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How to create calm spaces in your study area and classroom

Picture: Instagram.

Picture: Instagram.

Published Jan 13, 2022

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Calming classrooms are the way to go in 2022 as they offer a safe space for children.

After a disruptive two years in and out of the classroom, with the majority of schooling taking place online, many schools across the globe will be initiating full-time in-person lessons in 2022. During such uncertain times, the transition from home, a place of comfort and security, to the classroom, a foreign environment, can be difficult for children of all ages. To counter these feelings, teachers are doing their utmost to ensure that their classrooms feel like a safe space for their students where they will be able to learn and thrive.

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Online searches for “calming classrooms” have increased by 150% on Pinterest. From the curtains, play area and rug to the educational posters with the alphabet – nature-themes taking inspiration from plants and the sun are on the rise. Spending time in nature has been shown to boost memory, reduce stress, and lessen feelings of anxiety. Ultimately, the goal is to mimic this environment in the classroom to create a haven where children can be in the present moment and absorb as much as possible.

While these trends are geared towards classrooms, many of us – adults and children – continue to work and study remotely. However, these calming spaces can be created in the home, too, in at-home offices, designated study areas as well as the actual classroom.

How to create calm spaces in your study area and classroom:

Meditation spots

Yoga and meditation are ancient art and disciplines that originated over 3000 years ago. By practising it, you can reconnect with your body. Through meditation, one learns how to focus, think more clearly and become less reactive. As you gain awareness of the impact of your actions on your life, you are more likely to refine your choices. This means that you do not act out of compulsion but rather out of choice. Having a quiet spot with a soft, cosy rug, floor pillows, a yoga mat, natural lighting (possibly near a window) is the perfect indoor escape. Use this space as a dedicated area to practice mindfulness.

Go green

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To bring calmness into your study space, home office or classroom, look no further than the soothing hues inspired by nature. Forest greens, sage and earthy browns pair beautifully together and will make your home feel like an oasis amid all the stressors of city life. These colours can be used all across the room on anything from bedding and headboard to drapes, rugs and wall paint or paper. Since they are pretty neutral, you still have the freedom of creativity to add all your favourite decor elements in a range of colours.

Calming scents

Every place has its own unique scent. The movies may smell of hot, buttery popcorn, a hike through the mountains may smell of fresh air, dirt and trees, while a school can smell of new stationery, old books and shoe polish. Odour particles rush through to the limbic system in the brain, where feelings, emotions, and memory are processed. This can affect our mood.

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According to The Behaviour Hub, there are certain scents that have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve productivity. One of which is lavender. “Lavender is commonly used for anxiety treatments as it calms the nervous system. Its calming qualities have been proven to elevate moods and positively improve the emotional state. However, don’t use it when you need the kiddos to be active,” the website states. In your classroom or home, use a diffuser to release calming scents - just be sure nobody is allergic.

Nature

Apart from beautifying the home and adding a sense of life and colour, Areca Palm, Mother-in-law's Tongue, and Money Plant are three types of common house plants that, when grown indoors in a specific ratio and in appropriate numbers, can measurably improve the quality of indoor air.

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According to Affinity Health, “Many research studies related to plants have shown an increase in creativity level of subjects both in school and at the workplace. Results from such studies acknowledge the connection between environment and overall wellbeing. You may find similar benefits of reduced stress levels, being able to think clearly and ignite creativity from plants at home as well.”

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