A peaceful apartment is ideal for anyone looking to unwind. When times are stressful and chaotic, there’s nothing better than relaxing at home. From arranging your apartment to ease your thinking to practicing mindfulness from the moment you wake up, we reached out to experts from San Francisco, CA to Albany, NY to share their insights on how to find peace in your apartment. So if you’re seeking ways to relax and recharge, read on to see what they had to say.
There’s flexibility to practice mindfulness anywhere in your life
People often think you need to be pretzeled into a yogi position to practice mindfulness, but that's not true. The beauty of mindfulness is the flexibility to practice anywhere within your life. You can practice mindfulness whilst getting ready in the morning, sitting in your favorite sunny corner or when you're preparing dinner - as long as you're paying attention to the present moment, non-judgmentally then you're doing it - Chantelle, Authenticity coach at Piece by Piece Wellness
Create a space to recharge and refuel
Whether you live alone or with a partner, making sure your space is aesthetically pleasing to you is important. Beautify your home in ways you think would be impressive to a visitor. Keep it clean as if you were expecting someone you really respect to walk in the door any second. Be sure the objects you keep make you feel good when you look at them and have a good memory associated with them. Play music to fit the activity you are partaking in, whether it's cooking, cleaning, relaxing, or reading a book. Smells are important, too. Incense, smudging with a sage stick, using an aromatherapy diffuser, or having extra smelly fresh flowers in a vase are all easy ways to add to the feel of your home. Your home should be your sacred safe place to recharge and refuel before going out into the unpredictable circumstances outside your door. Make sure you're able to decompress and feel energized when it's time to step out again. - Bernadine Rosso, Vision and Resilience Coach at Women Who Are Up To Something
Unwind with home workouts
Tabata workouts are the perfect mindful activity for small spaces. Your workout in 8 cycles of 30 seconds. Workout for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. And repeat. - Dr. Cammy Froude, President of Bliss In Being, Inc.
Visualize light throughout your day
Upon entering your apartment, close your eyes and visualize white light filling the space from top to bottom and wall to wall. Listen to either nature music or Humpback whales’ songs for emotional peace. During the daytime, allow in natural light, and in the evening, have low lights for a sense of ambiance and calmness. Practice equalized breathing – breathe in at the same count as you breathe out, breathing deeper into the lungs at each inhale while making the claim that your space belongs to you and no one else. - Empowerment Through Healing
See your space with fresh eyes
“Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage.” Clearly, Richard Lovelace’s poem wasn’t talking about an apartment, but it could be if your perspective begins to erode. Let’s face it, the only difference between a rainy day and a sunny day is that one is wet, the other isn't. The point is that everything in life just "is." Nature, life, sunny days, rainy days, and yes, even small apartments. But these are neither good nor bad – they just are. We, humans, determine good, bad, positive, or negative. It's called perspective. It’s not life, but how you interpret life—your perspective—that makes all the difference. Try seeing your “space” with fresh eyes and an open mind. - Joseph Luciani, Ph.D. at Self Coaching
Bring the biophilic aesthetic to your space
Connect with nature by bringing a biophilic aesthetic to your space. Creating an environment that incorporates a biophilic design - think natural color palette, nature wall art, plants (real or artificial), and relics from nature (stones, shells, and geometric forms) has been shown to enhance health and wellbeing. Being more intentional about your physical space creates mental space for you to focus on your holistic wellness. - Lora Devries, Intentional Living, and Biophilic Aesthetic Expert
Tips for a peaceful apartment
- Your living space plays a significant role in how you sleep, think, feel, and function. Think about lighting, colors, patterns, and the design of your space. Keep it light, airy, open, and welcoming. You want your space to support clear thinking and generate elevated moods to promote relaxation and recharge.
- Designate places for specific activities. For example, create an ambiance for where you’d want to meditate and do daily affirmations. It’s best to select a corner that gets some sunlight, near a window or a balcony.
- Crystals are an incredible addition to your place. I love Selenite because it has many healing properties that are amazing to have near you. Selenite clears out stagnant energy, creates a calming and peaceful feeling, and releases negativity. It’s perfect to have around you and your other crystals.
