We polled our readers, and their answers were surprising!
According to Webster’s, a “sanctuary” is a place of refuge or safety.
If you’re anything like us, in your PC (Pre COVID) life, you ran at a speed of 100 miles an hour, for years. Most of your time was spent at work, carpooling, the gym, or with family and friends. It was just normal life, and we didn’t think much about creating a sanctuary at home; we weren’t there enough.
We may not have recognized it, but most of us do have sanctuaries that made us feel comfortable, they were just spread across the various places in our daily routines. A particular coffee shop whose barista knows your order, your routine at the gym, the same familiar faces at the bus stop, even the things on our desks. Familiarity and routine bring comfort. And for most of us, those are gone, and we are home.
And, oh my, it’s weird, isn’t it? It’s like someone suddenly shut off our “everything-I-am-sure-of” faucet. It’s mentally jarring, it makes us feel twitchy, and some are definitely misbehaving. And we haven’t yet addressed the kids. The poor kids have no compass at all. Their whole world has changed, and they don’t have the emotional maturity to manage it well. It’s a mess.
This is why creating a sanctuary in your home is vital. For some of us, being stuck at home is forcing us to actually see our home for the first time in…maybe, ever. And evidence that we have had a non-committal “sleepover” relationship with our house is inescapable. And instead of comforting us, our space is also on our nerves, just like everything else.
We’ve got you, you can do this. Committing to creating your own style of sanctuary is productive, improves your environment, and contributes to your overall well-being. You can’t say that about sofa surfing with Netflix. (Although, there’s definitely a time for that.)
There are countless ways to create a sanctuary, and what’s comforting to one may not be for another. You have to find your own. We’d recommend above all else that you have fun with this journey and allow it to be an experience.
Of course, you could search, “how to create a sanctuary at home,” and Google would spit out countless well-researched articles, but what fun is that?
We are more interested in how you, the people we know and love, are creating their own sanctuaries. So we asked, and you answered. And the answers we got were not in Google results. After intensely censoring some responses, below are some of your ideas:
“I would say number one, mindfulness!”
“Candles, and low lights, house plants for better air, and scenery…”
“Streaming and talking to my boo bear.”
“I find something uplifting to watch/read, I pray prayers of gratitude, and I break it down into bite-sized pieces, today and tomorrow. I don’t look further ahead than that if I can help it. Two days are easier to manage than two weeks, two months, etc. No point in going on that trip because it will probably change before we get there.”
[It does not involve a bra.] – Editorial translation.
“When I walk in the door, I feel like I can breathe a little easier…because this is a safe space for me. I think keeping things clean and organized helps. Always keeping the curtains open and having lamps on, helps. Having bright rooms is super important to me. I take a lot of baths and have been trying not to take my phone, and just unplug during that time.”
“My sanctuary is built with extra toasty Cheez-its..and 6 pm naps.”
“If I was forced to stay home, I’d probably be washing my sheets every day as a form of control, and call that my sanctuary.” – From an essential worker
“Going on bike rides and walks every day.”
“A clean refrigerator. No clutter. Reading a page a day from the book, “Simple Abundance.”
“Must be a clean space and well organized. No clutter. I call mine a bathtub…lol. Detox in a bath of Epsom salt and baking soda with essential oils, candlelit, and classical music, usually cello.”
“For me, it’s more about wearing a cute outfit (even if it’s loungewear), doing my hair and makeup, etc. It helps me feel accomplished and not look like a sick Victorian child when I catch a glimpse of my reflection. Also, eating right and getting outside for a hike.”
[I find wearing light clothing helps. Very light. Like invisible.] – Intense editorial censoring and liberties taken
“Focus on what makes me happy, calming, and takes up time. I have been doing a lot of hand embroidery.”
“During the peace corps, I learned, concentrating on my home as my place of control. I can’t control the world, news, or others; so I concentrate on home. And we got a ton of groceries to try new recipes.”
“My greenhouse has been keeping me occupied. Trying to do more hobby-based projects.”
“I’ve been using this time to spend with my son and work on some art.”
When answers started coming in, they weren’t what we expected. Many of the responses didn’t talk about creating a physical space as a sanctuary, it was more about creating a feeling.
We learned that most people are engaged in creating a sanctuary within themselves and not worried about their physical space. Maybe that’s what sanctuary is evolving into–a refuge and place of safety in our heads. How healthy is that!
Carry on, architects of sanctuaries. We hear you and applaud your efforts, whatever yours looks like! Well done.