Backyard Relaxation: Creating a Zen Space

It is hard to find time for ourselves and spend quality time in the backyard in today’s fast-paced world. Backyard relaxation can be a great way to decompress and enjoy some solitude. However, it takes work to get there! In this relaxing post, we will share tips on creating your own zen space in the backyard.

“A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation… is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run.” – George Matthew Adams.

What is relaxation, and what is its history?

Dr Jacobson developed a way for his patients to combat nervousness in the 1920s, and it became known as relaxation therapy. The simple process of tensing one muscle group while keeping the rest of your body relaxed, then releasing tension.

You enable your body to save energy safely, slowing down the heart rate. All thanks to acetylcholine hormone release from parasympathetic activity-controlled cholinergic nerve fibres in muscles. 

Backyard Relaxation Ideas

Creating a relaxing zone in backyard
photo by Photo 90149129 © Arnaud Martinez | Dreamstime.com

Backyard relaxation is a crucial part of relief from today’s stress-filled life.

You don’t need to employ a landscape designer to make your backyard oasis. Start by finding a suitable zen place with good lighting, then gather some outdoor seating, maybe add a fire pit some outdoor structures to enjoy a relaxing afternoon siesta.

Choose Your Space Wisely 

What kind of outdoor living area do you desire?? Make sure there’s enough sitting area so everyone has a spot to enjoy the outdoors. You can design your own backyard in many ways, so select a garden space that will work for your family or individual needs and tastes.

TIP: Maintaining a natural edge is the easy way to add beauty and functionality to your backyard. You can create a fantastic oasis with only thriftiness, imagination, and some dedication. Start by cleaning up what you have now—making small changes that will make all the difference in time!

Lighting 

You need enough light for evening parties and feel calming during nighttime get-togethers.

There are plenty of options nowadays for outdoor lighting. Solar-powered lamps and string lights provide ambient illumination at night for back patios with limited space to lanterns, candles, and chandeliers perfect for dining al fresco on terraces overlooking an ocean view or manicured gardens.

Sunlight can also be beneficial for relaxation and well-being. 

Watching the sunsets relaxing fresh air light from the Sun positively affects mood and stimulates serotonin production. The Sun’s heat prompts beta-endorphins to be released, which help with pain relief. Sunlight is highly essential for vitamin D absorption. It is best if you get sunlight 2 hours per day – without sunscreen, of course!

Shade in Backyards: Shady areas have benefits as well, such as protection from too much heat, a cooling effect, a place to escape during the hot summer months or the winter season when snow and ice can make outdoor activities less enjoyable. Back yards that offer shade are often used as outdoor dining spaces for barbecuing or relaxing.

Patio Furniture 

A table should always be present (even if it’s just two chairs), as well as seats!. There is no need for fancy or extravagant outdoor furniture, but it should suit your outdoor living space style. Being able to sit outside comfortably will make you feel more at home and relaxed in your backyard.

TIP: You can start with the focal points in your backyard and places you might want to sit. Whether it’s a wood pallet, old drawers or reconditioning an old table into seating for guests, There are several ways to customize your space to feel like home without spending thousands on furniture from retail stores.

Hammocks 

A hammock is a wonderful stress reliever. Relax in the backyard. Hammocks are often hung near trees, providing shade during warmer months and shelter from the rain at colder times of the year.

hammock is a wonderful stress reliever
photo by Photo 42978940 © Andreusk | Dreamstime.com

Why should you consider using a hammock to relax?

Hammocks have always been relaxing, but they are now more than just a place for leisure. Nowadays, hammocks also provide relief from back pain and help people recover from illness or strokes! There are even two-person versions available in case you’re looking to share the experience with your loved one! All of this makes this an excellent investment that gives much-needed comfort when it comes down to relaxation time.

One thousand years ago, the Mayans utilized hammocks. They may have used trees or plants to string them up. Haiti calls fishnets “hammocks.” Hammock’s were in vogue owing to their utility and portability- they looked like a bed that could get you anywhere! Sleeping in one kept people safe from predators such as snakes and mosquitoes, too; no matter what climate you’re in – it still does today!

Porch Swing  

You can choose a hanging chair or hang a swing from a pergola, so many options and benefits for the whole family like reading a good book or talking.

