5 Ways to Make your Home a Wellness Sanctuary
Our living space has a tremendous effect upon our mental and physical health and well-being. When people walk into our storefront in Westport, CT, very often they immediately take a big breath in and say, “Wow! it smells so nice in here.” Or as they walk around the store browsing our teas and wellness products they mention how calming the space is. And when clients come out of an acupuncture or massage session, they often linger in our store front to soak up the good vibes and peacefully drink a cup of tea before moving on with their day. Everyday I see people coming in to our store and immediately being uplifted, soothed and reminded to breathe deeply upon entering our peaceful environment. What makes a space healing for your mind and body? And how can you bring these elements into your own life so that you too can make your home a wellness sanctuary?
We were thrilled to learn about a new initiative in architecture and design focusing on the same questions. In the last few years a group of policy makers, doctors, designers and wellness professionals gathered together to create a certification, similar to the environmentally focused LEED certification, for buildings and spaces focused on human well-being, health, productivity, and peace of mind. This certification is called the WELL Building Standard. It focuses on holistically optimizing seven aspects of residential and office space: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. We are so excited to see this level of attention to well-being through architecture and design influencing corporate and residential environments.
Unless you are building a new home or drastically remodeling your current home, some of the criteria of the WELL Building Standard may be hard to meet. However, here are five things you can do right now that we use in our space at Arogya, and that the developers of the WELL certification also find important:
1) Incorporate essential oils into your daily life.
In a building that meets WELL criteria, essential oils are filtered through the air to promote wakefulness, relaxation, and to support sleep. You can easily use the power of essential oils in your home, without incorporating them into an air filtration system.
ALL DAY: Use a diffuser to infuse your space with the aromatic and healing properties of essential oils. Some great essential oils to diffuse throughout the day are sweet orange, lavender, calm blend, detox, and …. You can also try using a diffuser in your workspace. Your coworkers may be pleasantly surprised!
PM: Wind down with a hot bath with 5-10 drops of Calm Blend or Lavender Essential Oil. You can also drop a single drop of Lavender of Calm Blend onto your palms and then rub that onto your pillow before bed.
2) Filter your water.
One of the main tenants of the WELL certification is clean water. There are many different ways of approaching water purification from filters installed under the sink to counter-top pitchers. Do your research, and see what method works best for you. Some key factors to look out for are that the filters remove both lead and fluoride from the water.
You can easily make many of your cleaning products from scratch using common ingredients like distilled white vinegar, baking soda, castile soap and essential oils. Our popular DIY shower scrub is an example of how easy it is to make a non-toxic and effective cleaner. You can also find non-toxic cleaning products at health food stores, and more than ever at conventional supermarkets as well. Even if a product claims to be “natural”, just be sure it does not contain “fragrance” and uses essential oils instead.
3) Make a space for yourself to just be.
So often our homes can be just as hectic as the outside world with screens, distraction, and clutter in every room. If the idea of making your whole home a healing sanctuary seems daunting, start with just one space. It could be a corner of a room where you keep a meditation cushion and inspiring objects. Or it could be one room in your house where you keep whatever it is that inspires you to do what makes you happy. Perhaps a bunch of yoga mats and props to support your home practice, or a desk by a window dedicated to journaling or collaging. By creating physical space dedicated to your wellness, you will find it easier to dedicate more time to this pursuit. With time, the feeling and intention of creating a living environment to inspire wellness will spread throughout your home.
5) If you are going to remodel your home, use non-toxic supplies.
These can sometimes be harder to find and slightly more expensive, but for the health of your family and yourself, it’s worth it. Do your research and talk with contractors before moving ahead with any work on your house. Nowadays with a little time and research you can easily find nontoxic paints, caulks, insulation, sealants and more.