Many of us have had to rethink the way we spend during this economic time, which has led to spending more time at home. For some, spending time at home is natural and comforting while others feel trapped. Feeling trapped could be the result of the home value plummeting and your income is lower or possibly someone in the family has lost their job. There’s no extra cash to spend on comfort features such as dining out, movies, vacations, gym, shopping, and all the things that you refer to as fun. When the market was booming I recall hearing many people say they were never home, they felt they had no time for self, or spending quality time with family. They wished they could have more time to relax and spend time with family. As a collective, did we energetically bring into motion the slowdown of the economy? This is a big question and while some would not agree, it has been scientifically proven that our thoughts, verbal output, and actions do affect our environment. If this is true then can we turn the economic times into something positive?
“Our homes are our sanctuaries, where we build health and happiness.” This has been our motto for years and what we have striven to achieve by helping our clients create balance within their own living environment. My true passion is to show others how to use items that are already available within their own home or office and clearing out the clutter. While also, teaching about intention and how to use this method to tap into the energies of the home or office to invite new opportunities of growth into their lives. So, how does one create a home sanctuary, provide key elements for play and social needs while not breaking the bank? Well let’s get started…….
If our homes are meant to be sanctuaries, relaxing, and comfortable while also providing social needs, why not turn your home into a “staycation”? What better place to stay, get away from it all, spend time with family, plus invite others over for a get together. Here are a few tips:
Social Needs Person:
If you have a group of friends that you socialize with why not take turns having a potluck dinner or cookout at each person’s house. Everyone could pitch in by bringing a dish and also help out with cleanup. For fun time you could play a board or card game, have a movie night, or if it’s football season have a potluck football party. Or better yet, invite a pampered chef consultant over to help cook for everyone. Do you have music buffs in your group? Plan a “name that song” game, try out karaoke, or pull out the musical instruments for a make shift band. Do you own Rock Band? This is great fun with a group of friends and even the kids can get in on the action.Maybe you have a group of friends that are business owners or can provide a service to others, take turns with a drawing at the party for a give away. For example if someone within your social circle provides massage, this person could offer a free massage coupon. Everyone could exchange a service much like a barter system. You could also turn your party into a networking event with your friends by letting each person give a short 1-5 minute presentation and end it with, “Whom do you know that would benefit from my service or specialty”. The home can provide you with opportunities to connect to others through networking parties, cookouts, consultant parties, tea parties, or workshops while also not breaking the bank by asking everyone to participate. Use social networking sites such as Facebook.com or group scheduling sites such as Meetup.com to invite others outside of your social circle to expand your offerings.
Connecting During Dinner:
Is Thanksgiving the only time your family sits together at the dinner table? It’s amazing how many families wait for this annual event to sit together and give thanks for everything in their lives. You don’t know how many homes I have visited that have dining rooms with a table ready and willing to sit 6-8 people but only use it once a year. This is such a waste of space and not to mention a perfect time to energetically connect with your family. Imagine the impact this would have if you did this once a week, 3 times a week, or daily. Ask everyone to participate in the planning of the menu and help out with the preparation of the meal. Have even more fun by surrounding the meal around a theme such as Backwards Dinner, Singing Meal, Toga Dinner, 50’s or 60’s Diner, Shipwreck Supper, Dress As Your Favorite Cartoon, Fiesta, etc.
Make mealtime fun so you can open up the possibilities of discussion between everyone. To sit with your family and have casual talk over dinner can be very enlightening and satisfying. As a parent though I must say it does help to set aside wanting to give your input on how you would like your child to live his or her life. Let them be open, really listen to them even if it’s not what you want to hear. You will be greatly surprised when they are perplexed that you’re not trying to butt in on their conversation and then ask for your input. They want to hear your input but would also like to be heard. I'm the first one to tell you that this can be challenging but with practice your children will wonder what happened to questionable mom or dad.
