Updated: Dec 12, 2019
I think we often overlook how much our environment affects our well-being, effectiveness, and sense of purpose. Intentionality with what types of energy, things, and people we surround ourselves with will serve us well in the long run. Here are a few things I have found helpful in cultivating an optimal environment for performance and joy, both on and off the track.
Make your 'space' a place that eases your mind
Your space. This might be your bedroom because when you step into it after a long day you feel calm and can open a book or play some music to unwind. This might be a stool in your kitchen that you like to sit at and drink your morning tea/coffee. This might be a study/work area in your apartment or house where you feel extra productive. Even a comfy couch or chair in a living area. Wherever your "space" might be...trying to make it feel cozy, inviting, and most importantly yours. To do so, try adding:
-soft or warm lighting (natural lighting from a window is also ideal!)
-pictures of friends/family or inspiring things (magazine cut outs)
-candles (good smells always win) -- Brooklyn Candle Co. has some lovely ones for example.
-plants (greenery brightens any space...Home Depot has a pretty great indoor plant section!)
-organizers (for drawers, stack your books as decor, etc... keeping your space in order will allow for maximum relaxation to occur)
Prioritize relationships and human connection Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, we all need some form of human connection to feel that sense of belonging and love. So by being intentional about seeing friends for coffee, inviting them over to chat, going on a walk etc., we are automatically opening ourselves up to more light in our lives.
Hosting people in our homes or apartments, as scary as it may be initially, can allow for authentic connection to happen through opening your space to those you love. Try a Sunday potluck brunch or invite friends to the local outdoor bar to watch a sports game! Gathering together (like the photo from our thanksgiving above) allows for amazing conversations to flow... try bringing up a cool book you are reading, a wild view you saw recently, a crazy fact you learned in school etc. to start convo!
Explore your environment...get to know it deeper!
There are constantly new restaurants, coffee shops, exhibits etc popping up in the Durham, North Carolina scenery so we have been intentional about trying them! Still sticking to the old favorites is key as well.. it helps support the local 'originals' who were first to create the dope environment of your town or city. So go check things out and appreciate the culture in your area!
Do it Yourself Project:
Below is a quick example of of how I make my "space" one that eases my mind and connects me to the things/people I love. Ever since I was in highschool I would make my "wall". This meant that I would take photos and collected magazine cut outs, prints, etc. and collage them together on a wall in my room.
pro tip: use blue painters tape so the paint doesn't come off the wall when you remove the pictures (a wall in your bathroom or closet can work too!)
The process itself has been a relaxing and creative outlet for me but the end result also gives me inspiration and a sense that this space truly has my mark on it. This is just a small portion my wall from last year:) happy collaging!