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Find Your Zen

Caitlan Moneta -

As a tumultuous turn of the decade took hold, a major takeaway has been a renewed need for calm. Busy schedules, near constant change and unforeseen stress are inspiring a movement where mental health, meditation, and sleep reign supreme.  

Retraining your brain not to reach for your phone at every ping and to leave tech in another room before bed may seem like herculean tasks but prioritizing tranquility has far-reaching health benefits. Here, we propose 4 ways to usher in serenity now. 

Hit Snooze

A downy pillow, a dark quiet space and a few triggering cues are all it takes to get the best shut eye. Why do we veer completely off course when it comes to catching optimal zzzs?  

The first element to consider is the bedroom. Does it invite restfulness and relaxation? A clever design approach can create an escape from the everyday. Take your cue from Oakville-based interior designer, Sarah Walker, who invites a dramatic palette and juxtaposes a mix of objects in her space to create a dreamy oasis. 

When it comes to sleep itself, most experts agree that good hygiene sets us up for slumber success. Keep a journal at your bedside to jot down inspiring moments from your day, read a chapter from a treasured novel, hit the hay at the same time every day and aim for 8 hours of uninterrupted shut eye. 

Re-Learn Relaxation

Unwinding and quality time with your couch don’t have to go hand in hand. A candlelit soak in the tub, a forest bath (spending time in nature), soothing music and a warm drink can work wonders to relieve anxiety, ease stress and lead to better sleep. If you’re up to try something new, download an app that specializes in guided breathing and meditation (we’re looking at you Calm), or find tranquility in a sensory deprivation tank or salt cave.

Nice Moves

Exercise is a powerful tool when it comes to inner peace. If a heart-pumping workout is your favourite way to move, set your weekly sessions in your calendar at least 3 times a week to reap the benefits of the endorphin rush. When it comes to yoga, the intense focus on breathwork and personal progress make it an ideal exercise for finding calm. As little as 5 minutes on your mat in the morning with mindful movements can completely change your day.  

Digital Detox

The new season of your favourite show just dropped – will you sacrifice sleep for streaming? While there’s no doubt that blue light before bed is detrimental to dream states, 60% of us find ourselves behind a screen at bedtime. If swearing off the nightly scroll is impossible, try going device-free for at least an hour before your head hits the pillow to allow your body to come down from the rush. Silencing your phone and enabling the Do Not Disturb function will allow you to truly switch off.