Fun time can include board games, throwing or kicking the ball around outdoors, swimming in the pool, playing musical instruments, riding bikes, scrap booking, or tinkering around with a motorcycle or car. Everyone has a hobby that they love, why not invite the family to be a part of your hobby. Does each family member have a different hobby? Have a “this is my hobby” night where each family member shows the rest of the family their passion while everyone pitches in to try out the new venture. You may not like it at first but you never know until you try it. It’s always best to have an open mind and be open to the hobbies of another family member even if this means playing video games or doing yoga.
I’m not a big fan of cable television due to the negative impact that is placed on the viewer. Maybe your one to keep the news channel consistently running throughout the day. Even though you are not physically watching the news you are still energetically listening in the background and all it takes is one thing to draw your attention to the screen again. Usually, this is something negative that creates worry or fear in your thoughts and in turn brings the energy down in the body and within the space. We eliminated our cable because we found the family watched only a few series and the fees had been raised 4 times over a period of one year.
We have found other avenues for watching our favorite shows. For instance, check online for your favorite series and most likely you will find it available a couple of days after the first viewing. Your local library carries VHS tapes and DVD’s of movies and television series at no cost if it’s returned on time. Take the children to the library and let them pick out a movie for a family movie night. Want to watch the new movie releases? Depending upon how many movies you like to watch within a month you can get a Netflix account or most local grocery stores now have MovieCube terminals where you can rent new releases for a dollar. Now that’s a savings! If you do feel trapped at home you may think that cable is the last thing you want to eliminate out of your life. Keep in mind that the biggest negativity comes from the news and can actually create more tension and stress in your life. Listen to news that empowers you to grow not keep you stuck in the economic downturn!
A sacred space is a place where you can be alone for downtime, away from everyone else. I know this can be hard for mothers or fathers; I mean why is it that the kids always need you when you’re in the bathroom or on the phone. I want to truly inspire you to look at your home as a sanctuary to visualize your intentions for life. Maybe your home is filled with so much commotion that you feel the need to get in the outdoors for private time.
Go for a walk, bike ride, or create a space within your yard that you can retreat from everyone else. Connecting to the element of water such as a river, pond, ocean, water fountain, or bathtub is a great way to clear your mind. If you have a master bathroom make a ritual of blocking out time to soak in the bathtub or use the Jacuzzi. Tell your family that you need a half hour each day or plan certain days to be with self. This will also teach your children that it’s ok to spend time alone while connecting with the higher divine or whatever your spiritual source may be. Hang a sign on your door indicating that you appreciate your private time, close your bedroom door and read for a bit. (Find out how to prepare healthy bedrooms by reading these past blogs: Healthy Bedroom for Adults or Healthy Bedroom for Children or Teens.)
Have your significant other or family member pick up the kids from school or social events a few times a week while you spend a couple hours with yourself. Take advantage of this time to read for 30 minutes, exercise for an hour, and do an activity that brings you joy for the other hour. Truly spend this time doing something that gives you great joy instead of doing chores. We all need time to rejuvenate even if this includes exercising. Exercising increases your endorphins that will give you more energy. This also increases your sense of well being in order to deal with everyday life events.
Every person in the home should have a sacred space where you can sit and connect with elements that inspire you to relax. Here are a few examples of items that you can look for within your own home or office to place in your sacred space:
- Soft chair, chaise, meditation mat (Zabuton) and pillow (Zafu), exercise mat, hammock, blanket to lie over grass or on the beach
You may be pulled in all sort of directions and feel you do not have time for self however if you try this for 15 minutes each day you will find greater energy, the ability to think with more clarity, and also find that new doors of opportunity open up for you each day. I hope you enjoyed these simple tips that are available to all of us at no cost. Do you have tips that you would like to share? Post them below to share with others.
- Incense to dissipate negative energy such as sandalwood, aloes wood, or frankincense. My personal favorite is Nag Champa, which is available as a candle, incense stick, oil, sachet, soap, and more.