After a year spent adjusting to a slower pace of life, busy schedules are on the horizon. As we emerge from lockdown, return to work, and begin to resume a faster pace of life, taking the time to unplug is vital to ensuring we don’t burn out.
A recent study from UCL found that regular breaks can both improve productivity and lower stress levels, in turn helping to improve our quality of sleep. As the day’s stresses have a tendency to seep into all aspects of our life, a Zen Den offers a serene space to which to retreat and truly switch off.
Don’t be dissuaded by the yogi lingo, a Zen Den simply refers to a quiet, calm and relaxing space devoted to disconnecting from daily stresses. While this will inevitably mean different things to different people, here are some top tips on how to create your very own Zen Den in your home:
CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLOURS
Colour is intrinsically linked with our mood and plays an important role in determining the feeling an environment emits. Soft, neutral tones will not only help to create an atmosphere of calm but spark some creativity, too.
LIGHT IT UP
Exposure to natural light is fantastic for restoring our energy and improving our sleep. Where access to natural light isn’t possible, opt for dimmed or diffused varieties to radiate gentle pools of warm light throughout your space.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Clutter-free zone = clutter-free mind. Try to rid your space of unnecessary items, especially any technology that could serve as a distraction. Be sure to store away phones, tablets and laptops for the best chance of switching off.
ADD AN ACCESSORY OR TWO
While it’s important not to clutter your space, a few personal touches will help you feel at ease. Try incorporating a cosy throw and some fluffy cushions in order to create a comfortable environment.
INCORPORATE A RELAXING AROMA
Scent has a powerful effect on our olfactory system. As you inhale different smells, the molecules from the scent cause a reaction on the limbic system in your brain. This is the part of the brain that controls behavioural and emotional responses to things in your body, meaning aromatherapy can help to trigger different feelings and states of mind.
Formulated with the soothing essential oils of Myrrh and Lavender, Drowsy’s Sleep Zen Pillow Spray (£21.95) works to mellow busy minds and aid in the reduction of anxiety. Spritzing this around your space will help to instil your Zen Den with an instant calm, allowing you to leave the day’s mental overload behind.
Once you’ve settled into your new cosy space, now it’s the relaxing bit! Try playing some ambient background music, delve into a spot of meditation or simply sit with a cuppa and your own thoughts. You’ll soon start to see that this small time-out each day will have a positive effect on your mood, productivity and sleep during the night!
Drowsy was founded by brothers Thom and Rich Hemelryk after 5 years of managing hospitality businesses together. A combination of business stress, busy lifestyles and bad habits led them to develop a serious case of chronic insomnia. Drowsy is the result of their own personal journey with sleep.
The Sleep Zen Pillow Spray is available at drowsysleepco.com