Creating a Safe Space for Yourself

Creating a Safe Space for Yourself

Your mental wellness is a valuable attribute. One approach to maintaining psychological and emotional health is by creating a safe space for yourself.

However, as with so many mental health-related concepts, there is a certain amount of uncertainty and stigma surrounding this practice. Rest assured it is not a sign of weakness to establish protections from the elements threatening your wellness.

We’re going to take a look at a handful of aspects you should bear in mind as you set about creating protected areas, mindsets, and moments for yourself.


Safety Definitions

Safety means something different for everyone. Before you can create an effective space for yourself, you first need to define safety for yourself. This involves examining the aspects of your life making you feel unsafe; mentally, emotionally, and physically. You may find this in itself triggering, so it may be wise to explore these elements with a friend, family member, or mental health professional.

Often, this is about recognizing the stimuli making you feel unsafe and how to move away from them. If you find the presence of a lot of people particularly stressful, an area of solitude may constitute a safe space. If you find background noise overwhelming, it may be enough to use noise-canceling headphones.

However, it could also be the case that safety for you is something less tangible. You might need to adopt measures to help you handle symptoms of anxiety or depression. Your safe space may need to be centered on mitigating your own negative thoughts about yourself. This is where it’s helpful to understand a safe space doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical area. It can be a meditative or mindfulness technique to help maintain a mindset.

By first understanding what safety requirements you have, you can make more informed decisions.


Healthy Environments

Even when your safe space is mental in nature, it can be helpful to identify physical spaces to support this. However, not everyone has the luxury of an entire room they can adapt to their needs. The good news is, even adjusting a corner of a room with components to make you feel safe when you need it can be effective. Think of what sights, sounds, and smells make you feel a little calmer and safer.

Whether you’re using a whole room or a portion of one, it’s important to make sure the area itself is conducive to mental and physical health. Common sources of indoor air pollution can impact your quality of life and your ability to maintain your mental wellbeing. Make sure the area is free of allergy-triggering dust and dander. Surround yourself with furnishings you find not just comforting but also made from non-toxic materials. The last thing you want is for your safe space to be hampered by unsafe elements.


Remember, your safe space doesn’t necessarily have to be indoors. Indeed, you may find aspects of your home or work buildings to be triggering in and of themselves. Identifying an area of natural beauty can give you some much-needed separation from stress as well as provide some fresh air. This might be your own backyard where you focus on meditative gardening or a local hiking trail — the choice is up to you.


Supportive Resources

An important element of creating a safe space is recognizing you don’t need to create it alone. You will often have the best insights into your condition and what mechanisms work for you, but you can reach out for resources to assist you in establishing a safer space.

This may include speaking to your employer about providing a private area for occasional use at your workplace. It’s not always easy to broach this subject and a lot of people are understandably defensive about the prospect of stigma in the workplace, but more employers are working to improve here. Indeed, under the Americans with Disabilities Act you may qualify for some accommodations for your condition. In the UK, the Equality Act of 2010 offers similar protections, especially under Parts 1 and 2. Both acts exist to ensure persons with disabilities have equal access to employment and services via reasonable accommodations.

It’s also important to look at what safe space tools are available to you in the community. If you’re a student and experiencing study-related stress or a mental health condition there is a range of resources provided by various organizations. You may find spending time with a confidential support group to be a valuable safe space to help you cope. There are also crisis text lines and online counseling services that can create a form of digital safe space for you too.


Maintaining Consistency

Once you’ve established a safe space or a range of mechanisms, you need to maintain it. As with any form of treatment or therapy, a safe space tends to be more effective if you commit to consistent use of it. This doesn’t mean you need to use it at the same time every day or even use it in the same way. Rather, it’s about consistent application and awareness of the elements to make it a safe space.

This is an important consideration because the unfamiliar or unexpected can add an additional layer of anxiety to your life and the situation. Your safe space should create a baseline of protection that allows you to apply your coping strategies or even explore your challenges effectively.

Nevertheless, consistency still gives you room to change if necessary. You should regularly review your safe space to establish whether it’s still serving your needs. This can empower you to gain more agency over your mental wellness and create safe spaces that are consistently appropriate to where you are in your life.



When you effectively create a safe space, you are building a powerful tool in handling the challenges of your mental wellness. However, it’s important to understand what constitutes safety before you can identify the right space. Wherever possible, create a healthy environment and utilize community resources should you need them. With consistent application and awareness of your condition, you can make a safe space that genuinely improves the quality of your life.

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