ZEN TIP TUESDAY #14
For Zen Tip Tuesday #14 it’s wonderful to welcome Sue Loncaric, a fellow mid-life Brisbane blogger who I’ve met in person several times now. Sue is such a genuinely kind and lovely person who blogs over at Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond. Sue writes today about how we can create our own Zen space at home. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Enjoy the read, and of course you can find out more about Sue in her Bio at the end of this post.
For anyone joining us for ZTT Link-Up #012 – welcome and I look forward to reading your post!
Zen is a word that many of us think we know the meaning of, but as I’ve been reading Min’s Zen Tip Tuesday posts, I realise that there is more to this three-letter word. I have learned from previous guests, that Zen can mean different things to each of us. There are so many ways we can bring Zen into our lives and I’m delighted to be part of Min’s #ZTT series and contribute my thoughts.
I was recently listening to ‘Your Dream Life Podcast’ presented by Kikki K., the founder of the Kikki K Inspirational Stationery, Journals, Books and Gifts. Her Guest, Dr Hazel Wallace, The Food Medic, discussed ‘Habits, Positive Rituals & Believing Anything is Possible’. During the interview Dr Wallace explained the importance of relaxation and including a Zen corner or space in your home.
How often do you come home and just want to shut the door on the world and escape to your own special place?
I love being at home. Yes, I enjoy socialising with family and friends, but there is nothing like coming home or spending the day at home in my own space, relaxing.
Inspiration Flow Days, where there is no plan and we allow ourselves to just go with the flow for the day can re-energise our mind, body and spirit.
The Danes have a lifestyle version similar to creating a Zen feeling, which they call ‘Hygge’. Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’, it is all about creating a feeling of coziness, contentment and well-being by enjoying the simple things in life and at home.
The word is derived from the Norwegian word for ‘well-being’ and has been a part of Danish culture since the 1800’s. Whilst this is especially enjoyable for them during cold winters, you can create this feeling year-round.
Hygge, Zen, Comfort, Peace, Calm, Relaxation, they all mean the same thing and by creating a special place in your home, just for you, your physical, mental and spiritual well-being will be enriched. You will reduce stress and anxiety and that has to be a positive outcome for good health.
Ideas for creating your own Zen space at home
I started exploring what a Zen space was and ideas for what should be included. The most important thing to remember is that when you enter your Zen space there should be a feeling of calm. As you let go of your breath you are letting go of the stresses of the day.
Your Zen space doesn’t have to take up much room, although if you are lucky to have a spare room you can really create your own special sanctuary.
A Zen space should cater for all five senses – Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch. It should be a visually beautiful space that is inviting and evokes a sense of calm.
- Arrange a comfy chair, cushions or bean bag for seating
- Create softness with your favourite Candles and soft lighting
- Use a Diffuser and your favourite essential oils to fill your space with your favourite calming fragrance such as Ylang Ylang
- Calming and soothing music – Make your own relaxing playlist but make sure speakers are hidden (you will read why a little further down in this article).
- Books – include not only fiction but your favourite inspirational books
- Display a favourite inspirational quote or calming image
- Include a journal to record your thoughts and reflections
- Throws that are soft and provide warmth and comfort in the cooler months
- Plants or Flowers – Studies have shown that indoor plants can reduce feelings of stress
- Your favourite tea or infused water – indulge yourself by using your favourite china tea set
- Yoga mat if you have the space for meditation
- Smooth stones for touch
- A ‘Do Not Disturb’ Sign – this is your retreat, this is your special time and place
What to leave out of your Zen space
- Electronic devices such as laptops, your smart phone, or e-readers. Hide your music device and speakers from view – Switch off from the world and switch on to your inner self.
- Avoid Loud noise or bright lights
- Clutter – Remove any clutter from your space and it will also help you to remove the clutter from your mind.
- Other people – this is your personal space for you to unwind, meditate if you wish, reflect, journal, practice yoga, read a book or just ‘be’.
“Create a space in your life to relax, re-energize, and reconnect with your sacred inner being.” ~ Melanie Moushigian Koulouris
What would you include in your Zen space?
