choose what makes you happy, invest in quality items, and play with the idea of creating mini zones throughout your space such as a meditation, reading, or yoga corner, always ready for you to plug into. – Sabrina Weber of Femme Du Soleil
2. Identify a designated mindfulness space
The first step to cultivating mindfulness at home is identifying a designated (and nonnegotiable) mindfulness space. Intentionally creating a special space for mindfulness will help you practice it more consistently, effectively, and comfortably. So, whether you're designing an elaborate meditation loft, or just trying to make the corner of your bedroom a little more zen, it's important to make that space sacred. – Loretta Turner, MA, CNP, Certified Mindfulness Coach
3. Emphasize things that create heat
Heat is pleasant and regulating for our mind, body, and spirit, and brings us back into the present moment. Emphasize things in your home that bring you heat. For example, the bathtub, a fireplace, heated blankets, or a tea kettle. Bring more things into your home that can provide you warmth when you need it. – Kerry J Heckman, Therapist
4. Try sound healing
Sound healing is an ancient healing art that is making a modern resurgence. Having Bluetooth speakers in each room of the home playing calming, peaceful, or joyful music can bring mindfulness to whatever you’re doing.
– Empowered Meditation and Sound Healing
5. Try a diffuser, soft textures, and energizing plants
Though our minds may wander throughout the day, our external space can serve as a reminder to mindfully reconnect with our internal space – a diffuser with your favorite scent, soft textures around you, energizing plants, and objects that remind you of our values. A space created with mindful intention has the power to bring us back to the here and now and to experience life more fully and peacefully. – Elizabeth Alli, Founder at DesignerUp
6. Incorporate natural elements into your home
Be sure to add natural materials, plants, and water features to your designs, keep clutter to a minimum, and consider carving out a comfortable spot to create a relaxation retreat. There are even products that can help you see how your brain responds to different paint colors, scents, views, and decor as you plan your new, calming designs. – FocusCalm
7. Introduce mindful self-compassion into your space
Turn your home into a sanctuary by introducing mindful self-compassion into your space. Add elements that soothe and comfort – faux fur blankets, a warm fire, comfy pillows, an essential oil diffuser, gentle music, warm lights, and soft colors. Place a hand over your heart as you listen to soft sounds, take in the healing scents, and sink into the comfort you’ve created.
– The Counseling and Mindfulness Group
8. Incorporate house plants into your decor
Bringing a snippet of nature indoors by incorporating houseplants into your decor is a simple and easy way to create a mindfulness space. There are many options to complement your personal style. – Mindful Modern Living
9. Create mindful living by decluttering
Clutter in the home can be distracting. My favorite way to create a mindful living space is to simplify it without limiting the colors, textures, or designs.
– Alex G Shearer
10. Make sure your space reflects your personality
Create a home that is true to who you are. Mindfulness begins by being in tune with things that speak to you. It’s easy to fall into design trends, so always make sure that it is true to who you are so that your space reflects your personality and in doing so, creates a peaceful retreat. – Emmygination
11. Incorporate natural surroundings to help you be present
Creating a dedicated spot in your home for contemplation and meditation is a simple way to commit to daily mindfulness practice. Incorporating your natural surroundings can help you tune in and become fully present, for example, placing a chair in front of a sunny window. You can devote time to paying attention to the sensation of the sun on your face as a focal point for your meditation. – mindful.nyc
12. Declutter and organize your home
Clutter and disorganization can cause stress and anxiety. You may be able to improve your mood and mental clarity by simply removing things that no longer fit your home and making space for things that do.
