After having Alba, I decided quite quickly that I wanted our bedroom to be a sort of ‘sanctuary’ – a sacred space untouched by the toys that litter every other room, piles of nappies and overflowing laundry. Parenting life can be somewhat relentless at times and so creating those pockets of calm where you can simply take a breath and re-centre yourself is so important (side note – I’ve been reading a brilliant book called Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski which explains the physiological importance of ‘completing’ the stress cycle after a stressful experience – which, when you have a 2 year old, happens multiple times a day – even just by undertaking a breathing exercise).
But back to my bedroom – this is absolutely a place where I can take some deep breaths and relax, a place where I can shut the door and pretend that the washing up isn’t still sitting in the water it was soaking in the night before, the pile of clean washing to be put away isn’t taking over Alba’s bedroom and the floor of the lounge isn’t covered by abandoned raisins.
Here are five ways I’ve found to create a calming space to retire to at the end of the day…
1. Diffuse calming oils before bedtime
Selecting an aromatherapy blend and putting on the diffuser before bed is one of my favourite ways to wind down for the evening. One of my favourites is Dreamer by A House Like This, it instantly makes me feel soothed and relaxes my busy brain.
2. Use a SAD lamp during the winter months
During the darker, gloomier seasons, I find my mood is really affected by the darker evenings and mornings, so I love my Lumie Bodyclock for helping me wake up naturally with a ‘personalised sunrise’. I also use the timed sunset setting to help me wind down for bed (it’s set to 30 mins and after the light is out I turn off my Kindle and go to sleep, so it reminds me not to stay up too late reading!)
3. Invest in 1-2 quality sets of bedding
About a year ago I asked some friends where I should go for ‘luxe’ bedding that would make our bed feel like staying at a swish hotel… but that wouldn’t cost the same as a night at that same hotel to purchase. So many people recommended DUSK bedding and upon seeing their beautiful sets I immediately bought quilt covers, pillows, cushions and a throw, and the difference was instant! The decorative throw cushions are out of stock but the grey Connection Waffle Throw adds a lovely texture and pop of grey.
Since then I’ve also added a set of the Girona bed sheets* and the Twilight bedspread* which I feel have really given the room a refresh and added to that luxurious feel. I always think that having crisp, white bed linen adds to that ‘hotel’ feel, and the 200 thread count of the quilt cover means that it feels, as well as looks, lavish. For more tips on how to dress your bed like a designer, check out the DUSK blog, or search the instagram hashtag #DUSKBestDressedBed.
4. Keep a clutter free bedside table
Clutter makes me feel instantly stressed and agitated, and I’ve noticed that my sleep suffers if I’m lying next to piles of random objects that have accumulated there. Even though it’s tempting to have my ‘to read pile’ on hand, I try to keep it to just one book and my journal, as well as a calming candle. I also go through stages of charging my phone in the hallway to minimise screen time, but it’s always when I’m lying in bed that I remember that item that I was supposed to add to the grocery order, or the email I was supposed to send to nursery…
5. Play calming music
We have a Google speaker in the bedroom and I love playing my ‘chill music‘ playlist before bed or whenever I need to wind down. I tend to tune into lyrics when listening to music, so when I want to turn my brain off and zone out I listen to something like binaural beats – I really like the chilled cow radio playlists and also listen to them if I’m working. When we’re going to sleep if there’s any noise outside I’ll also sometimes play something like rain noise – the Calm app has lots of ‘soundscapes’ that I find really relaxing.
How do you ensure your bedroom is a calming space?