Sue Loncaric is an Over 50 lifestyle blogger, life coach for women, and the founder of Sizzling Towards Sixty & Beyond. Passionate about living a full and active life in Midlife & Beyond, her mission is to encourage and inspire women Over 50 to live a fit, fabulous, healthier and happier lifestyle by guiding them to realise their full potential.
Here’s where you can connect with Sue: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
ZTT LINK-UP #012
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Hi, Sue and Min – Thank you for this thought-provoking Zen tips. I especially like the idea of what to leave out of a Zen space. I believe it is also a good idea to leave these out of our bedrooms (with the exception of our spouses for #4).
Hi Donna, now that we have moved to our apartment I want to set up a Zen space for myself. I have a chair and throw but still need to pack away all the boxes from moving! You made me smile re our spouses and #4. Sometimes in the past when Mike used to snore I would send him to the spare room LOL:)
Hi Donna – so glad you’ve enjoyed Sue’s post. You gave me a giggle with your reference to #4 and the bedroom! 🙂
Hi Min, thanks for having me as your guest for #ZTT. I love the series and was honoured to contribute. Have a lovely day xx
It was a pleasure to have you guest post Sue, and with such a great post! Thanks again also for your ongoing support of #ZTT – it never goes unnoticed and is always appreciated! xo
Hi Sue and Min, I love Hygge and after spending time in Denmark with friends over the years, I have a good understanding of what it’s like to experience it. You’ve explained how to create a zen space at home Sue and we need to make time to relax and appreciate this feeling. Great tips!!
Our homes are meant to be our haven’s aren’t they Deb – so creating a zen space makes complete sense. Relaxation, calm and quiet time are so good for us. xo
Hi Deb, you have had first hand experience with Hygge haven’t you. I’m so pleased you liked my take on creating a Zen space at home. Now I have to find one in my new home but then I always have the beach and ocean as my backdrop so that’s not a bad place to spend my time 🙂 xx
How lovely to read this from Sue. I do have some spaces in the house where I can ‘go to be more zen’ and one is my desk where I create art/designs/mandalas because once I sit there, I am ‘transported’ into one creative place.
I also count my garden area as a zen place and that’s what I wrote more about today. When you NOTICE plants and flowers more, you become MORE absorbed….I know you know this too Min!
Wonderful to read that you have some zen spaces in your home Denyse (including in the great outdoors). We all need these spaces and yes I do know that taking the time to appreciate and really notice nature makes us more present, mindful, and grateful! Have a great week Denyse! xo
Hi Denyse, what a great take on your Zen place – your desk and your garden. I suppose we associate sitting at a desk as work however, you have a good point in that it is a place where you can be creative. Great idea!
I wish my whole house could be like this!!!! Seriously though I love our upstairs deck, although I haven’t fully turned it into a zen space yet it definitely has that “getting away from it all” feeling 🙂
I think it’s quite doable to have your whole home feel zen like Janet! Our homes are meant to be our havens afterall! Nice to have a special place where you can get away from the family and have some time on your own in some quiet also though. Your deck most certainly is gorgeous and would make a wonderful zen space for sure! Hope you have a great week! 🙂
The deck sounds a perfect place to set up a Zen corner, Janet. It doesn’t have to be a huge space but somewhere you can chill and relax.
Thank you for this, Sue! I have such a stressful job and strive for peace and tranquillity when I get home. These are all great tips on creating my space
So pleased you’ve enjoyed Sue’s tips Theresa! Enjoy creating your very own zen space. Sounds like you sure need it to help balance out the stressful job you have, and you deserve it! We need to do all we can to look after ourselves.
I’m so pleased you found the post helpful, Theresa. I used to be in a stressful job and looking back now I know that some of the stress was caused by my need to do an excellent job. My self-imposed bar for my performance certainly added to the stress. I hope you do set up your Zen space and would love to see a photo of it when you do. Take care and remember to take time out to restore, relax and rejuvenate.
I love living in an uncluttered home surrounded by peace and serenity too Sue. We had the family (including the 2 delightful grandgirls) staying for a week and I loved it all, but the wonderful feeling of silence settling in again after they left was definitely a Zen moment – and made me appreciate how much I need that safe haven of peace in my life. Home is definitely my Zen place too.
