It's easy to be stressed these days. Don't beat yourself up over it. But stress, over time, can increase cortisol levels in your blood, decreasing white blood cells that help fight off infections. So alleviating stress becomes top-of-mind.
As I sit in my makeshift home office on day 18 of my family's isolation, I realize, now more then ever, it's important to practice self care. It reduces the stress of today's world, improves mental and physical health, a well, boosts immunity.
One of the most prevalent ways to practice self care, is to escape to nature. For me, it's time at the beach. Preferably under the warm sun. Crashing waves on the sand. Breathing in the freshness of salt air. Listening to seagulls crying as wind rustles through palm trees. I can literally feel vitamin D running through my veins.
At Coastal Life we believe that a better outer environment fosters a better inner environment. So we bring the coast; sounds, scents, colours and textures, into your home. That way, everything that surrounds you every day, can bring peace, stillness and comfort.
This journal entry is dedicated to helping you bring the coast into your surroundings.
Exploit the benefits of SUN.
Benches that surround windows, allow you to sit close to much needed sunlight.
Sunlight stimulates the brain to make serotonin and reduces excess melatonin, alleviating depression.
Benches covered in pillows and blankets make it a comforting and inviting space for reading, enjoying a cup of tea or just appreciating the simple joys of nature.
Image: Glamour Planner
If it doesn't make sense to add benches, re arrange furniture. Other benefits include, stargazing on cool nights or people/dog watching when you're stuck indoors.
If you have a bit of time to spare, light coloured walls reflect sunlight making your whole home appear brighter.
Give a chair and a stool a place of its own.
Create a special cozy space for routine tasks, like your morning coffee, your afternoon break, or reading that 20 page report that's been on your 'to do list' for a few weeks.
Coastal means warm, cozy, comfortable, natural materials, and sunbleached whites.
If your chair is dark, throw a light coloured blanket over it. Layer it with another blanket for warmth. Then leave an article or book that you've wanted to read on the chair. It will inspire a much needed break.
Image: Rooms for Rent blog
Add an extra pillow. Put your favourite coffee cup, fresh cut flowers or even a small branch in water on the side table.
Image: Nantucket Looms
Keep work separate. Create an area for work, school or journalling.
Put your office table by a window. You'll get your daily dose of sunlight, and it will help inspire creativity. Add a plant and your favourite photo or piece of art. Then, pillows and cozy coastal blanket.
This space is also a great place to journal. An outlet for your thoughts or feelings.
Image: Home Bunch
Move your stored goods into the basement and turn a closet or pantry into a workspace or home school area for your kids.
Hang coastal themed items, like paddles or even a paddle board to remind you of coast. Place plants on shelves and counters to bring life into your home.
Image: Homes to Love, Australia
You only need space for a pillow for stillness.
You don't need a lot of space to create a place for quiet or meditation.
Add a small rug, pillows, a stool or even candles to inspire relaxation. If a small spot, like this is set up, it inspires a few minutes of stillness every time you pass by.
Image: Good Vibes Yoga
Or... take advantage of a larger space. You can use it as a permanent spot for your mat. Add fresh towels, a plant, or anything in your house that inspires relaxation.
Image: Digs Digs
Use the privacy of your bedroom for another quiet space.
If you have space in your bedroom, add chairs and a small table. It gives you another place to escape a busy home.
Image: Coastal Living
If your bedroom is on the smaller side, add a small chair with open arms or a chair with no arms - it will give the appearance of taking up less space, so your bedroom doesn't appear crowded. Add a picture above the chair so that your chair seems grounded.
Image: The Surfrider, Malibu, California
Unlikely places make the most inviting spaces
Some people are de cluttering. Others are organizing photos. DIY projects, like the one under these stairs, appears a lot more daunting then it actually is. Watch a video on youtube to see how it's done. Just a reminder... measure twice, cut once.
Image: 11 Mulberry
Turn a sunroom into a self care space for lounging. Use the precious time that we've all gained, clean out those spaces used for storage. Instead, use them for places to read, watch nature or just escape.
Image: Style Me Pretty
Make room for physical health.
This garage was turned into a space to let off steam... maintaining physical and mental health. I know most people don't want to admit it... but they leave their car in the driveway, using their garage for storage. Clear out and donate what you don't need. (Translation = what you haven't seen in a year). Move everything else to your basement storage. Then make use of your space for everyday needs.
Bright whites were used to brighten up a basement. Mirrors were added, not only to better one's cycling or yoga form, but also to make the space appear bigger.
Image: Tone it Up
Turn function into self care.
A really good place for self care is your bathroom. The coast wouldn't be the coast without water. Take advantage of floating in the water or let water wash over you in the shower.
Image: Style Curator, Australia
Set up your bathtub so that it looks inviting. Cut or buy a piece of wood to fit over your bath, or place a stool just beside. They can become home for a glass jar of epson salts, a plant, a candle or your favourite tea pot. They will serve as reminders that you need to take 10 minutes for yourself... just to be still.
Image: Coastal Life Homes
Add more nature.
Add sounds, music or meditations to your self care spaces in your home. You can close your eyes and pretend you're at the beach, sitting by a stream in the forest, or swimming among the fish.
inspired by the coast.