Modern life is hectic. You might have a job, children and other family commitments. You could be working around school runs or childcare responsibilities. Many of us spend time running side hustles or trying to earn extra cash online. Your days might be filled with cooking, cleaning, commuting, working, being a shoulder to cry on, travelling to appointments and meetings. At this time of the year, things get even worse. Suddenly, the very little free time that you do have is spent Christmas shopping or planning festive events.
It’s no wonder that 85% of adults in the UK experience stress regularly. Over one-third of us feel stressed out for at least one full day of every week, 39% of us are so stressed out that we feel as though it’s affecting our day to day life and over half of us are worried that our stress levels might be affecting our health.
A little stress is entirely normal. We do all feel stressed out from time to time, and it’s often just a case of finding stress management techniques or taking a break, to make things better. But, sometimes it’s more than this. When your stress becomes a constant part of life, you will start to suffer. You might not sleep as well, your immune system will weaken, your blood pressure will rise, and your risk of developing both long and short term health issues will rise.
A chill-out space can be a massive help. Somewhere at home, where you can go to relax. An area that’s your own. Where you can sit and do nothing, jump up and down to release tension, or scream out-loud to get rid out your negative energy. A chill-out space can reduce your stress, improve your mood, give you space to be free, and improve your mental health. But what does your chill space need? Let’s take a look.
The first thing that you need to create a chill-out space for yourself is space. If possible, use a spare room in your house. Even better, if you’ve got a large garden, look at garden rooms, which can give you plenty of room for yourself, away from the stresses of home.
If there’s no chance of a room for yourself, take what you can get. Could you add a private nook to a corner of a room that you don’t use too often? Perhaps the dining room or study? Or, could you give yourself a corner in your lounge? Think about the unused areas of your home. Even a hallway can offer a little space for yourself if used well.
We all find different things relaxing, but most of us, at some point, need peace and quiet to relax, unwind and put our thoughts in order. That’s why a space outside of your main home can be ideal. If being away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house isn’t an option, noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs are a must.
Another essential is comfortable seating. Somewhere you can slump down or lay back — a comfy chair, where you can curl up away from the world. Somewhere you could fall asleep. Add throws, cushions and other soft furnishings to increase the comfort of the space.
It’s hard to chill out when we are cold. Coldness can make you anxious and jumpy. It certainly won’t comfort a stressed mind. Adding blankets, cushions and candles is a great way to create a warming atmosphere. Take a hot water bottle into your chill-out area when you need to, and make sure you’ve got a table or ledge for a hot drink if you want one. If there’s space, you might even want to add a kettle and some basic supplies.
Your chill out space should be somewhere where you can just sit and think. But, you should also be able to do things that you find soothing, like read, or practice a creative hobby. For this, you need a light source. Add a brighter light, so that you can read without straining your eyes, but also dimmer options like a table lamp and candles, for when you just want to be.
Clutter isn’t relaxing. In fact, clutter is one of the things that you will be trying to avoid. So, make sure your area is clean and tidy and if possible, add shelving and a small table, so that you can keep it tidy easily. Try to make sure anything that enters the space has a convenient home.
Think about the decor. Bright colours, bold prints and clashing shades might not help you to relax. But, if your zone is in another room in your house, and shares the space, you might not have the option to decorate. Use wall hangings, curtains, screens and dividers to separate the area, giving you the chance to create soothing decor with neutral colours and soft shades.
Plants are flowers can be remarkably relaxing. Even fake ones can help us to unwind. Find some plants that fit, focusing on those that are easy to look after.
Being creative is a great way to relax. It gives you mind a chance to wander freely and often helps you to see solutions to your problems. You may want to give yourself some tools to create if you’ve got enough space in your chill-out zone. A pad and pens, adult colouring books, canvas and paints, writing pads, and even a yoga mat, all offer creativity.
The main things that need to be in there are the things that make you happy. You want your chill-out space to be positive and comforting. Add photos, pictures, plants, accessories and anything else that makes you smile. You might also want the option to play music, read books and perhaps even watch TV. It’s your space, make your own rules on how you will use it.