– Kady Brown Interiors
13. Pay attention to the purpose of your spaces
Mindful design is about paying attention, tuning into what each room within the home’s purpose is, and how it supports those living in the home. Mindful design is about creating a sense of balance within each room and the home as a whole. We can use elements like plants, natural lighting, scents, and colors to create the feeling, look, and vibe we each need to balance and thrive in life. – Nourished Home
14. Find a corner where you can set up items that make you calm
As a business owner, movement instructor, and busy mom, creating space for a mindfulness practice has been key in keeping me balanced and grounded. To help set the tone for a mindful practice in your own home, find a corner where you can set up a few things that bring you a sense of calm such as a yoga mat, candles, and a journal. Even placing these items in a small basket in the corner of your bedroom will remind you to take 5, get down on the floor, and breathe. – Mindful Movement with Maggie
15. Create tech-free zones
Allow your home to be as conducive as possible to living mindfully, create zones within your home that are completely tech-free, and give you the opportunity to “just be” rather than always doing. This could look like the kitchen bench or breakfast bar, so you enjoy present conversations with your family to start the day while making breakfast or your morning brew or a nook complete with a rocking chair facing a window or door with a view or a leafy outlook. Have a side table for your drink or journal, a plant to inspire mindfulness, books or mags within easy reach, a lamp, and even a cozy blanket. – Slow Coaching Co.
16. Use the three-step mindfulness practice – Pause, breathe, and notice
At each step of the decorating process, whether you are sitting down to begin planning your project or deep in the midst of making final color and layout choices, pause and breathe, feeling sensations in your body as you take three, slow, deeper breaths, then notice what decor choices feel truly pleasant and supportive to you. Try this practice to tune into your own natural, inner wisdom or home designer, to let go of ideas about how your space ‘should’ be, and discover how to create a space that supports the authentic life you dream of. – Julie Woodward, MSW
17. Keep mindfulness practices accessible
If it's out of sight, it may very likely be out of mind. If you love to practice seated mindful movement, you might try keeping your dedicated chair where you can see it often, free of any clutter. If you work from home and struggle to make time for breaks, you might try keeping a mindful chime on your desk to remind you to take an informal 5-minute mindful moment. If you want to be more intentional in practicing compassion mindfulness, you might try keeping your mindfulness journal on your coffee table where you sit and drink your coffee in the morning. – Mindfulness First
18. Embrace indoor-outdoor living
For decompressing, we have a sauna and a steam shower, as well as a saltwater pool that we keep on the warmer side to float in for relaxation. I also think it’s important to embrace an indoor/outdoor connection not just with plants, but with a design element that feels like you’re bringing nature in. For example, we have a large accordion door that opens up to the backyard from our main living space and in our bathroom, we choose a tile that looks almost wood-like surrounding the bathtub that I like to soak in after a long day. – Mindfulness Matters
19. Keep a pen and notepad close to you
Place a pretty jar or container with a notepad and pen in a central location in your home and take the time to jot down simple words and phrases that represent moments of gratitude or creativity, brilliant ideas, sincere emotion, and affirmations. Multiply these "mindful moments" by designating a time each week to reflect on the notes in your jar, recalling how you felt about each one at the moment you wrote it, and noticing how you feel about it now. Living mindfully often requires a willingness to slow down and capture these small, yet meaningful moments amid the busyness and to-do lists of every day, which in turn helps cultivate a sense of ease, accomplishment, happiness, and peace. – HomeGirl by Design
LEGAL: This article is for informational purposes only. Individual results may vary. Redfin is not affiliated with nor endorses or guarantees any of the individuals, resources or websites mentioned.
Redfin does not provide medical advice. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on Redfin’s blog.
"Adopt the pace of nature: Her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Each month I post an update called Tuning In on what I'm up to and ideas for grounding, connection, and discovering vitality in your life. Most of the links on this post are informational only, but a few are affiliate links that help me keep up my website.
Center for Chronic Illness - Web-Based Rare Chronic Illness Support Group February 1st, 2022 at 4pm PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Living with Thyroid Eye Disease Support Group Saturday, February 19th, 2022 at 9am PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Living with Cystinosis Web-Based Support Group, Tuesday February 15th, 2022 at 4pm PST
February 2nd is Groundhog Day
February 4th is National Wear Red Day
February 9th is National Pizza Day
February 13th is Galentines Day
February 14th is Valentines Day
February 16th is National Pancake Day
February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day
February 18th is National Caregivers Day
February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day & National Muffin Day
February 21st is Presidents Day
February 29th is Rare Disease Day
February 21st-February 27th, 2022 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Black History Month
American Heart Month
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Dear Valued Community,
Though February is not the darkest month it may feel like the dark night of the soul. In February, it has been a long time since we have experienced warmth. Whether or not Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow is arbitrary, we are likely to see six more weeks of winter either way.
