Rejuvenate vs hibernate


Creating a home oasis during the winter months

It was the first week of November, and it's already -15 degrees Celsius. Everything has turned white, from the sky and trees to the streets and cars, winter has sucked the colours out of our scenery. For certain, there is a mystic charm to fresh snow falling and settling gently on the world imposing a majestic silence, yet this magical snow quickly turns into a dull and dirty layer that envelops everything for the next five months.

Whether taking refuge from the harsh winter or life's challenges, most of us will seek the warmth, comfort and support of our home. There is no better time to pay considerable attention to our homes and ask: how does my home support me? Does it lift me up? Does it nurture and rejuvenate me?

We all need at least one area of our home that we consider "ours" and no one else's. If we can have an entire room for us, then this great, if not, a corner or a spot will be just what we need. This spot is our oasis to turn to when we need to be nurtured, recharged and rejuvenated. It will fill us with peace, joy and love to not only continue our journey but to enjoy life, spread good energy around us and thrive.

This oasis is not "one size fits all", it is very personal; what represents my oasis may be your nightmare.

For some, it's a super comfortable wingchair with lovely texture and colours that sits in the corner with beautiful ficus tree behind it, enhanced with a good reading lamp, a blanket hand-knitted by a loved one and a small table for that perfect cup of coffee. This is just the place to rush with a good book for an hour after dinner and indulge the mind and senses.

For others, the oasis might be a long soak in the tub by soft candlelight, sandalwood incense burning and Pavarotti singing Nessum Dorma.

For some, the oasis could be watching the game, sitting on a favourite sofa having great snacks and beverage.

The meditation space could be the oasis of some; sitting on a cushion embroidered neatly with harmonious colours, wrapped in a warm shawl, a candle burning gently, the aroma of frankincense lightly filling the space, facing a precious alter where objects have been handpicked and placed carefully.

For some time, my oasis was Sunday afternoons in my kitchen where, between 3 and 5,  I would experiment with spices to create the perfect Indian Chai Tea. I had all my spices perfectly sorted and lined up along with a scale, measuring spoons, cups, tea kettles, strainers, siring spoons, and variations of honey and milk frother.

I love my kitchen! It’s super organized, flooded with natural light from a large window facing the backyard and its many mature trees. A colourful antique Chinese runner makes the perfect addition to warmth, colour and pattern. My kitchen provided the right space for my oasis. For me, that was a creative and exciting time that filled my heart with joy and rejuvenated every cell of my body.

No matter what your oasis might be, there are three common ingredients for  success:

1. Give it a serious thought; the question is simple: what makes your heart sing? What is it you yearn for with all your being?

2. Set it up. Imagine how this space looks, feels, tastes, and smells like. Every single detail matters. Whether the fabric of the chair, the light fixture, the type of tub, the scent of candles, or the entertainment system -  consider every element.

3. Plan a specific time. This is very important. Know when you'll be getting into your oasis and what benefit it'll bring you. You will be yearning to get there. This is your special treat, your super personal and intimate place that is just for you. Plan your time to be there, in addition to ensuring you will spend time there, planning will also help you identify the appropriate lighting source and hue.

Once created, be mindful of how you feel in the space, in our oasis. If you don't crave to be there, enjoy every second and feel anew after, then this is not your true oasis, and you may revisit the design or what type of space you are truly yearning for. Sometimes our oasis changes, staying mindful of how we feel in a space will help you continuously evolve the oasis to meet your needs.  

Your home oasis is meant to be the place you long to be and where your heart yearns to surrender. Your oasis will embrace you, heal you and rejuvenate you. If you don't have one already, Now is the time to start!

Happy Winter!

nora bouz
Wellbeing Design Consultant