From daily commuting, the school run or simply the lengthy time we somehow spend outdoors, the main source of peace in our busy lives is easily the comfort of our homes. It’s the ultimate place for safety, playfulness and relaxation.
Now that the majority of our time is spent inside, it’s easy to feel the blessings of our homes dwindle or feel diminished. But with Ramadan around the corner, it’s doubly important to consider the ways we can reclaim and transform our homes, or parts of our homes, into safe havens for peaceful tranquility.
A sanctuary is a sacred place of refuge and rest - a great way to bring calm into our homes at this time is to reserve a small area for prayer, reading, meditation or, simply, time away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house. This year, with less congregational prayers at the mosques or shared iftars away, it’s essential to reserve a small ‘zen zone’ for respite in our homes; this serene and repurposeful environment will allow you to pause, reflect and unwind in these unprecedented times.
Regardless of how much space you have, choose a designated area in your home which feels peaceful and relaxed. Add some of these simple touches to make it as inviting and serene as possible:
Nature easily enhances the serenity of any environment and brings the outside indoors. Adding fresh flowers and plants, natural light, earth-toned colours, smooth stones, wooden furnishings, or even just the sound of water to this area of solitude can bring much-needed peace into your home schedule, allowing you to feel calm, alive and re-energized.
Smell is our most powerful and underestimated sense, playing a vital role in any environment, especially one we aim to recharge and recuperate in. To create and maintain an inviting and fresh feeling in your prayer area, add pleasant scents to revitalise your body, mind and environment. Flowers, herbs, scented candles, incense and aromatherapy oils can positively uplift your mood and reinvigorate your sanctuary, adding calm and serenity to the time spent there.
Feel free to be creative and bring some individuality into your space. Add meaningful objects, favourite colours, books, pillows, blankets or special ornaments for comfort and familiarity. After all, a house only becomes a home once you’ve added your mark - do the same for your place of prayer.
It’s easy to dismiss the importance of creating your own private retreat at home at this unpredictable time. But making the extra effort to reflect and reinvigorate yourself in a pleasant environment can do wonders for your sense of wellbeing, purpose and relationships, especially as Ramadan approaches.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to escape, without actually leaving the comfort of your home.