Today’s message: Find your safe space and spend some time there this week.
We all need a place where we can exist unfiltered, unmasked, and free. These are moments and places we call safe spaces and they come in many different forms. If you don’t have any, let’s think about how you can find your safe space. If you know what they are, check in with your physical and mental health this week to see if you are craving some time there.
Simply, a safe space is a place where you can truly be yourself.
Therefore, these can be particular places, people, or activities. I have found my safe spaces are those that make me feel like I am receiving a big warm hug. They are cozy and offer me peace, laughter, and joy. They also create space for me to release my emotions and even challenge me to grow through love.
Looking back, as children, we did not care so much about our appearance or how silly we looked trying to explore life and our body for the first time. We ran wild, joyous, and carefree. I don’t care how old you are, your inner child never goes away. Unquestionably, it yearns for those moments when the soul can exist worry-free with pure joy.
Now, do not go telling your family and friends that The Life Me Blog told you to regress into your childhood. I’m laughing right now as I write this thinking about the hilarious stories that might show up in my inbox.
I am saying this: Your heart and soul will always desire peace and it’s an essential self-care practice to nurture that.
Notice your safe spaces
Before the pandemic, I started adding spin classes to my fitness routine and I really enjoyed it. Particularly, I liked going to a specific spin studio where I could get lost in the experience with a cool dance party atmosphere and dim studio lights. Unless you were in the front row, you could blend in and focus on your own workout.
So, as gym closings carried on, I decided to invest in an at-home spin bike and the Peloton App’s monthly subscription. [Insert non-sponsored pro-tip here: If you do not want or cannot purchase the Peloton bike, but still want the Peloton experience, you can purchase a sturdy spin bike within your budget and get the monthly subscription to the Peloton App. For the most part, you will get the Peloton experience (spin, strength, cardio, and yoga classes, etc.), but not the leaderboard].
So, one day, my partner mimicked his observations of me on the bike. This reenactment included periodic outbursts of me singing out loud and quite a few hip twists and shoulder shakes to represent my dance moves. He also noted that he can pretty much hear most of the songs through the headphones as he walks by because I have the volume up so loud. Note to self: get better headphones.
We had a good chuckle because his reenactment is 100% accurate. As he held up a mirror for me to see what I looked like on the bike, I saw myself free and having fun. Honestly, getting lost in the music feels like an escape on some days and an emotional outlet on most others. When I am in the zone, I don’t care what I look like, and that’s freeing. I bring whatever emotions I feel for the day and ride that wave on that bike.
As we laughed, I realized that my time on the bike brings me joy and a sense of peace. Those headphones and iPad act as the gateway to one of my new safe spaces. It’s my own personal spin studio and I love the playlists and the instructors. Therefore, when I recognized that big warm hug feeling, I added it to my list of safe spaces.
Why do you need safe spaces?
Why should you care? Well, a safe space can ground you and offer healing and fuel to keep moving forward. Basically, we all need a space(s) where we can be open and honest as our authentic selves. As humans, we are constantly shapeshifting, restraining our emotions, and putting on smiling faces for others. Therefore, there has to be a place where you can exist and process whatever you are feeling.
Generally, spending time in a safe space is an important practice for maintaining your mental health. It is both a space where you can be yourself without fear of judgment and receive and offer love and grace.
Although a safe space can come from other people, sometimes you might need to create it for yourself. For me, some days it’s the bike and Peloton app, other days it is a long walk at the beach, or hanging out with my family and friends.
Here are some examples of safe spaces:
(What else would you add to this list?)
- Listening to music
- Praying and meditation
- Spending time with family and friends
- Engaging in self-care routines
- Reading a book
- Cooking a great meal for yourself
- Attending therapy
- Enjoying time in nature
- Joining a club or group with folks who have similar interests
- Participating in creative activities
Given that safe spaces are so powerful, wherever you find them, embrace and hold them sacred.
Lastly, let me know where you find your safe space(s)! I am always looking to expand my list.