Personal Space

Regardless of how out going or busy you are, we all need some personal space. I don't just mean a bubble around you that you'd prefer people didn't penetrate. I mean a location away from life's demands where you can breathe, regroup, and recuperate.

It is easy to overlook the value of some personal space in which to pause and collect yourself. For many of us, the bedroom is a place where little grounding takes place. We sleep, read, watch tv, or connect with a partner. It generally isn't a place to collect yourself. A home office buzzes with goals, notifications, demands, and a million other demands. The kitchen is a place of nurishment but is usually also a high traffic zone, especially if you have a big family. That usually leaves the living and or dining room which are not really designed for grounding either. But you can chisel out some personal space at home. Either by making a certain space in a room intentionally rejuvenating, or by partitioning off space just for this need.

Remember that wherever you choose in your home, the space needs to be dedicated to down time. Have a comfortable seating area present. Access to food or water. Room enough to stretch out on the floor for yoga or exercises. Include calming sights and sounds like plants, a window, warm lighting, pillows etc. Most importantly make it clear to your family that when you are in this space you are not to be disturbed. Leave your phone out of the space or turn off notifications. Airplane mode is perfect for this.

If you are on the road a lot, have a kit in your car so you can pull into a parking lot and ground yourself for a few moments. Have nutritious snacks, and a bottle of water packed in there at all times. Any eye mask and noise canceling headphones can tune out the world for a little while. Have a blanket and neck pillow packed in there too for a colder or tense day. And as a special tip, have a trash bag packed. The simple act of cleaning your care when you need to decompress can be deeply calming and empowering.

When the weather is nice take your car kit to a local park and find a place to center yourself outside. Breath in the clean air and press your fingers into the earth. Research shows that contact with dirt actually relieves stress and depression!! Use the larger space to do stretches, yoga, or brisk exercises. Try focusing on the movement of leaves or grass if it is particularly windy. 

Finally if none of the above are accessible, I feel you. I have too many dogs at home and visual cues to easily collect myself at home. Car kits work for days when I am on the road a lot. But my preferred go to place is my local Health and Fitness Club. My Health Club is my haven. I am an ambivert which means I do not mind being around people especially in communal places like locker rooms, lounges and exercise spaces where everyone is doing their own thing. In fact, I find it helps me to stay focused on grounding and rejuvenating and not wandering off at some shiny distraction. My Health Club has become my sacred personal space. I go in, do my personal exercises, maybe take a class, shower, grab some nutritious food and then hit the lounge to answer my emails or do some writing. Its kind of like everything I loved about college minus the academics (unless I am doing research).

Regardless of where you settle yourself, personal space is invaluable. Both success and failure are exhausting and without some form of grounding and rejuvenation you will crash. Try different locations to see what works best but if you can't find the time, put it on the calendar and make it a priority. Otherwise you will forever be playing catch up and disatisfaction with be your shadow.