Designing a Healthy Space for Rest, Relaxation, and Self-Nurturing

Guest post written by Martha Channer

Have you ever yearned for a room dedicated to self-care; an oasis of quiet and peaceful calm that you can retreat to when life becomes too complicated or stressful? What would it take to create a room of one’s own? Well, a room of course, or simply a dedicated space in your home or office that remains unsullied by mundane things. This means an area that is completely off limits to others unless they are invited to partake; an uncluttered environment that lets one breathe and think; and a quiet space that allows for meditation, deep stretching of the mind and body, and a blissful removal from daily affairs. Even if this is only a corner of your office, here are some thoughts on rest, relaxation, and important self-nurturing.


We live in a world full of noise: leaf blowers, car alarms, loud music, and trash trucks. Even an hour of comparative silence will feel like a full night’s sleep. White noise is often the great silencer, especially if you live in a populated area.

  • Air purifiers not only clean the environment of allergens, they also emit a steady low-pitched sound that drowns out noise. This is a really good two-for-one and you will cherish the investment!
  • Water features (large and small) add the calming sound of flowing water to your meditations. Like the soporific effect of rain, these negative ion producing fountains connect to our innate love of moisture and trigger a restful mood.


We also live in a world full of exhausts, smoke, and additives. Relaxing in a pure space that is free of avoidable chemicals and toxins will refresh your mind and body like a spa day.

  • Himalayan pink salt lamps emit a rosy soft light and are believed to release healthful minerals into the air.
  • Make your special spot as free of toxins as possible. Refrain from using chemical cleansers, dryer sheets, or harsh perfumes in candles or potpourri. Instead use natural aroma therapy oils to clean or diffuse into the air.


Let go of family feuds, politics, annoying co-workers, and any negative self-talk that would intrude on this most valuable time away. You can always pick that stuff up where you left off. Be kind to yourself and you will emerge like a shiny new butterfly.

  • No phones, no interruptions, no gadgets, no pod casts, no nothing – just you and your space.
  • Quiet any unwanted thoughts by imagining the most beautiful scene from nature that you can conjure. Light a candle and focus on the flame, listen to soft music, or just listen to your own breath. The point is to focus inside yourself and let the world disappear for a bit.


Make your space all about the things that bring you the most joy. Create an environment that reflects wonderful things about your health, your friends, your family, and how you want your life to look and feel.

  • Fill your space with beautiful objects that have meaning for you.
  • Make a small shrine to the people who have made your life worth living and thank them in your meditations for this gift of alone time.

Your sanctuary must look and feel like it was made just for you. This is a great gift to give yourself and there is no end to how much it will benefit everyone else who knows you.

Martha Channer is an interior designer in the North Bay of San Francisco and is also a feature writer for Sebastopol Living Magazine. Along with her husband, Craig Mitchell, she is co-owner of MC2 The Science of Design, a full-service spatial design and fine art installations company.


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