- Haleh Gianni, Certified Life Coach, and Founder of 505 Living
Meditation can create a spacious mind
In the same way, it’s easy for our living space to become cluttered, so too can our mind become cluttered with criticism, judgments, and shoulds. Try sitting for 10 or 15min savoring the sensation of your natural breath or listening to a guided meditation and when you come out of your meditation use that clutter-free mind to rearrange your space. You may be surprised how a spacious mind can help create a more spacious environment. - Heather Wise, MPH, and Co-Founder of Skillful Means
Unwind with a spa night
Turn bath time into a spa experience by hanging some fresh eucalyptus from your local flower shop from the shower (it keeps for about 7 -12) and allow the steam from the shower to create a true aromatherapy experience. Add some soothing music via your phone or music streaming service for an added boost to your curated spa time. Take notice and reflect on your thoughts and feelings after the shower in comparison to how you were feeling before for a truly restorative mindful experience. - Paula McMillan-Perez, LCSW and Founder/Coaching Director of Personalize Your Coaching, LLC
Prioritize different mindful techniques
You don’t need a fancy, spacious meditation room to practice mindfulness when living in an apartment. Mindfulness is about bringing yourself into present awareness and can be practiced in so many apartment-friendly ways. Some of my favorite practices include doing belly breathing while I cook or clean, using scented candles to remind myself to breathe and be present. As well as meditating for short moments regardless of where I’m sitting (a minute makes a difference), and pausing to reflect on what I’m feeling grateful for whenever I see the clock hit 1:11 or 11:11. The key is to prioritize techniques that are simple and don’t need lots of space. - Ritu Bhasin, award-winning life coach, empowerment speaker, author, inclusion expert, president, and founder of bhasin consulting inc.
Surround yourself with things you love in your apartment
We can regulate our emotional states quickly by accessing our sensory system (senses) in any size space we live in. Create an area using fabrics that feel good on your skin, scents you enjoy smelling, music or sounds that are appealing, and sunshine in a window or candlelight that is visually pleasing. These things immediately regulate and calm your nervous system so you can be ready to meditate or participate in a wellness practice no matter what size space you have. - Sol Wellness and Healing & Education
Incorporate nature into your apartment
Fill empty corners of your space with living plants and enjoy the feeling of bringing a little bit of nature indoors. Notice how you feel when you look at them each day, breathe deeply and mindfully each time. Plants not only filter the air of smaller spaces but have been shown to have a positive impact on wellbeing and mindset - Mata Wellbeing
Take a moment out of your day to explore your emotions
If you've been struggling, defying, hurting, discontented, feeling like quitting, these are some forms of dissatisfaction. If you have felt any of these, try to practice mindfulness with these difficult feelings as you go about your day. Sit down in the distraction-free corner of your apartment, and put your attention on how your difficulty feels. Explore the emotion instead of avoiding it. After a minute or two of just keeping your attention on this feeling of the fray, give yourself kindness, as you would comfort a friend who was struggling or in pain. If you haven’t struggled with anything recently, find other difficult feelings you’ve encountered and practice mindfulness with them. - Prokensho
Add a breathwork routine to your lifestyle
Regardless of where you live, you always have a powerful tool available to you - your breath. Your breathwork routine can be as simple as taking a few mindful breaths first thing in the morning. While you’re still in bed, take a few deep breaths slowly, really focusing on being present in the moment and sensations in your body (i.e. air flowing through your nostrils, your lungs expanding, your belly softening, etc.). Stretch and smile, and just like that, you are off to a good start to the day. - peaceinside.me
Incorporate a yoga corner in your apartment
Create a space of calm or a yoga and meditation corner in your apartment that is bright, quiet, clean, and sacred. If you don’t have a big space, a yoga mat can be just the perfect space on the floor to start your mindfulness practice. Check out our eco-friendly yoga mats inspired by nature, to help bring the outdoors into your home. Bring the feeling of being in a rainforest, on top of a mountain, or by the ocean. Breathe into your space, let your mind and imagination connect you to the ‘Aina, our mother earth. - AINASANA
Write letters to your inner self
Write a letter to someone you admire (you are not sending this letter). List all the reasons you admire them in letter form and be detailed. Sign the letter and cross out the person's name and replace it with yours and read it back to yourself. The good you see in others is also in you. - Propel Active Health & Lifestyle
Focus on something you love in your apartment
Mindfulness is all about finding ways to be present, simply enjoying what is, so focus on something you love in your space at this moment: try a longer shower than usual, take a couple of hours to bake something that makes the apartment smell homey and amazing, open a window, close your eyes, and smell the fresh air for a few minutes. Self-care doesn’t have to be fancy, and it’s not about “shoulds,” so don’t assume you need a lot – of space or money – to make it happen. - Kourtney Thomas, CSCS,*D, Self Discovery Strategist
Start your day off on a positive note
Self-care and mindfulness create a ripple effect. When you make space to care for yourself, you set a positive example for your friends, partner, children, etc. By pouring into your own cup, you give others permission to take care of themselves, too. Journaling truly has the power to help you transform and gain clarity around your goals, boost self-confidence, manifest your dreams, reduce anxiety, and so much more.
