Feng Shui Tips for Bedrooms During Coronavirus
American Press, May 2020
We’re all relating to the spaces in our homes a little differently during COVID-19’s sheltering in place. Some people have taken to naming the rooms in their homes as if they were foreign countries or vacation spots: “I’m off to the Bahamas,” said one social media friend when he headed outside to his patio.
So how are you treating your bedroom? If you follow the guidelines of feng shui, the ancient Asian art of placement, you’ll find that not only do you sleep better, you’ll appreciate your bedroom even more when you’re there.
Here’s some tips for creating a peaceful, restful sanctuary in that space:
1. Bed placement for the most restful sleep. The bed should be (A) placed out of the pathway of the door (so that when lying in bed you’re not “on display” when the door is open), with (B) the headboard on a solid wall (a grounded, protected backdrop), and (C) positioned so that when lying in bed, you have a direct line-of-sight view of the doorway (similar to the concept of not sitting with your back to the door — so that no one can “sneak up on you”). This ideal bed position can dramatically improve your sleep and is also said to improve your health. And yes, headboards are important. A headboard against a solid wall is like sleeping with a protective mountain at your back.
2. Clear the space under your bed. Rather than shoving in everything-that-will-fit under your bed, clear everything out and store it under the guest bed (where no one is sleeping regularly) or elsewhere in your home. Allowing the air to circulate under your bed makes for a healthier environment and cuts down on dust (you need to be able to vacuum under the bed) and avoids stagnation in your life — literally and figuratively.
3. Remove computers and exercise equipment. You may think you can ignore those active pieces of equipment, but they will continue to nag at some part of your brain even when you’re trying to sleep. Most of us have computers on the breakfast table or on the dining table during this working from home phase of our lives and that’s okay. Kitchens and dining rooms are yang spaces (active, bright, lively) but bedrooms are yin spaces (quiet, dark, calm). If you must have a TV in your bedroom, hide it in a closet or cabinet when not in use.
4. Soothe your senses. Ironically, technology has allowed us to bring nature into our homes. Place a sound machine with natural lullabies like gentle rainfall or ocean waves on your nightstand. Or if scent is your thing, try a new aroma therapy pillow with lavender to carry you off to la-la land. Plus, sheets are available in an amazing variety of textures — from crisp percale to fluffy flannel — offering coolness or warmth. And given how much time your spend there, shouldn’t you really love your sheets?
5. Keep the bathroom door closed. If you have an adjoining bathroom and can see the toilet from bed, consider rearranging your furniture (as long as it doesn’t interfere with item 1 above). Or, at a minimum, keep the bathroom door closed. Anything you can do to separate yourself from noxious odors and negative symbols (like a toilet or trash basket) can be helpful to your sleep and your health.
6. Reconsider your artwork. High-energy paintings or other active artwork or symbols in your bedroom are counter-productive to your sleep. If it’s not calming and soothing, it probably belongs elsewhere in your home. On a similar note, mirrors in a bedroom are super active; they reflect light and amplify movement. As feng shui consultants will tell you, anytime you can eliminate mirrors in a bedroom, you can potentially make improvements in your health.
7. Establish balance. If you’re married (or want to be) one of the best ways to symbolically establish balance in a relationship is to have matching or proportionate nightstands and lamps. Not only does this visually anchor the bed, it says both people are valued and recognized. (Single people that avoid buying the matching nightstand are reinforcing their single-ness — they’re making a statement about it’s lack of importance.) And, while you’re at it, place a framed photo of the two of you — just the two of you, no kids, pets, or stranger walking through the background — on one of the nightstands. (Similarly, too many photos of other people in your bedroom can be counter-productive to relationships.)
8. Tone down the color. Bright colors are not the best for bedrooms. Instead, use calming colors like blues, greens, or neutrals. There’s the example of a mom who unwittingly painted her son’s room school bus yellow and then called the feng shui consultant because he wasn’t sleeping well. Bright yellow is just too much energy for a bedroom. Feng shui consultants will also encourage couples to avoid peach, pink, and clay-colored tones in the master bedroom because they are attractive to the opposite sex. But if you’re single and would like to find a mate, peach is a great way to go.
9. Add lamp light. Overhead lights and tall floor lamps are just too harsh in a bedroom. Having bedroom lamps — at heart level or lower — will give off the kind of glow that helps you segue from a busy day into a more peaceful mood. Plus, it’s more flattering light. For maintaining that soothing darkness, add a soft, motion activated under-bed light that turns on when your foot touches the floor. Or, try adding a timer to a bedroom lamp. Like moths drawn to a flame, when it switches on you’ll be attracted to that space.
Maintaining the sanctity of your bedroom is something you’ll appreciate even more while you’re confined to your home. And the odds are — unless you’re one of the essential services employees who we’re all thankful for — you probably have some new-found time to make it happen.