By Penny Willmert
Staying healthy in body and mind can be a challenge in today’s world. More days than not, we’re faced with something that throws us off balance. To quote Gilda Radner’s beloved Roseanne Roseannadanna character from “Saturday Night Live,” “It’s always something.”
When your home is in a constant state of disarray, the clutter can lead to a closed-in feeling and more anxiety. Storage facilities in the Twin Cities can help with all the material stuff. To clear your mind, you need to designate an area in your home for a special place to work out, chill out, and be by yourself. Wellness is about being healthy in mind, spirit, career, positivity, and relationships.
Your wellness journey begins at home.
The perfect setting for your relaxation room is within your own personal space. If you’re living alone, you have more choices, and you can create an area within or separate from your own bedroom — anywhere you can relax, reflect, and meditate. If you’re living with others, dedicate an uncluttered, quiet space.
Indoor plants add beauty to the room and can give you a calming feeling, especially during the long Minnesota winters. Choose colorful, flowering plants such as bird of paradise, amaryllis, or anthurium. Candles, incense, and potpourri emit pleasant fragrances throughout the room. Knickknacks that tempt your fancy are always a plus if they make you happy. Lighting has an uplifting effect on mood. Bright artificial lights or direct natural sunlight prompts endorphins to kick in. You can buy so-called “mood lighting” at hardware, home improvement, and home decorating stores.
The wellness space in your home should have enough room for a yoga mat or other type of meditation area. Your backyard patio will work, but only if you remove all the distractions such as kids’ toys, lawn care equipment, and everything else that takes your focus away. Meditation reduces stress and can bring inner peace to a troubled mind and spirit. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation increases patience and tolerance, self-awareness, and a new perspective on stressful situations. Having a dedicated spot helps you to focus on the positive. Music components in your wellness room are great but keep the electronic gadgets (such as your phone and computer) elsewhere.
Exercise and Yoga
Relaxation rooms can be all-purpose; exercise gets you moving in the right direction. Whether you have small weights, a treadmill, or an indoor bicycle, light workouts give us something to focus on. They also pump up your adrenaline, which, in mild doses, is good for you.
When it comes to yoga, there are different styles. Each has its own special properties. For example, Hatha is a physical type that focuses on breathing control. The goal of yoga is to challenge your body without becoming spiritually overwhelmed. Dedicating a spot in your Twin Cities home for yoga and meditation will help you stay positive — especially when the winter blues set in.
Music, Music, Music!
A couple of comfortable couches and a dedicated music room in your home will help you to relax and float away from a stressful day. Choose a different music genre than what you listen to every day, something that’s calming and soothing. New age, classical, jazz, and easy listening formats are meant to help you relax. Save the hard rock, metal, and hip-hop for heating up — not cooling down.
When creating a wellness space, one thing to remember is the reason behind it: a need to re-energize, focus and release. Follow a plan, and you’ll be able to shrug off that “always something” that pops up in everyday life.
Penny Willmert is an occupational therapist who works at a retirement center in Florida. She’s an avid gardener and loves to practice yoga in the serenity of her garden.