You can journal anywhere and is an especially apartment-friendly self-care activity. Stream of consciousness journaling is a mindfulness practice that helps release anxiety, frustration, and overwhelm. Journaling helps us process our emotions and thoughts that are happening “behind the scenes” that we might not be fully aware of yet. This type of writing is unstructured, unapologetic, and boundaryless. Start your day off on a positive, mindful note by journaling. Journal everything on your mind for a few minutes in the morning. You can get started by writing down any thoughts, fears, worries, emotions, tasks, challenges, or intentions for the day that you have. The goal here is to not sensor or judge yourself for anything that flows out onto paper. - Samantha Melendez McManus, Certified Professional Coach + Consultant of Samantha Melendez Coaching
Carve out spaces in your apartment that are solely yours
Practice self-care by carving out spaces that reflect your unique identity, no matter who you share your space with. When I became a mom, our apartment bedroom seemed taken over by a changing table, diaper pail, and baby clothes. I decided to claim the space above my dresser as all my own. I added framed prints from my favorite artist, a bud vase, and a lamp my husband made for me when we were dating. Having space that was all my own helped me to feel more peace about sharing everything else. - Charissa Pomrehn, Self Care Coach at Brave Self Care
Maintain an organized apartment
Organization can go a long way when it comes to self-care. Creating a variety of unique and organized spaces dedicated to your self-care goals is a great way to transform a small place and make it your own. Consider getting some fun and decorative organization bins and shelving to organize your work materials. Having a dedicated place to put your computer and professional items away, can really help create work-life boundaries. - Helene Simons, Founder, and PsyD of Simons Therapy
Creating a peaceful apartment will help you on your journey
Space is everything, you want an apartment that empowers and relaxes you. Think of your apartment as a living entity that is also assisting you on this life journey. Your personal intimate assistant. Take your time to intentionally choose an apartment and items that your heart and body respond well to. This way it will feel natural to take care of yourself because your environment naturally cares for you. - Rosie Blanc, Business Coach, Personal Coach, Consultant, and Speaker at Transformative Rose
Incorporate elements that satisfy each sense
When practicing mindfulness in an apartment, it's important to incorporate elements that you can appreciate with all of your senses.
- Consider bringing the outside in with live plants. Include a small water element, a diffuser of natural essential oils, window treatments that allow natural sunlight, and cozy blankets and throws.
- Create a unique, designated area for your morning yoga and meditation by creating a small altar with candles, crystals, and your vision board that is inviting and supports your practice.
- Play calming music in the background while you work. And play songs that are energizing when you take breaks throughout the day.
Enjoy your apartment in the present
Does apartment living feel like a temporary layover on your way to your real house and life? This way of thinking can often make you feel like a visitor in your own apartment with boxes full of your past left unpacked and projects left for the future. Here are three ways you can live more mindfully right now:
- Gratitude: I practice finding at least one thing in my apartment you’re in love with, like my doors that separate spaces…breathe it in, savor it, feel it, thank it.
- Be Intentional: I intentionally curate a space that helps me feel my haecceity (what makes you, you, your isness) like putting beautiful things up on my walls with command hooks.
- Breathe: Whether I’m doing dishes, watching TV, or just lying in bed I practice being mindful at the moment no matter what with acceptance. The easiest way to practice is to connect with your breath.
Be more aware of your surroundings
One mindfulness practice for living in an apartment is to be more aware of the sounds and smells around you. Tune in to the sound of people walking by, cars driving by, and sirens wailing in the distance. Notice the smell of food cooking, perfume, and exhaust. This practice will help you to live more in the present moment and appreciate your surroundings.
- First, focus on your breathing as you climb the stairs.
- Next, pay attention to your feet as you place them on each step and how they feel as they move up and down the steps.
- Finally, notice your surroundings and the sounds you hear as you go up and down the stairs.
- Shelly Lynott, CHt., Certified Life Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist of Your Online Life Coach