There are many patio swings, like the cocoon type hanging chair or a swing with a canopy. All of these choices have one common factor., though: they’re relaxing as heck!

Backyard Patio  

You will need some structure to install a spa as ao. Even think about a hot tub, outdoor kitchen, fire pit or grill if you want something fun!

Wondering what to do about your patio? You’ve got some options! Do you want something simple and inexpensive, like concrete for a quick fix or gravel, if the funds are tight? Or maybe natural stone pavers are more up your alley with their elegance. And don’t forget brick – there’s nothing quite as charming as old school bricks on a front walkway. Whatever material works best for you.

Trickling Water 

A water feature can provide a calming effect in the backyard while adding beauty.

They say that the sound of running or dripping water has specific therapeutic properties and even helps calm people down, relieve stress, improve focus and productivity at work – all without medication.

If you’re looking for water features on a budget, one creative idea to make an elegant DIY Fountain Pot, all you’ll need ceramic pots, a small plastic pot, a water pump and tubing silicone and industrial glue some pebbles or lovely garden stones. Cheek out the video by Madam A.F. Rancier below. 

Lush Greenery 

There should be plenty of trees to create shade when needed and light enough to feel too dark during summer months (or bright during winter).

lush green space backyard for relaxing
photo by Photo 212757834 © Michele Jackson | Dreamstime.com

Plants

Different types of plants and flowers, and aromas can create a relaxing atmosphere. Jasmine and Lavander are proven to lower stress and anxiety levels. Eucalyptus is a plant with many different benefits, including calming the nervous system.

Outdoor Sun Room

Perhaps an outdoor sunroom with walls that act as insulation against cooler temperatures while still allowing plenty of light during all seasons.

Sun room in nice garden
Sun Room in nice garden Relax: photo by Photo 217333400 / Outdoor Sun Room © Adcharin Chitthammachuk | Dreamstime.com

Bonus Ideas

Creating a space for stretching and fitness equipment is the key to good health. This room will help you de-stress, relax your muscles, and get in shape!

A foot spa is a terrific idea to help you relax. In particular, you can use a self-massage machine for deep tissue massage that helps with muscle tension and spine alignment. The ultimate in relaxation!

What are some healthy drinks for relaxation?

It’s all depending on what the person is looking to do. If they want something that will help them wind down, red wine might be a good option with its health benefits and ability to calm nerves. On the other hand, if someone wants more energy boost or needs relief from pain in their gut area, perhaps kombucha or cold tea would suit better.

Creating Your Own Zen Space in the Backyard

photo by Photo 214621524 © Daria Vorontsova | Dreamstime.com

Zen Spaces originated from Buddhist temple gardens back when monks were trying to restore themselves spiritually and mentally before they resumed more worldly pursuits. Today, Zen gardens in landscape design are often seen worldwide, which embodies aspects from China and Japan and studies throughout western continents for a long-lasting effect.

What is a Zen Space?

A zen space is where the person or people can go and find peace of mind, usually by clearing their minds. An example of this would be meditation. The act could also include distractions that are both inside and outside, such as sitting on a bench in a park looking at flowers or watching an animal in the zoo, but not too close because if they get too close, then it may frighten them away.

What Are Some Benefits of Zen?

Zen or meditation, in general, has been shown to reduce stress in adults with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). They experience symptoms such as an inability to focus on one task at a time and difficulty concentrating. Meditative practices can help clear your thinking process to think about what needs to be done next without getting distracted by other thoughts.

How to create a backyard zen oasis?

Zen Oasis
Zen Oasis photo by Photo 30267016 © Sofiaworld | Dreamstime.com

Create a zen space in the backyard with earthy colours, comfort at the feet, pure and light textiles to create an inviting atmosphere. Keep accessories minimal beauty where needed.

Zen spaces are present throughout the world–even right outside our backyards! Creating one is simple if you follow these guidelines:

  • Choose earthy colours for space, such as light browns and greens, to create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Keep your furniture sparse while adding accents like cushions or blankets when desired.
  • Use pure white or cream textiles so that they don’t distract from the serenity of the zen space but still provide comfort.
  •  Consider a tiny fountain as a water feature. Or pond with koi fish to create calming sound and movement.
  • Add plants, such as bamboo, for an active element that provides shade in the summertime while still keeping cool during the winter months.
  • Plant evergreen trees and shrub plants other lush greenery.

