Monday, June 1, 2009

Room for Change: Living in the Nest

As we find ourselves walking through grief we may also find ourselves sitting still in grief. The living room that might have held the family activities of time past may seem like an underused and over sized cavern of memories.  Many newer homes have replaced the conventional living room with the "great room" making the delegated space for a smaller family feel daunting.

Your living room or your nesting spot, may be ready for some transition. Some suggestions follow.
  • Capture the view.  Reposition the sofa to catch a better view of the outside or move a rocking chair next to a window with a small reading table beside it.  Nothing but nature provides unsolicited entertainment.  
  • Take a leap. Move the sofa away from the wall. It will not necessarily make the room look smaller and may provide a coziness that is most welcome. Covering the sofa with a slipcover in a soft chenille or ultrasuede fabric may be comforting in your reclining times of repose.
  • Punch it up.  This is the time when some vibrant or new color pillows can dazzle you with little expense. You may want to add a burst of color with a small area rug to anchor your sitting area and thereby making it feel more intimate.
  • Light it up.  Remember besides opening the drapes for natural light, up lights behind plants, floor or table lamps and full spectrum lighting for the "blues" are all comforting.  
  • Swap meet.  Swap out a sofa for two over sized chairs.  The chairs need not match, only have a similar proportion to each other.  You can be cradled more in such a chair and when company visits the conversation may be more comfortable than on a big solo piece of furniture. If the loved one you lost has a favorite chair sitting vacant sliding it into another room may be helpful in your transition through grief.  If it fits you and its presence harbors no terrible memories let it be. Give yourself permission to change things and change them back again.  Nothing is static. 
  • Nesting notes.  If during times of this transition through grief you truly "nest" and have a difficult time moving around the house, set up your nesting spot, wherever it might be with some of the following: phone, notepad and pencil, tissues, pleasant scented candle or diffuser with essential oils.  If in the past you always burned a vanilla scented candle perhaps a peppermint or citrus would be suggested to assist with concentration or a lavender for re"nester", but rather a "roamer", having difficulty in sitting down for a few minutes. All of the above may still assist you, along with some freshly brewed chamomile tea  or a decaffeinated warm drink or soup.  Taking time to rest is a gift you give yourself.

My daughter reminded me during my time in grief of RINAWOT.  What is that, I asked. RINAWOT she told me stands for Resting Is Not a Waste of Time!  Be kind to yourself. Naps are refueling.

Changing position of items in your nest can help you to relax and to refuel in a time of changes.
Changing your routine can help as well.  Consider using a different door to enter the house or walking the opposite way in your neighborhood on your daily walk.  Maybe getting the mail at a different time of day or even adding a simple task like taking your morning coffee in a different chair may open your eyes to new possibilities or simply change perspective a bit.
Wherever you may land these days, look for a way to maximize your comfort and bring some new insight to all that surrounds you.  Make it your way and make it comforting.  You deserve it!


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