10 Simple Steps to Center Yourself This Winter
About the author: Laura Gaskill is a writer for Houzz, which is a platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community.
Gentle, restorative, personal time each day is important any time of year, but especially in the winter. Losing the technology when you feel saturated in it all day is quite freeing, and yoga, meditation, prayer or journal writing can provide the ideal break. These 10 simple and creative ideas can help you make room in your life and your home for getting centered.
Find your ideal time for contemplation. A space in which to meditate, pray, do yoga, or read something inspiring is important, but it won’t really benefit you unless you make the time in your day for these activities. Want to start your day off on the right foot? Make it a habit to pursue your chosen activity first thing in the morning. Find yourself heading to the coffee shop every afternoon? Recharge with a short meditation or yoga break instead. The first step is looking at your day and deciding when and where you would like to fit in quiet, contemplative time, then commit to making it happen.
Rozalynn Woods Interior Design, original photo on Houzz
Wake up your senses. Plump, comfortable cushions for meditating; natural fibers that feel wonderful on bare toes and fingers; fresh, oxygen-boosting plants and flowers; essential oils; beeswax candles; sheer curtains to filter the light … give yourself something wonderful to experience with each of your senses. Make this time a wonderful break from a tech-heavy day.
Include (or at least inform) your housemates. I’m not suggesting you force reluctant kids or significant others to join you, but if they are interested, why not? Meditating, praying or practicing yoga in a group can be quite rewarding. At the very least, it is helpful to inform your housemates about your practice so they don’t bother you when you are in the middle of a meditation.
Gardner Architects LLC, original photo on Houzz
Prepare a space that is quiet and clean. This corner of your home doesn’t need to be large, but it should be kept uncluttered and clean. Try to find a spot located away from the noisy center of the home — a corner of the bedroom or sunroom, or even a wide hall could work well. You may want to try out a few spots before settling on one that feels right. Once you’ve chosen, make sure you have everything you need (yoga mat, meditation cushion etc.) close at hand.
Try an ephemeral art. Think of this as an active form of meditation — it’s all about the process, not the finished work. Try creating your own ephemeral artwork using whole flowers floating in a bowl of water, or just the petals arranged on a tray.
Jeni Lee, original photo on Houzz
Walk a labyrinth. Labyrinths have a long history among spiritual seekers. If you like the experience, why not make one of your own in the backyard? Use river stones, either collected on walks or purchased from the garden store, and lay out a design— you can find many labyrinth designs with a quick online search. Once your labyrinth is in place, walk it <em>very</em> slowly while focusing on your breath.
Chop veggies, pour water. Make mealtime about more than a rush to get food on the table by slowing the process down and focusing only on what you are doing at that moment. Admittedly, this is easier to do when you are alone, rather than in the center of a bustling household … but you can try!
A+B KASHA Designs, original photo on Houzz
Set up a writing spot. Yoga and meditation not really your thing? Perhaps a serene spot where you can sit with your journal and write is more up your alley. A comfortable sofa with plump cushions near a window with a view would be ideal. Find a blank book and pens you love, and store them near your favorite chair so they are ready whenever the mood strikes.
Create a daily reminder. Paint a favorite inspiring quote or scripture on your stair risers, and make it a habit to contemplate the passage every time you use the stairs. Consider it a built-in reminder to slow down and experience the moment.
Quantum Windows & Doors, original photo on Houzz
Soak. Just because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean it’s not also totally wonderful. Make like a Japanese teahouse and bring in a pot of hot tea to sip while you soak, lower the lights and have something beautiful to look at, whether it’s a view out the window to a private garden or simply a potted plant or vase of flowers.