By: Brooke Foundas, Columnist
Now that I am spending an abundant amount of time in my apartment due to learning online, I have turned my room into my sanctuary. I view my room as the location I go when I need some “me time.” Being able to have a special place where you feel comfortable and safe is important because it may contribute to an increase in controlling mental health.
I struggle with anxiety and when I feel anxious I find myself comfortable and at ease in the safe place I call my room. Although I live in an off-campus apartment in Towson, my hometown is in Frederick, MD where the rest of my family lives, therefore I have two different rooms. When I lived with my parents in high school, I mentally saw my room as being my safe place but never physically decorated it to make it welcoming. I have dark gray and purple walls, black out curtains, a black and white reversible comforter, dark pink carpet, and cool colored furniture. It does not sound too enjoyable, I know. I still felt comfortable in my room but it contributed to a decrease in my mental health because it is not welcoming to my eyes.
When moving to my apartment in Towson, my goal was to transform my new room into my sanctuary. I wanted a clean slate and an environment that would make me happy to live in. Some of the essential items in my room include the warm decorations I chose: a plethora of framed pictures of my friends and family, a variety of plants, candles and wax melts, and representations of my heritage and religion.
I was strategic about the wall decor and statement pieces I wanted to place in my room because I wanted it to represent who I am and what makes me happy. Adequate lighting was an important aspect because of how dark my hometown bedroom was. Unlike the black colored blackout curtains in my hometown bedroom, I chose a simple floral translucent curtain shade for my window. Blackout curtains block each ray of sunlight therefore it makes the room incredibly dark and harder to wake up in the morning due to a lack of light.
I start each day by rolling up my blinds and opening my translucent curtains to let the sun in. Above my bed, I have a vision board that contains photos I printed off Pinterest and glued onto a corkboard. These photos are colorful pictures, patterns, and quotes that I like to look over for inspiration.
A few of the inspirational sayings on my vision board say “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and “You are more than your GPA.” To remind myself of the love around me, I have many framed photos of my friends, family, and significant other. Sometimes when I feel down I like to look at the photos to remind myself of all the wonderful people in my life and it tends to cheer me up. A lot of the frames are funky and colorful to add a little pop in my room.
Over the past few months, I have been growing an interest in a variety of plants and flowers. Before coming back to school, I went to my favorite plant sanctuary in Frederick, MD called Thanksgiving Farms to purchase a few plants to place in my room. Some of the plants I got were a succulent, a fern, a vinca vine, and a few others that I honestly forgot what they are called. Let’s just say, my room is very green with crisp air!
If you have fun plants, you obviously need fun planter pots. Two of my favorite pots include a yellow ceramic watering can I got from Goodwill and an Ancient Greek face pot where the hair is actually the plant itself. Next to my plants, I have multiple candles and wax melts I like to use every day. When I open my blinds in the morning, I also turn on my wax melt and light a candle. My roommates always mention how amazing my room smells and that’s due to my favorite lilac scent wax melt and lavender candle from TJ Maxx.
Finally, another main piece that makes my room feel like my sanctuary is the religious icons and heritage decorations I have. My family is Greek Orthodox and the evil eye is a common representation of my culture that is commonly used in jewelry and decor. The evil eye represents protection and peace and placing many of these icons around my room makes me feel at ease physically and mentally. Placing objects in my room that I enjoy like photographs, plants, and icons, play an important role in my mental health and allow me to live the best version by myself. Especially participating in online school and the possibility of going into quarantine again, I am prepared to feel safe and happy in my room that I call my sanctuary