By Guest Blogger Laura Cooper
One of the most effective ways of dealing with stress — whether it’s related to professional or personal obligations — is to create a retreat in your own home where you can escape, if only temporarily, from the demands of everyday living. Your bedroom is the ideal spot for a retreat, and by closely associating your room with relaxation, you can reap the benefits of a better night’s sleep.
Looking at your bedroom now, it may not seem like much of a retreat. But there are a few relatively simple steps you can take to create a space that will rival that of nearly any high-cost spa at just a fraction of the cost — and all without leaving home.
Clear it out
Begin by removing anything from the room that does not relate to relaxation. If you regularly use your bedroom as a home office, consider moving the office space to another location like an unused corner of the dining room. If that’s not possible, consider using an attractive screen to hide the work area and make a clear division between it and the area reserved for relaxation. Also clean off nightstands and the floor around the bed of anything that does not contribute to relaxation. If you have a landline in your bedroom, ideally move it elsewhere; at the very least, keep the ringer off.
Invest in Luxurious Linens
When you’re on a special vacation, one of the most decadent feelings is sinking into deep, soft bedding. You can get that same feeling at home for less than the cost of an overnight stay at a swanky hotel. Begin with high thread-count sheets and add lightweight but cozy blankets and a feathery, cushiony duvet or comforter. Add some new bed pillows and throw pillows for extra comfort. If your mattress is uncomfortable and a new one is out of the question, invest instead in a mattress topper to get that luxury experience on the cheap.
Create a Comfy Seating Area
Lying in bed is nice, but there are lots of times when you prefer to relax without being lulled into sleep. Chair recliners draped with soft throws make ideal perches for reading, listening to music or meditating. Add a small side table to hold a book or cup of tea and a floor lamp for adequate lighting. Lighting has a great effect on the mood of your bedroom, so use a three-way bulb for ultimate control.
Tickle Your Toes
A soft, fluffy rug located bedside or at the foot of your chair makes feet feel pampered and can create a real feeling of luxury and comfort. Many throw rugs can be washed and dried without losing their soft-as-new feel.
Don’t Neglect Your Nose
The scent of lavender has long been associated with relaxation. Invest in a lavender-scented linen spray, scent diffuser or candle. Not crazy about lavender? Chamomile, sandalwood, ylang-ylang and neroli are other good choices.
Look for small treats that make you feel pampered: a cup of tea, soft music, a favorite book of poems or cozy pajamas. Incorporate these rituals into your stress-relief routine to create a feeling of serenity for your body and your mind.
Add Spa Goodies
Scented hand lotion, nail accessories like emery boards or cuticle cream, a gel eye mask and a hot neck roll add the feeling of a luxury spa, and because this spa is in your home, you can add the accessories that make you feel most pampered.
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Laura is a home improvement and organization consultant who lives in the New England area.