06 Apr Top 9 Ideas for Creating a Stress-free Family Zone in Your Garage
Sensible, stay-at-home, stress-busting solutions
Let’s face it; staying at home is taking a bit to get our heads around. We’re social creatures – and we’re just not wired to live in isolationlike this, so it’s understandable that many of us are feeling quite stressed. To combat this stressful time, we’ve listed a few ideas to spark your imagination to create an often neglected area into a relaxing, private Zen Space. Because if there’s one thing you should prioritise now, it’s you and your family’s mental health.
Your Zen space can be anything you want, a place where you can get away from everything, bond with your loved ones, chat, communicate and support each other through this challenging isolation process. Now’s the time to focus on what is important – our relationships with ourselves and our families.
What does it take to transform your garage?
Not much at all – a quick clean-out, Marie Condo the clutter(well, we do have extra time at home) and then you can transform your garage from headache-inspiring chaos to Insta-worthy Zen in no time. We’ve created some ideas below, but your imagination is the only limit.
TIP 1: Pictures and prints
Why not add some calming images around your garage? You can search images online and print, or even draw or paint them yourself to put up in the garage – this will add some colour and a personal touch to your new haven. If you feel like going further, how about a mural? This is something the whole family can get involved with, as testament to your journey as a family through these challenging times. For the creative, what about a trompe-l’oeil, where you create an optical illusion such as a view of the beach or garden setting? Any of these images can provide a fantastic talking point with family or friends for years to come.
TIP 2: Speakers
Many will recommend not taking your gadgets into any ‘Zen space’; however, some audio speakers may be a great addition. You could create a family playlist full of songs that remind you of each other, make you feel happy, help you feel calm.
TIP 3: Have a doodle station
A doodle station is a small table, with a pad and a pen – doodling can be a real ‘soother’ for many people, and can also help people of all ages, especially children, navigate through difficult conversations or feelings of anxiety.) Having a doodle station at hand would be a great addition to your new space.
TIP 4: Yoga Mat
Pop a yoga mat in there, too (now’s the time to use this thing). You don’t have to push through a session of hot vinyasa yoga here, but instead, lay down on your mat and gently stretch your muscles. Stretching can be very efficient in relaxing the body and working with the mind and your nervous system.
TIP 5: Bean Bags
Again, contouring around your body, bean bags can be deeply relaxing, and most kids LOVE jumping on a bean bag over a chair. Who said Zen couldn’t be fun too? This addition goes exceptionally well with our next tip.
TIP 6: ‘Get lost in a book’
There’s something about turning the pages of a book – evoking old memories, smelling the pages – reading is an excellent tool to switch off from what’s going on around the world. For the little ones, what better way to keep the spark of childhood and innocence than reading a great book that they love, while also being a distraction from our confusing world.
TIP 7: Write lists
Find yourself a canvas to write on. Then, title it was something relevant, for example, “What are we looking forward to doing again?’ When any of you are missing some activity, write it on the canvas. This will evolve into a ‘to do’ list once this pandemic and the restrictions pass. A list can help encourage and create opportunities to feel hope, excitement, and appreciation for all the things we all do as families. A great way of ‘turning that frown upside down’, this is a great gratitude activity that’s good food for the soul.
TIP 8: Journals
With a small book and pen at hand, each family member can write in their journal. Counsellors and psychologists have often recommended writing down emotions, fears, hopes and dreams . Later, these journals will be a great reminder of how you got through this, giving testimony to your strength.
TIP 9: Have a puzzle table
You can have an ongoing puzzle/jigsaw that anyone can jump in on any time they are in the Zen space. It can be completed by different family members or all together over time. When it’s done, why not seal the puzzle and start a new one? On the flip side, you can use the puzzles as decorations, canvases or reminders (encouraging stronger family ties and communication ) of what you’ve all achieved during this time.
There are limitless ideas for what to do or use in your Zen space, and it will, of course, depend on your family circumstances and household arrangements. Using your garage not only provides a change of scenery, but it also gives the time you spend in there a purpose. Just like the necessity of hygiene, cooking or other daily tasks, relaxing and taking care of your mental health is more important than ever. Make sure you prioritise it; you and your family deserve it, so schedule your time in your Zen space today.