Safe Spaces and Their Importance for Mental Health

safe space

Whether we realize it or not, we all have a safe space we will retreat to when living becomes a little bit too difficult. This may be our grandmother’s kitchen, the playground we used to love as children, our bathtub, or a friend’s couch.

 

And while any safe space is essentially a good space, creating one in our own homes is very important for our mental wellbeing. Here is why, and how you can create a safe space for yourself.

The Importance of Safe Spaces

Our modern way of living, while certainly exceedingly comfortable, also makes for quite a lot of stress. We are constantly bombarded by negative thoughts, terrifying news, and advertising messages that often aim to make us feel bad or insecure.

 

In order to better manage our mind, we need to find shelter from all that noise. The better we are able to deal with these everyday stressors and all the unwelcome thoughts that have entered our head while we were busy living, the better we will feel about ourselves and our lives in general.

 

When something truly bad happens to us, we all gravitate towards a place (that is often directly connected to a specific person) that will help us calm down and weather the storm.

 

But what about the everyday stressors? What if we can’t retreat to that special safe space every single day?

 

By creating a safe space in our own home, we will be reducing the risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. We will be able to decompress every day, and slowly find our way back to a calmer and more rewarding existence.

 

Even when you are not feeling particularly stressed out, it’s still important to get some relaxation and to devote time to managing your own body and mind. That way, you won’t let any negativity pile up, and you will be much better equipped to face a major stressor.

How to Create a Safe Space

A safe space can be any space in your home, provided that it is secluded, comfortable, and relaxing. Don’t think of it as safe in the merely physical sense – consider it more of a retreat for your mind.

 

Ideally, you want your bedroom to be a safe space. Invest in a quality mattress, keep the room well-aerated, and block out as much light and technology as you can. All this will help you feel snug in your little oasis and ensure that you get a good night’s sleep every night.

 

Which space in your home you choose to turn into this bit of haven is entirely up to you. If you like to spend time outdoors, you can build yourself a swing or simply create a little nook on the patio where you can relax. If you love to cook, you can make the kitchen your safe space.

Consider How You Feel Already

Before you choose your safe space, consider how different parts of your home make you feel already. If you have a large family, the living room may not be the best option, as it will likely be noisy and distracting most of the time.

 

Choose a space that you don’t associate anything negative with. If you keep stubbing your toe on a specific armchair, maybe you don’t want to make it your safe space.

Get Rid of the Tech

All the different technological advancements we so love to use are taking a toll on our mental health. True, they can serve as a great distraction and help us laugh, but they can also keep us from focusing on what we actually want to achieve in our lives.

 

Aim to remove all the tech from your safe space if you can. You want to be able to unplug here, so no phones, no TV, and no internet. You don’t want to be able to keep checking your feed while trying to feel better about yourself.

Make It Your Own  

How you design your safe space will be entirely up to you. It can be your yoga mat, or it can be a bedroom wall you will sit up against and meditate. It can even be the bathroom if you want to enjoy some pampering and skincare.

 

Consider what it is you truly enjoy about your life. What are the small things that put a smile on your face and help you relax? If it’s watching Netflix, then make your spot on the couch the comfiest it can be. Buy a new throw, get yourself a popcorn maker, and enjoy some snuggle time.

Final Thoughts

Use your safe space whenever you need its calm and comfort. It’s perfectly okay to feel overwhelmed with everything that is going on in the world, and it’s perfectly okay to take a break from everything. Try to retreat to your little nook as often as you need to, and work on improving your mental health day in and day out.

 

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

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