Your bedroom is supposed to be your safe space, the area of your home where you feel the most comforted, secure, and calm. Maybe this is a room you share with someone you love. Or maybe it’s where you go to isolate, recharge, and find solace in your solitude.
But instead of feeling that sense of security and deep breath of fresh air, you feel the exact opposite of ease. Here are five reasons your bedroom actually gives you anxiety:
1. You Treat It Like an Extended Workspace
We’re all guilty of this, especially with the shift to working from home. But there’s a difference between bringing your laptop to your bed and answering emails while half-watching Netflix… and fully converting your space to a mini-office.
Sure, the necessity of this time has made the distinction between work and play a little blurred. But if you find yourself feeling anxious every time you step through the threshold of your bedroom, it’s probably because you haven’t created clear boundaries.
Let’s be clear: having a desk or work station in your bedroom isn’t inherently bad.
In fact, for many of us, navigating a new work-from-home setup is necessary. But that doesn’t mean you have to live, eat, and breathe work. Even if a corner of your room is dedicated to the nine-to-five, you must set boundaries around your duties, your designated areas, and your time.
2. You're Not in Good Company (or Lacking Company Altogether)
If your bedroom is giving you anxiety, perhaps this is because you’re spending time with the wrong people. If the events of 2020 have brought anything to the light relationship-wise, it’s shown us who we can actually cohabitate with.
And for some, this has been an awakening.
Your room—even if you share it with someone else—should be a place that brings comfort. Not chaos. If you find that you’re continually arguing or navigating conflict, it may be a sign that the person you’re sharing with isn’t the right one (romantic, platonic, or familial-wise). This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to part ways, but it does mean that you have to do the extra work to create spaces that are uniquely yours (and actually comforting).
You might also want to consider bringing in good company in order to balance your space, or in order to bring you that comfort if you live alone. Even if this means virtual wine and movie nights with friends or keeping your circle small and safe, it can still shift the feeling of anxiety to something more peaceful (and hopeful).
3. You Can't Stop the Mindless Scrolling
When the alarm goes off, it’s tempting to pick up your phone and start scrolling. Just like the minutes before bed, when you’re dead-tired but can’t stop watching Instagram Reels or TikTok videos. You’re human; it’s okay.
But if you’re feeling anxious every time you go through your bedtime routine or as soon as your alarm jolts you from sleep, it’s a sure sign that you’re creating this sense of mentality with too much screen time and mindless scrolling.
Instead of picking up your phone, start with a simple deep breath or meditation. If you’re into yoga or exercise, try some stretches. You can even use this time to set intentions for the day (in the morning) or reflect on what you’re thankful for (at night).
4. You Neglect the Basic Care and Cleaning
Let’s be honest. If your bedroom actually gives you anxiety, maybe it’s because it’s gross. Seriously, when was the last time you gave it a deep clean? I mean scrubbed the shelves, dusted the fan blades, and mopped the floors? When was the last time you changed the sheets or even opened the windows to get some fresh air?
In the rush of the day-to-day, it’s easy to brush over these simple cleaning habits. And even easier to say you’re just too busy. But your bedroom is (and should be) the place that you invest the most time in because you are in this space every single day. And chances are, a part of your underlying anxiety is actually stemming from the fact that your cleaning is long overdue.
5. You Don't Have Peaceful Rituals
Newsflash: If you don’t have calming routines and rituals, you won’t actually feel a sense of peace. This may sound obvious, but so many of us move through our days without actually taking this into consideration.
If all you’re doing in your room is binge watching shows until you’re exhausted, mindlessly eating snacks when the midnight cravings hit, or rushing because you’re late after hitting snooze for the third time, your body is in a constant state of fight-or-flight. You’re not actually able to evoke this sense of peace because your natural state is high-emotion or guilt.
If you want to change your feelings about a space, you have to change your habits. It’s as simple as that. Create peaceful rituals—like reading, mindfulness, journaling, phone calls with loved ones, cuddling, or lighting candles, for example—to make you feel safe, calm, and more at home.