If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, overstimulated or just in need of a couple of deep breaths, a zen den could be just what the doctor ordered. A zen den is a safe, quiet, designated spot in your home where you can be mindful – meditate, read a book, journal, practice a craft, nap, or simply sit quietly and catch your breath.
According to Headspace, mindfulness is:
“the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment.”
Research has shown that being mindful can help to reduce stress, improve the quality of sleep, and sharpening mental focus. If you’re interested in diving into these benefits, there’s some great resources and tools on the Headspace blog here.
Three steps to creating the perfect zen den
The good news is, anyone can carve out a den zen or quiet corner in their home, no matter what shape or size it is. Even better, although we’ve suggested the below three steps to guide you, there’s really no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to creating your space – the main thing is to be creative, and make it your own!
Step #1: Choose a space
Visualise your home layout. Is there a corner or nook that gives you some privacy (ideally), is out of the way, and is unlikely to be needed for other purposes? It could be as large as a room, or as small as a favourite sofa. This is going to be your designated special quiet spot.
Step #2: Make it cosy
This is where you get creative! Tap into your inner interior decorator and customise the space.
First, make it functional. Where are you going to sit? It could be a rocking chair (these are pretty easy to pick up second-hand online), a yoga mat, a pile of cushions, or a sofa.
Second, make it beautiful and inviting. Add some luxurious scented candles, a couple of your favourite books, and perhaps even a scented mist or two, if that’s your thing.
Third, make it comfortable. Make sure there’s blankets within reach, a jug of water, and soft lighting – a string of fairy lights or a small lamp will do nicely.
Step #3: Add plants
Now to the fun part! Plants are an absolutely vital element of any zen den. Why? Because plants – like mindfulness – are scientifically proven to boost your physical and mental health and wellbeing, so having plants in your zen den are going to amplify all those good energies. Plus, they look pretty!
We’ve hand-picked five low maintenance, low light plants from the Greener Spaces Better Places Dark Matters ‘Look’ for you to try in your zen space – including a mix of compact, trailing and large varieties for maximum visual pop:
- ZZ Plant – the chillest indoor plant of them all, the compact ZZ thrives on neglect, so you can pretty much set and forget this one. Easy as.
- Philodendron – this super easy-care plant comes in both upright and climbing varieties, which means there’s sure to be one that suits your space perfectly. Pop the heart leaf variety up on a shelf on on a pile of books, and it’s prolific chain of hearts will delicately trail down.
- Lipstick Plant – taken care of correctly, the lipstick plant will reward you with blooms all year round. With flowers looking like wound-out tubes of red lipstick, this plant will add a subtle pop of colour to your room. Another trailing plant, pop it in a hanging basket or up high on a shelf.
- Peace Lily – if there ever was a plant that let you read its mind, its the peace lily. Another easy-care indoor favourite, this one will tell you exactly when it wants a water by drooping it’s lush body of leaves.
- Rubber tree – every space needs a feature plant, and for moody zen den feels, you can’t go past a burgundy rubber tree. This waxy-leafed beauty adds a special touch of class to any space.
To check which plants would best suit conditions in your zen den, and your region of the country, give your local nursery or garden centre a visit and have a chat with the experts.
So there we have it – three simple steps you could complete in a morning or afternoon to create a lush and leafy chill-out space in your home. Use the space generously to escape from the crazy as much and as often as needed. Your mind will thank you!