How To Create Your Own 'Safe Space'

In an often intolerant world, having a safe space to go to is incredibly important for maintaining good mental health. A safe space is a place—physical or virtual—you can go to relax and recharge. A judgment-free zone where you can let your guard down and truly be yourself.

Below are some tips on how to create a few such "safe spaces" for yourself in different areas of your life.

Visit a Traditional Support Group

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If you feel that the stress you are experiencing is overwhelming, or if you're dealing with trauma or a serious situation the average person may not understand, therapists and support groups can be wonderfully effective. 

If you're dealing with less-serious situations, you may want to try the following suggestions first, with the idea of a support group or professional helper as a back-up if you need it.

Create a Social Media Group

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Social media can be stressful in some ways. Seeing everyone else's carefully curated best moments and comparing them with your reality can be a source of significant stress.

But social media can also be a great source of support if you are mindful about who you open yourself up to. Minimize your exposure to those who post things that stress you out (doomsday articles, for example), and focus more on fun and supportive content instead. You can also join (or create) groups geared toward your interests.

The key is to be aware of what causes you stress and take action to create a space where you know you won't be bombarded with things that create undue stress, and where you can just relax. If you don't find that possible on social media, you can limit your time online and likely minimize your stress levels at the same time.

Join an Exercise Class

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Finding groups of completely like-minded people isn't always easy, but you can bet there's a group of people who share certain interests you have.

Exercise groups, particularly classes where the focus is a less competitive activity like yoga, pilates, or even meditation, can be great places to find others who want peaceful self-improvement. Many of these classes are like small communities in themselves and can be quite supportive, not just for goal achievement and motivation, but emotionally as well. 

Create A Regular Meet-Up

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This one is simpler than you may realize: Think of your favorite people, and ask them to get together more often! You may be the one to introduce them to one another, or they may be a small group of friends you met in a class, at church, or on the job. Just getting together with people who make you feel good can be very replenishing, and a great way to create greater emotional support in your life. 

Make Your Home a Stress-Free Sanctuary

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Creating a physical space where you can really relax is vital, particularly if you're an introvert. You can start by making your home into your own little sanctuary. Put up pictures of people you love, play some of your favorite music, and maybe give aromatherapy a try.

A Word From Verywell

Working on yourself can help you feel more comfortable in your own skin, and help you feel more emotionally safe wherever you go. Learn to say no without stress, set healthy boundaries, remember (and revel in) your strengths and successes, and more.

These tips can help you to build self-esteem and resilience toward stress. Put them to use and you'll find yourself feeling more confident and in control when you're facing people and situations that tend to tear you down.

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD
Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.