I like an uncluttered home too Leanne … and with things around that (forgive me using this term again but …) ‘Spark Joy’ for me! I know exactly what you mean by enjoying the peace and quiet after visitors. I know you loved having them, and you’d miss them once they’re gone … but that peace and quiet is pretty special isn’t it?! 🙂 xo
Hi Leanne, I know what you mean. After a day spent with the 2 E’s I come home to the peace and tranquility and it is wonderful. I couldn’t live without seeing the boys but I also need my own quite space. So pleased you had the family with you for the week and I’m sure you loved every minute of it. xx
Hi girls – just back to visit with MLSTL and to feel the Zen of Sue’s post again. I’m sitting in my lovely quiet spot looking out at the wetlands over the road and enjoying that precious peace as I type.
Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂
Thanks for having Sue as your guest, Min, she always is spot on with her thoughts and tips. I love the idea of a zen space in the home, and although I can’t say that I follow everything on the list, Sue, I know that when I need to relax, unwind, turn off the media and have some quiet time, my home is my haven.
Hi Candi, I think we all create our own Zen spaces with what we feel we need. I love quiet time and I also love being alone which doesn’t happen very often so I appreciate time out with myself when I can get it. Have a lovely week and I’m sure with your design experience you would have a beautiful Zen space. x
Thanks for this fascinating article, Sue, with all these tips – I feel more relaxed already. I had no idea that zen came from Denmark – I always thought it was from Asia, but now I know. x
Hi Toni, I think it does come from Asia but the Danes have a similar thing with Hygge. I’m so pleased you were feeling ‘Zen’ after reading my article. We all need to relax more don’t we? x
Thanks for visiting Toni – A post that makes you feel relaxed by reading it is a good one! 🙂
My zen space has to include things to create with. I like to art journal, which can get messy and cluttered, but is a hands-on way for me to be present and live.
Hi Christine that is the beauty of creating your own space because you can include what works for you. 🙂
Sounds like a fabulous zen space to me Christine – creativity helps our minds to focus on the present and slows down the endless chatter that can go on in there. And of course there is the satisfaction of the end creative result and being surrounded in things that make us happy! 🙂
I have a little area in my living room with a chair that is next to my books. It is a cozy place just to sit and read. Thanks for the tips. #MLSTL.
Oh that sounds just perfect, Patrick. I love getting lost in a good book and having your own space to while away the hours is so good for you. #MLSTL
That sounds perfect Patrick! 🙂
Wonderful post Sue and lots of great ideas for creating a zen atmosphere. I’m looking around at all the speakers and devices in my lounge room as I write this. No wonder I can’t meditate in here! But I do have a wonderful decking that looks out into an oasis of nature and wildlife. That’s my ultimate zen space. Thanks for having Sue here Min and I look forward to reading lots more.
That decking that looks out on an oasis of nature and wildlife sounds divine Miriam – just my cup of tea and a perfect zen space indeed! Thanks for visiting and look forward to seeing you here again. 🙂
After reading this post, I think I need to develop a zen space. I have some of the elements, like a meditation cushion, a soft blanket, an oil diffuser, and books, but they share a room with my exercise equipment and some electronics. I’m going to think about this a little more and how I could make it happen. Thank you ladies! #MLSTL
Sounds to me like with a little bit of tweaking your zen space will be sorted Christie! 🙂
When we moved into our new apartment in Florida it came with a screened in porch, which almost seems to be a requirement down here. The only problem with ours is that it was on the pathway to both the doggie park and the children’s playground. A good amount of people walking up and down the path with a clear and close-up view into our living room. I created an area that I want to sit in by starting with a roll of bamboo partitioning, a small palm and other plants, and shells, lots of shells. Since we’re in the middle of Florida and not on the coast as we planned, I created our little beach themed oasis on our porch. This way we can sit out there or even just open the sliders to let in the light without feeling like we were the display apartment to look into.
Sounds like you did a great job at getting some privacy into your porch area Jennifer! It sounds so lovely – bamboo, palms, plants and shells – and best of all – private! Relaxing to sit out on and to look out upon. Very creative and zen! 🙂