I recently cam across these words by Mary Oliver:
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
As we continue to live in the time of global pandemic and we are in the final full month of winter, maybe we can simplify. If all we ask of ourselves is to pay attention, feel the associated feelings, and share it with someone, we are living a full life.
Nervous System Healing:
Ideas for Grounding: Sometimes we mistake the heaviness of life for feeling grounded. It reminds me of this moment from Friends...
...Learning to differentiate between unpleasant and pleasant sensations in the body is one of the most important parts of grounding. Heaviness can be suffocating or heaviness can be like the gentle pressure of a weighted blanket. How can you tell the difference? It is simpler than you think. The body already knows the difference. All you have to do is listen.
Ideas for Connection: Sometimes connection is not just about spending more time with the people in our lives, it's about how we spend the time with the people in our lives. We can walk beside many people and not feel connected to them. Imagine the ways you can improve your sense of connectivity. Is there someone in your life you are able to be more open and vulnerable with? How do you define quality time? Are there ways to bring more of it into your life?
Ideas for Creating Vitality: What do we do when we cannot ignite the flame within us? First we must acknowledge and validate our experience. The feeling of being stuck is incredibly difficult and the process of getting unstuck is also incredibly difficult. Next, tune into how many times you use the word "should" in your inner dialogue: I should eat better, I should exercise, I should do something productive today. Shoulds are not the path to creating vitality. Shoulds box us in, vitality expands. Instead, take stock of the small things that are life-giving to you: a sunny day, a friendly dog, a short walk, a warm bath. Vitality is found in the moments, not the hours and days.
Why grounding, connection, and vitality? Because these are the ways we regulate the nervous system. Spending intentional time in a regulated state allows our nervous system to wire in the direction of safety and aliveness. It's a big piece of the puzzle of how we repair the survival response of trauma.
What I'm Reading Related for Therapy: What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD & Oprah Winfrey
"Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain development and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry discuss the impact of trauma and adversity and how healing must begin with a shift to asking 'What happened to you?' rather than 'What's wrong with you?'"
Relational and Body-Centered Practices for Healing Trauma: Lifting the Burdens of the Past by Sharon Stanley
My Somatic Transformation consultation group is re-reading this book and doing a study group. Every time I pick up this book, I discover something new.
What I'm Reading for Fun: Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
"A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for the their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin."
(I'm a proud member of the sloth reading club, so what I'm reading will not always change monthly)
Podcast Episode with Impact: TEDx SHORTS "Racism thrives on silence--speak up!"
TV Show I'm Watching: Queer Eye on Netflix
Movie I'm Watching: Encanto on Disney+ (Trigger Warning: generational trauma)
Song on Repeat: Rise Up by Andra Day
Recent Publications: Mindfulness Home Design: Expert Tips to Inspire Mindfulness at Home
Projects I'm Working On: Self-development book on trauma and worthiness, book of poetry, ongoing content for various publications. Considering next steps in career training—psychedelic assisted therapy, biblio/poetry therapy training, or yoga teacher training.
BLK History Month
by Nikki Giovanni
If Black History Month is not
viable then wind does not
carry the seeds and drop them
on fertile ground
rain does not
dampen the land
and encourage the seeds
sun does not
warm the earth
and kiss the seedlings
and tell them plain:
You’re As Good As Anybody Else
You’ve Got A Place Here, Too
Meme of the Month:
Quote of the Month: "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." - Albert Camus
I'd love to hear how you are grounding, connecting, and creating vitality. What is helping you feel calm and alive? Or comment below on what books, podcasts, songs, shows, poetry, or quotes are resonating with you right now.
I'm Kerry (She/Her/Hers) and I am a licensed therapist, group facilitator, poet, writer, & speaker. This is a place to acknowledge and validate our suffering and trauma, while also learning how to turn toward aliveness and spaciousness.