A safe space isn’t just about having a room where we can enjoy secure solitude and restore mental energy. Although it starts with our home. In this article, we will quickly guide you through the things you need to do to create a safe space, and what does it mean to have one.
What is a safe space?
As we’ve mentioned, it’s not just about having a comfy corner to unwind in. It’s about feeling secure, confident, and calm throughout the day no matter where we are. It might sound unreachable. But trust us, you can achieve this. And we will tell you how to do it.
Part 1 — start with your home
Feeling safe in life starts with feeling safe at home. It’s the place where we’re supposed to relax, restore mental and physical energy, and just have a chance to be ourselves. So it’s vital to make sure your home is as comfortable for you as it can get.
Make the space comfortable
If you can’t adjust the whole home to your needs, a single room or even a corner will be good enough. Decorate it as you like, include comforting things such as blankets and candles, and make sure nothing can distract you while you’re resting in your oasis. Keep your space free of clutter and anything that could bring down your mood.
Prepare a set of coping skills and items
Think of what calms you down. It might be your old plush toy or a favorite sweatshirt. Or maybe you can regain control over your feelings and emotions when you’re painting or playing a musical instrument. Write down all the calming activities that work for you and gather your comforting items so that they’re within your reach when needed.
Now when the materialistic part of making your home comfortable for you is behind us, let’s talk about actions you can do daily to feel more confident and safe in life. And the first one would be a decent routine. We’re not telling you to schedule every single thing. But having at least morning and nighttime routines you follow daily is important. These routines will help you feel in control of your life. And as a nice side effect, your brain will get used to them and start preparing for the day or sleep respectively when you begin performing your routines.
An example of a morning routine would be that you wake up, do a bit of stretching, make yourself a cup of coffee or breakfast, then head to the shower and get ready for the day. It might sound simple, but if you keep following a certain order of actions for a while, you’ll notice the difference in how you feel.
Get physically active
Yeah, we know that the advice to do some sports is old. But it’s nonetheless valuable. When you keep your body moving, less space for worries and anxiety is left. Pick the activity you like — it shouldn’t be a gym if you hate that. Walking or dancing works too. Your main goal should be to reconnect with your body so that you can notice your emotions better.
Part 2 — taking control over your emotions
Emotions shouldn’t control us. It doesn’t mean we need to get rid of them. But we need to control them so that emotions don’t hurt us both physically and mentally. Here are some tips and techniques that will help you calm yourself down when you need it.
Use your senses
When you feel you’re losing ground, remember to use all your senses — sight, smell, touch, sound, taste. Look around and notice details that surround you — colors, shapes, items. Then take a big breath through your nose and try recognizing smells. Count your fingers by touching them or just caress something you find pleasing — a soft blanket or a pet. Now switch to your ears and notice sounds around you without thinking about them. And finally, eat or drink something staying focused on the taste.
You can pick the sense that works best for you and stick to it or you could work with all five senses.
Make sure you’re healthy
Sometimes negative emotions can be caused by physical factors such as hormones, lack of sleep or food, tense muscles, or physical illnesses. If you struggle with anxiety, sadness, or other negative feelings, and there is no obvious factor that could cause them — try reaching out to a doctor so that they can examine you. Another reason for you struggling with negative emotions could be past traumas that aren’t obvious to you. In this case, a therapist should be helpful.
We always tend to belittle our achievements and take the results of our daily efforts for granted. But that’s the way to feeling miserable. Try getting used to rewarding yourself even for small things such as working out or cleaning your home. Everything matters, even things that might seem insignificant. Remember — an ocean consists of the smallest drops.
Part 3 — social life
While we should be able to comfort ourselves without the help of others, it’s important to consider other people, too.
Friends you can call
When you feel good, think of friends you can call when you’re under the weather. Choose those who can be compassionate and supportive and avoid people who seem to always say the wrong thing. These emergency contacts will be helpful when you feel overwhelmed. And don’t afraid to call — friends are for helping, too, not just for having fun when everything is good. It’s important to stay connected when you feel low.
Think of people you connect to
Is every person you tend to spend a lot of time with making you feel comfortable? Try reducing the amount of communication with people that bring negativity, are judgemental, or rude to you. It’s not wrong to cut them out. It’s about protecting your personal boundaries. You can choose the people that surround you — so make wise choices by putting yourself in the first place.
Don’t be afraid to open up to people you trust. We can’t hold everything inside us — it will make us hurt and suffer. It’s not embarrassing to feel sad, anxious, angry, and so on. We all are human beings, and we all experience all kinds of emotions. Trust us, your friends will understand you.
Once you work on all these things, you will literally carry your safe space around you. Then you can feel secure and confident no matter what happens.