Susannah Taylor: The personal space we all need

Virtual pinboard Pinterest has just released a trend report for 2022 predicting ‘the emotional escape room’ will be a big deal this year. Based on the searches on its site (it has 400 million followers), it has found that many of us are looking to create self-care sanctuaries at home – a place we can go to switch off from the demands of daily life without walking out of the door.

This doesn’t surprise me. Due to recent times, our homes have become the equivalent of a human-sized food processor, where all areas of our lives have been blended together. For many of us, our homes are having to also be a crêche, school, office, gym, daily restaurant and more, so no wonder we’re craving an escape space.

Image: David Venni. Styling: Sairy Stemp. Dress and leggings, Sweaty Betty. Socks, Marks and Spencer

While working from home brings many benefits, it also means some people spend all day at the same table as their partners. It is therefore hugely important for our sanity that we can carve out some time and space for ourselves.

Personally, I do this by having a bath every evening. A reader once remarked that this was highly indulgent of me; however, I hardly ever watch TV, so this is my thing. In fact, I love nothing more than going upstairs at 9pm, filling my hot bath with salts and lying there listening to music or reading. It resets me and clears my mind.

For those who want to create an escape space but don’t have a lot of, well, space, look to the example of wellbeing expert Jasmine Hemsley (jasminehemsley.com). She and her husband both work at home, with a baby, in a house that is very open plan. ‘There aren’t many doors to shut yourself away,’ Jasmine explains, which is why she’s created her own corner sanctuary downstairs around a table she keeps free of clutter but full of her ‘wellbeing tools’ such as crystals, incense and candles.

‘I only have to look at it and I feel refreshed,’ she says of her special corner. ‘We are mindful that we don’t leave keys or tat here and it encourages me to sit and have quiet moments,’ she adds. She also says the area has lovely light in the daytime, which inspires her to sit, stretch and do yoga.

Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge and CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, agrees that a tiny area can be all we need to create a small sanctuary. ‘A little nook in a room is perfect to make a space for yourself. In fact, in Denmark, the cosy nook – or, in Danish, hyggekrog – has become commonplace in nearly every home. I have one – it is by the kitchen window with some pillows and a blanket. Adding some soft furnishings to a small part of a room will create a space where we feel protected and able to relax,’ he says.

Meik’s other suggestions are to use natural fabrics and textures, which make us feel closer to nature, as well as softer lighting to help us settle and relax. ‘Aim for 1,800 Kelvin, which gives the same light as a flame,’ he says.

However, even if we have very limited space, it’s important not to let work and home life all roll into one. Jasmine has a great tip to mark the end of a working day and give your life structure. ‘When I close my laptop,’ she says, ‘I’ll burn and waft incense around, light a scented candle or use an aromatherapy spray from spritzwellness.com. This signals that it’s time to wind down.’

Remember this – almost everything will work again if you unplug it, including you.

Spritz up your mood

You know that feeling when you enter a room and it doesn’t quite feel ‘right’? The Cleanse & Protect Mist from House of Roxy has been charged with clear quartz crystals and is designed to change the energy around you. If that all sounds a bit woo-woo, then the scent alone – mint, rosemary and eucalyptus – will lift your mood. £18, houseofroxylondon.com

Not just for the gym

Passionate about investing in happiness, and inspired by the Californian lifestyle, Vuori is one of the fastest growing fitnesswear brands in the US and has just launched in the UK. With its soft fabrics and sumptuous colours, you will want to keep its workout wear on all day. Leggings, £95, vuoriclothing.co.uk

READ MORE: How just five minutes of journalling a day can help shift your perspective on life