by Dr Amelia Stephens
As I have experienced training and working in medicine, there is all manner of chaos and turmoil that can present in the space of a day’s work. Our home is our sanctuary and the place we come back to, to rest and repose at the end of the working day. It is a space that we can feel safe, nurtured and supported, and allow ourselves to regenerate after what can often feel like we’ve run a marathon – physically and/or emotionally.
What I have discovered more of recently is the impact and effect my home environment and specifically bedroom can have on my ability to rest, and the quality of this rest.
I had never really seen myself as a particularly ordered person, but now I realise just how important order and harmony within spaces is to me, and how the opposite of this actually can create great tension within myself. This tension doesn’t mean I don’t sleep, or don’t get up and go to work but certainly has affected the quality of both of these things in my life.
Creating order and harmony in my spaces has been a process over a number of years, and has required the moving of house several times for me to be forced to look at the amount of ‘stuff’ I have, and whether I actually want/need to hang onto it. Cleaning out large amounts of this ‘stuff’ – including clothes or shoes I hang onto ‘just in case’, those that don’t fit or are quite uncomfortable, and small things of toiletries I am never going to use has been very therapeutic! (In fact, I’m probably overdue for another one…)
I’ve also spent some time in actually furnishing my room with ornaments and items that felt honouring of my space, and that welcomed and embraced me on my return each day. This is not rocket science, but was ground-breaking for me! I also appreciate the lack of mess and clutter I now have, and how supportive this actually is to come home to.
It wasn’t until I actually realised the level of order and harmony in my space that I could live with, that I realised how disordered and disharmonious how I had been living before had been.
So why had I been living in spaces that did not honour the simplicity and delicateness that has always naturally been there?
This happened in part because I never actually placed value on my home environment, and was very happy for it to be ‘functional’, so I could come in and out and just do what I needed to do to get the job done. The clutter reflected the haphazard way I would buy things or place things, without true discernment as to whether they were needed, and certainly not how much they contributed to having a lovely, nurturing space for myself. This can happen when you are exhausted and using shopping as ‘retail therapy’.
The lack of emphasis on creating a space just for me, that supports me in every way, also reflected to me a deeper level of a lack of self-worth. The way I see it is that if we don’t see ourselves as worthy or deserving, then it may not even occur to us to have a bedroom that supports us when we come home, let alone other things that support us in our lives.
My suggestion to anyone looking to support themselves further is to have a careful look at your bedroom – or potentially get someone else to give you an honest appraisal. It is a space that can support us so much if we allow it to, and is an important reflection or marker as to how we are going in our body, and the level to which we are willing to honour ourselves. Honouring ourselves has the potential to take self-care to the next level – from function to vitality.
Enjoy the process, and have fun – making more loving choices in your bedroom, and in your life.