Counsellor Sarah Barr shares ideas for creating your own space of calmness and relaxation.

“A healing space is your own place of peace created through what you see, feel, smell and hear.”

What we see, smell and feel can all help us feel less stressed and anxious. Our mind and body are continuously communicating with each other. Therefore our surroundings can play a massive part in how we are feeling.

We face so many different types of stress everyday. Such as parenting, working, financial and relationship stress. So when you are felling overwhelmed, what do you do?

Healing can help restore a sense of wholeness, mentally and emotionally. Incorporating healing elements into our homes will promote a greater sense of emotional and mental well-being.

Think about your favorite memories of places, such as walking on your local beach or sitting on your favorite chair in front of a cosy fire. Think about your favorite smells and ask yourself how does this make you feel? No doubt it creates a warm feeling inside. So now ask yourself can you re-create this memory or elements of this everyday?

In today’s article I will suggest some ideas that can help you create a space of calmness and relaxation.

A space can be created anywhere in your home. From a corner in your sitting room, your bed-room, a spare room or even your bathroom. It does not need to cost too much money or take too much time to create. Here some tips of what you an add to your Healing Space:

How can our sense of sight help us heal?


We associate certain colours with calm. Blues and green are viewed as soothing and relaxing. They are the colours of nature and water. If your space is not painted this colour, try adding some cushions or pictures with blue/green tones.


By placing some of our favourite drawings or photos into our space, will create a sense of happiness when we look at them. Perhaps sparking off a happy memory or a sense of achievement.


By sitting or walking outside when the sun decides to shine can boost our immune system as Vitamin D is created .Sunlight is also believed to reduce symptoms of depression.

However it is Ireland, and the sun only likes to come out every now and then but don’t let that stop you. Try walking or running along your local beach or park. This can leave you feeling energised, focused and refreshed.

Himalayan salt lamp

I get asked a lot about these salt lamps and if they do work. I have three in my home. Put it like this they do no harm. I do notice the air in the rooms that I have the salt lamps seem to be clearer and they give off a lovely relaxing hue.

The science bit:

There are both positive and negative ions in the air. Negative ions occur in nature mainly and are created through lightening storms, sunlight and waves. Running water is one the best sources of negative ions. This is one of the reasons we feel refreshed after a walk along the beach. Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, resulting in higher alertness and more mental energy. They are also believed to protect against germs in the air. Salt lamps create negative ions.

Positive ions are created from electrical devices such as t.v’s, phones, microwaves etc. So the negative ions helps to neutralise the positive ions and cleanse the air.

Salt lamps also attract small amount of water to its surface, and is evaporated quickly due to the small amount of heat the lamp gives off. These small amounts of water in the air can carry bacteria and allergens.

How can our sense of sound help us heal?

The type of music we listen too can either motivate us, make us feel happy or relax us.

You can listen to relaxation music at any time. It does not only have to be when you are taking ten minutes in your healing space. It can be when you are driving the car, cleaning your house, in work, in the bath, walking or getting your kids out to school in the morning. Afterwards reflect on how the music has decreased your stress/anxiety levels and lifted your mood.

Ask yourself, ‘Do you feel more relaxed and less stressed?’, ‘ Does it impact positively on those around you?’ Music can be listened to at anytime and can really help lower stress and anxiety.

Why not press play below, sit comfortably and listen to the music…


How does our sense of smell can help us heal?


Certain scents  produce a relaxing effect. Some smells are associated to happy memories, such as cinnamon at Christmas. Familiarity calms our nervous system. Candles not only give off a relaxing vibe but scented candles can impact on our sense of smell.

I use lavender essential oils in my Healing Hut. Lavender has been shown to ease tension, improve mood and to induce sleep. If you have problems switching off at night try having a warm bath, with lavender essential oil while listening to relaxation music. This may help you to unwind and de-stress, making for a better nights sleep.


How does our sense of touch hep us heal?


Soft touch can make us feel comforted and relaxed. A warm blanket, fluffy cushions and a soft rug can all help us to feel relaxed.

Create Art

Why not join a class, if it is difficult to re-create a healing space in your home. By being creative it will relax us and also give us a sense of achievement at our finished piece.

If this is something that interests you, I would recommend having a look at this Facebook page: Click Here Zara Mc Daid is a very talented art teacher and artist. Classes starting Monday 1st – Monday 29th of May in Letterkenny for beginners/intermediates, from 7-8.30pm.