How did your week go?
Welcome to week 8 of The Winter Project!
(What is The Winter Project?)
Surviving the cold with warmth and comfort: Making a nest
When I left my corporate job to be home with my kids, I struggled a lot with the experience of never being alone. I had a baby and a toddler with me everywhere I went and could be woken at any time during the night by one or both of them. I felt as if my new job had zero time off around the clock and there were no periods of time, awake or asleep, that were mine only. To help ease my overwhelmed soul, I began to think of our master bedroom as our sanctuary. The room is decorated in relaxing shades of blue and cream and toys are no longer allowed in. It is a relaxing harbor in the sea of kid-crazy that engulfs the rest of our home and I so need that.
Challenge for week 8: This week I want you to build a nest! Think about where you sleep at night and consider what you might do to make it feel just a little more cozy. Are your sheets and blankets soft and comfortable? What about your pillow- is it time for a trip through the wash or to buy a new one?
Here are some more ideas to get you started on creating your cozy nest:
- Bedding: Sheets, blankets, and pillow covers should always be soft and comfortable! I prefer flannel sheets in the winter but you have to buy good flannel or else it pills and feels like sandpaper. Check Costco, Amazon, or Overstock.com for good deals.
- Lavender: The fragrance of real lavender is soothing and can help to make your space extra relaxing. Over the holidays I made a simple homemade lavender linen spray (try this recipe) for gifts. I also love the lavender laundry bags from Trader Joe’s (or make your own refillable bags with muslin bags and lavender flowers)- I toss them in the dryer with our sheets…ahhhhh. Avoid artificially scented products as their fragrance can be a little strong (and possibly toxic).
- Light: I know that the good ol’ incandescent bulbs that I have lived with this far in my life are soon to be extinct due to their inefficiency, but there is nothing even remotely calming about fluorescent or LED lighting. Lights with a dimmer can be helpful as are natural candles if you don’t have an allergy to them. I know that there are many people who can’t sleep without blackout curtains or shades to make the room really dark. I love waking up to a sunny room, though, so that is not for me. Make it work for you- pitch dark or simple privacy curtains, follow your preference.
- Screens: Turning off backlight screens (TVs, iPads, computers, phones, etc.) an hour before bed can help you to unwind and sleep better. If you really don’t want to give up your favorite on-screen activity for that hour, at least consider keeping them out of the bedroom. The more technology-free your room the better, in my opinion!
- Music: Music can energize or relax you. After a busy day, I tend to prefer quiet. Sometimes, though, soothing music can help me to relax in the evening. Music or nature sounds may be something that you choose to add to your space or you may prefer quiet- it is up to you!
As we move through this project, I would love to hear about your survival skills, struggles, and success in the comments or by email (you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org)!
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*Important note: I am not a licensed mental health professional. This advice is not intended to take the place of therapy or medications. Please seek professional care if you are suffering from depression or anxiety symptoms.