Written by Sarah Hastings, Digital and Marketing Manager at RW4Y

Wellbeing and mindfulness have been popular buzzwords recently, but over the last two years we’ve seen just how important these two things really are. As we spent more and more time at home, many of us had to blend our work and leisure spaces together and realised the impact this lack of separation can have on our mental health. Not only this, but some of the creative outlets we once used to unwind and bring us joy — like arts and crafts clubs, seeing live music, or exercise classes — had to close indefinitely, only confirming how much we needed them.

This is where the idea of ’emotional escape rooms’ can apply: creating a separate space to vent and de-stress from the day in the comfort of our own home. If you feel like you’re missing an emotional or creative outlet in your day-to-day life, the home design experts at RW4Y share their top tips on how to create your very own escape room.

What is an emotional escape room?

Set to be one of the next big wellness trends of 2022, emotional escape rooms are designated spaces in our home that allow us to vent, process, or simply unwind from the day (Pinterest). Whether it’s a rage room, an arts and crafts space, or simply a quiet corner of your apartment, having a separate, personal space can make de-stressing at the end of each day more achievable and realistic.

Everyone’s idea of an emotional escape room will be different. You might be into meditation, in which case setting up a space with a yoga mat, incense, and speakers to play calming music can give you a quiet moment to recharge. However, if you process your emotions better by talking them through with others, then a cosy den to chat with your friends and loved ones over a cuppa (or a glass of wine!) could be the ideal escape room for you. No two have to be the same.

Work/life balance

The most important function of emotional escape rooms is the ability to create a work/life balance, even when spending more of our work and leisure time at home. Keeping desks and office computers away from our bedrooms is key, but so is keeping relaxation spaces like living rooms a calming, work-free zone. This can help us properly switch off at the end of the day and even encourage a better night’s sleep.

Of course, not everyone has a spare room that can be used solely for emotional escape. However, choosing an existing space in your home such as a window seat or a quiet corner with a comfortable chair is just as effective: it offers you a little oasis that you always associate with finishing work and decompressing. If you want to separate this space more from the rest of the room, then adding a sheer curtain, fairy lights, and a collection of houseplants can help create a cosy, private bubble just for you.

Alternatively, loft conversions are also an excellent way to use all the space your home has to offer, and your attic can be transformed into a snug, safe haven for relaxation (or your favourite hobbies).

Creative spaces

If you’ve always enjoyed getting creative but have a numbers-oriented, high-pressure career, then making time for this hobby can do wonders for your mental health. You don’t need a grand art studio to get back into creativity, either: a quiet corner with a set of paints, pencils, and a sketchpad will be enough to get you started.

Whether you create a masterpiece or not, getting stuck into something creative can give the analytical left side of your brain a break and engage your creative, problem-solving side. This can help with everything from memory retention to offering an emotional outlet whenever you feel overwhelmed (Fox Hill Residences).

Searches for ‘tiny libraries’ have also increased by twelve times according to Pinterest’s latest trend report. Putting up compact shelves to fill with your favourite books can therefore be an ideal way to escape into a different world of fiction every evening.

Rage rooms

Calming spaces in the home can suit many people, but if you’ve got something a little more cathartic in mind, then you’re not alone: online searches for rage rooms are up by 150% in the last two years (Pinterest).

While you may not want to go as far as smashing furniture, your own personal rage room could include a good set of speakers for playing your loudest music, pillows to punch, or even a proper boxing bag to really let your frustration out. Some people love a good cathartic shout too, so it might be best to do some home soundproofing if you’re planning on creating this kind of emotional escape room!

“Whether you need to vent some frustration in a rage room or create a calming, creative space to unwind, emotional escape rooms are the next trend taking the wellness world by storm. As more of us work from home, creating these designated spaces in can help us to establish better work/life boundaries and in turn benefit our mental health.

“You might build a new space like a loft conversion or repurpose what you already have, but whatever the size or layout, emotional escape rooms allow us to decompress and do the things that make us happy. Get creative and start designing a space that suits you.”

– Sarah Hastings, Digital and Marketing Manager at RW4Y

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