Ten for Zen’s Guide to Creating a Mindful Home

Ten for Zen’s Guide to Creating a Mindful Home

We all know that daily life is tough at the moment, whatever your situation – whether you’re working from home or home-schooling (or juggling both!), things can quickly become stressful if you don’t take some time out for yourself. So, if January has left you feeling a little frazzled, you might consider adopting a mindful approach to your home. Create a sense of balance and separation from home-working and home-schooling, and enjoy your downtime at home, all by just taking a little time to focus every day.


Mindfulness is an NHS-approved practice to help you focus and detach from daily life pressures, restoring a sense of calm. Typically practised with deep breathing or quiet time alone, mindfulness can be very effective in helping you to feel calmer.


Setting aside a room in your home as a ‘mindful space’ means that you can dedicate a little time each day to relaxation, without any distractions. It could be a home office, a spare bedroom with your favourite view – anywhere where you feel relaxed. Create a cosy but minimalistic space, using the colours and textures that help you to relax. Light some scented candles, and then shut the door for 10 minutes, to spend some time focusing only on what’s around you.  


If you like the sound of mindfulness but aren’t sure where to begin, we’ve spoken to Martin Stepek, founder of Ten for Zen, and one of Scotland’s most-respected speakers on the subject of mindfulness, to get his top tips on creating a zen space in your home that you can enjoy every day.


Learn the basics


“It’s about you. Mindful practice at home simply means we find a quiet time and space to sit or lie down, and lightly focus on one thing for a few minutes, letting go of any distractions as they arise. The most common thing people focus on is the breath; it’s always there and is pleasant and peaceful.”


Set aside a proper place and time for practice


“Try to establish a regular time. This will help you create a habit, just like brushing your teeth. Morning is best; if not, evening. Practising in the same place each time is also helpful. It could be a spare room, a corner of a room, or just at a table. Scented candles can help create the mood, but more important is soft light, especially when you come out of the practice. It’s so soothing for your eyes to meet soft light. Again, a candle can create that atmosphere for you, or try a softly lit lamp.”


Organise your space to create a relaxing atmosphere


“To get the peaceful atmosphere of a Zen temple in your home, try to have a place for everything, especially places you can store things, so that even if you have a hundred things in the room, ninety of them are in boxes, hidden from sight. In Japanese meditation rooms or alcoves, there is only one decoration; usually a vase with a single flower in it, or a scroll with beautiful calligraphy advising how to live a life of peace. Try to make each room more like that over time, including bathrooms, halls, and outside. This may mean some clearing out, and that in itself is mentally liberating. Colours are a matter of personal choice, so don’t worry about your preferences, choose colours that make you happy.”


One final piece of Zen advice


“Your living room should be just that, a living room, not just a television room or a laptop, tablet or smartphone room. Read magazines in peace and quiet. Put on music you love most days, and yes, sometimes just look out the window and gaze. Less is more. Try it. You’ll love it.”


For more mindfulness tips, visit www.tenforzen.co.uk.