Improve your quality of life with a relaxing oasis at home.
Geographically, an oasis is a fertile water source in a desert landscape. Symbolically, it is a place of salvation. A self-care oasis is a place of refuge, respite, and renewal - a place to seek a moment of peace and quiet from a loud and stressful day; a moment of "me" time, away from the demands of work, family and social commitments. If you don’t have a warm and inviting space in your home that you can retreat to - a place that offers you sanctuary from the daily grind of life - we highly recommend that you invest the time to create one. Your relaxing oasis should be a dedicated space that you can go to for your self-care rituals - a place to heal the body and clear the mind. This may include reading, journaling, listening to music, meditating, body care, or simply taking a much needed moment of solitude after a long day. According to scientific studies, spending time alone, (which is different from being lonely), improves productivity, self-care, mental clarity, creativity, and the quality of rest, and it also increases energy levels. With the combined benefits of solitude, relaxation, and stress-relief, a self-care oasis can improve your overall effectiveness, benefit your health, and boost your happiness.
Convinced? Let's get started. All you need to do is pick your spot and set up a little seating area (and some plants because no oasis is complete without natural greenery). Your self-care oasis can be anywhere inside your home or outdoors - in your bathroom, bedroom, corner of your living room, balcony, patio or garden - in any low traffic space that offers you a bit of privacy, quiet and comfort. Can’t decide on how to design your relaxing space? Relaxation isn’t embodied by a particular style - it doesn't have to be a white, stark and minimal environment - relaxation is a state of mind. Maybe you feel relaxed in an environment that is lush, bold and intricate; serene, minimal and modern; or elegant, chic and sophisticated. The style elements you love are what will make your space into a stress-free haven for you. It may help you to visualize what a stress-free, relaxing environment looks like to you. If it's a warm sandy beach, perhaps you add some tropical elements, a sand box, and a water feature. If it's a cozy cabin in the mountains, perhaps you add some evergreens and some hygge decor. This space doesn’t have to be perfect, fancy or elaborate and you don’t have to invest in new furniture and décor if this project isn’t in your budget. Pre-pandemic, we would have suggested going to thrift shops, where we’ve had great luck finding furniture pieces with good bones that just need to be refreshed with new fabric, a coat of paint or a good sanding. But chances are, you already have what you need tucked away in a storage closet or in your living space, being underutilized. We love repurposing things we already have and giving them new life. Here are some ideas, including repurposed items, to inspire your design:
1. Simplify: This budget-friendly, space-saving option can be set up indoors or outdoors in under an hour and requires no furniture, which means you can easily move it outdoors in warmer weather. To set up, repurpose an area rug from another part of your house, or use a small throw blanket as an area rug, to define your space. We suggest selecting somewhere near a window for the view and extra light. Borrow some throw pillows from a bedroom or couch for some seating. Add a few plants for decor and a serving tray or box to hold any accents you may want to add like candles, flowers and a coaster for your soothing beverages. If you have a small or shared space, you can simply roll up your rug and return your pillows to their rightful place to free up the space after you are done enjoying your oasis for the day.
2. Enhance your mood: Add an accent wall. With a bit of paint and a well-placed leafy plant, you can transform any space into a beautiful retreat. Just add some comfy cushions or a plush chair and you’re set. This could be the back wall of your closet, your patio, a corner of your bedroom or the nook under the stairs. Color has the power to enhance your moods. According to color psychology, Pink is typically associated with attributes of calmness, nurturing, kindness, softness, compassion, and femininity. Green is associated with nature, healing, calmness, and stress-relief. Blue is associated with serenity, calmness, tranquility, and productivity, and indigo (a shade of blue) is associated with skin healing. These are great color choices for your relaxing oasis, but we all have unique associations with colors based on our individual experiences and cultures, so choose whatever makes you feel happy, calm and relaxed.
3. Hang Out: Put up a hammock. We love the swing chair options, but for a complete lounging experience, the bed hammock is not to be dismissed. There are many available styles and price points ranging from basic $20.00 net hammocks to $$$ luxury options. We recommend self-standing hammocks because you don't have to find two anchor points from where to suspend your hammock, and you can relocate it with ease. Bring your hammock into your bedroom during the winter months and add some hygge with a warm fuzzy blanket. Take it outdoors during the summer with some light padding and throw pillows. Add a little side table, decor accents, tropical greenery, and a soaker tub for your feet (yes, please), and sway into relaxation.
4. Be romanced. Set the stage with some plush seating, and a raised platform to add definition to your space. Frame your oasis with a trellis. Hang flowy curtains, flowering vines, and string lights for some dreamy elegance. Add some stately evergreens or flowering shrubs for pops of color. As a lower-budget alternative, set up your space between two trees. Tie a rope between two tall branches to hang curtains (or drape strips of sheer fabric), lighting and plants as a backdrop. Use pavers or an outdoor rug to define your space. Hang a simple rope hammock between the two trees and dress it up with a beautiful throw, or set up a comfy lawn chair and add plush cushions. Accentuate with a small folding table or wooden crate and finish your space with ambiance-enhancing candles.
No matter what your style, try adding something into your space to engage all of your senses: beautiful decor, stress-relieving candles and aromatic plants like lavender, textured plush throws, singing bowls or speakers for your playlist. Above all, make your space comfortable and purposeful for your needs. Imagine coming here after a long day, with a revitalizing beverage and doing your self-care rituals. Imagine giving yourself a little foot soak or a face massage with your roller; doing some stretches or breathing exercises; journaling, or reflecting on life. Visualize what your ideal space looks like, what it should include, what mood you want to capture, and start designing your mindful, self-care oasis to improve the quality of your life.