DIY Wellness: 10 Easy Steps to Creating a Peaceful Home Retreat


"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe,
deserve your love and affection." — Buddha

When you enter a retreat center, you are submerged in a sea of calm: your shoulders relax, your breath deepens, your parasympathetic nervous system is engaged and relaxation begins. The words form in your mind: “I wish I could stay here forever.”

What is it about these places that captures and delights our senses and fills us with a sense of calm and peace? More importantly, how can we create this sanctuary for ourselves in our own homes?

A good place to start is getting clear on your intention. What do you desire from your retreat center? We all need a place where we can take refuge, a space to seek clarity, a personal space where we can withdraw, be still and relax. For some, that space is also one to reflect, pray and meditate.

I live in a small Manhattan apartment, so setting up my retreat space took some creativity. I wanted to infuse my home with the love, gratitude and healing energy I felt in these larger retreat centers.

1. A grounding Welcome Home mat greets me at my doorstep. A small Om symbol hangs outside the door. These details welcome me home with a sense of peace.

2. When I come in the door, my shoes come off. This makes me more comfortable and I am consciously not bringing in the “muck” from outside.

3. Sometimes I make a ritual of lighting a candle for myself, my family and all beings, before I do anything else. This is a simple but powerful act, reminding me to imbue my time and space with awareness, love and compassion.

4. Try putting on soothing music, instead of the television. It can be your focus or simply the backdrop as you read, journal, cook dinner, do your work or just close your eyes and breathe.

5. No yelling in the house. Make it a rule and lead by example.


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