College life can be hectic, and for many students, it’s the first time you’ll be completely in charge of managing your own schedule. With so many things to do, you need a safe place to recharge and wind down. Turn your dorm room into a calming sanctuary with our tips below!
Switch up your lighting. Good lighting can completely change the look and feel of a room, and the fluorescent lights most dorms come equipped with don’t offer much in the way of ambiance. If your dorm allows them, string lights bring a warm and cheery feel, or you can look for lights that double as artwork, like this crescent moon light from Urban Outfitters. If you’re short on outlets, look online for battery powered LED lights.
Have a “home base” ritual. This might sound silly, but having something you repeatedly do when you come back to your room to recharge sends a signal to your brain that it’s okay to unwind now. This can be as simple as unpacking your purse or bookbag, making a cup of herbal tea, or even doing a few yoga postures.
Designate areas for sleeping and studying. It’s hard to relax in the same space you use to cram for exams or knock out a paper. If you can, do most of your classwork and studying in the library or a quiet common area. Don’t do your classwork in bed; research shows you’ll sleep better and use work time more productively if you only use your bed for sleeping and relaxing.
Add pillows and a throw blanket to your bed to up the cozy factor. A weighted blanket like this Sherpa Weighted Blanket from Target provides instant calm and warmth. Pro-tip for those with the long side of a bed against a wall: use a body pillow to instantly transform your bed into a couch for watching movies with friends.
Get a white noise machine. Dorm walls are notoriously thin, and your fellow students may not always be respectful of quiet hours (or on the same schedule as you). A white noise machine provides privacy and peaceful, non-disruptive sound so you can instantly transform your room into an oasis.
Use a diffuser and essential oils to create a spa-like environment. Most dorms don’t allow candles, but a diffuser can provide comforting scents without the fire hazard. Aromatherapy can act as a mood enhancer, heightens cognitive function, and can help you sleep. Just be sure to check with your roommate first in case they have strong reactions to certain scents.
Make tidying a habit. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to focus or relax in a messy space? Keeping your room tidy and study materials out of sight when not in use will help you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your space. For more on keeping excess clutter out of your dorm room, check out our post on applying the KonMari Method to college.
We hope these tips help you create a calming environment in your dorm. Looking for a dorm room essentials list? Take a look at our Ultimate College Packing List.