Tips for Getting Started on a DIY Project

Doing it yourself doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. Get the latest ideas on how to maintain your home and make repairs right from the comfort of your backyard google is your friend.

Steps you can take when getting started:

Create a design by making a birds-eye view map with essential features in mind, including measurements and distances between fixtures. Also, choose an accessible location for all tools and materials before buying anything else. Plan what kind of project you’re going to undertake first–landscaping, painting walls or installing new plumbing–before shopping for supplies so you can pick up only what you’ll need.

And last but not least, always ask friends or family members for help if you need a little extra hand.

How to Decorate a Patio or Outdoor Living Area

Extensive outdoor living areas, such as patios and gardens, need to be decorated and styled uniquely. Use these tips to make your garden the talk of the town:

Selecting the right colours for your exterior décor can make all the difference. 

For instance, blue is typically a calming colour that will not conflict with nature. You can also use bold colours to add to the vibrancy of a room– but be careful with this because it may clash with other elements in your space.

You can also use natural materials, such as wood or wicker, which can help keep your space eco-friendly. Incorporate textures into your décor by using different materials in areas like a bench or a bed.

Buy items that are multifunctional, such as an outdoor rug or lamp on your patio table to help with ambience when you’re entertaining guests. You can also use plants and flowers in containers for a natural look without buying them at a nursery.

Backyard Relaxation & Healthy Changes.

Walking on grass help relax you
photo by Photo 189384024 / Health Relaxation © Aek Ngiamsanguan | Dreamstime.com

To start your day, get your blood circulating by going outside for a relaxing walk. 

A pleasant, relaxing stroll helps to improve your cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness while decreasing the risk of heart disease. A delightful, relaxing walk helps control hypertension, high cholesterol, joint and muscle pain or stiffness and more.

 Autogenic Relaxation- Patio Lounge Chair with a Hot Cuppa.

 A steaming cup of tea: the ideal way to wind down from a stressful day. Although there’s little research in this area, some studies show that drinking boiling water or herbal teas can significantly improve circulation and reduce stress for those who drink it regularly. It may also have benefits for your digestion!

Autogenic Relaxation: This is an excellent way for people with hard-working lifestyles to relax their bodies when they are stressed out from work. This type of meditation starts by repeating words like “relax” during deep breathing. So that the person can concentrate on these two things at once instead of feeling overwhelmed about how much time has passed since they last went home or what will happen next week because it will be too late then anyway!

Start a small garden, care for and attend it every week. 

Gardening: is essential and can be an enjoyable part of everyone’s life. Gardening helps with mental health, self-esteem, anxiety levels and more! You are also capable of photosynthesis like the plants you care for in a garden, so taking time to do some light gardening duties may be a good exercise as well. Digging might require vigorous activities, but it has been proven that green fingers bring many benefits, such as treating dementia while bringing us closer to nature which calms our state of being, helping us relax.

Enjoy an outside meal. 

Nature may also be more peaceful than other environments, thereby restoring directed-attention abilities. Studies suggest being outside helps you focus. I feel a certain ambience when eating and cooking outdoors, especially on a warm sunny morning eating breakfast. It all depends on the weather, though, as sometimes there are hazards such as wind that can ruin your experience, which would make me much less likely to eat outdoors again in those conditions. If we’re talking about one of these days where it’s nice out (maybe even this upcoming weekend?), then nothing sounds better!

Ambient Mindfulness Relaxation 

There’s a few scientific benefits of backyard meditation and relaxation. One such benefit that all people enjoy is feeling more relaxed! Muscle Relaxation: This may be accomplished by tensing each muscle group helping you become aware of sensations. Visualization: Incorporating senses, smells, and touch has also been shown to affect the body, like giving you an overall better mood. Meditation helps slow down blood pressure as well, which means good things for our bodies! A few types to try outside in the backyard are Yoga, Tai Chi Aromatherapy (these may take practice!). You don’t need any special tools; find something comfortable out there while practising these methods until they come naturally with ease. 

Relax & Watch Birds 

What are you doing today? “Sitting outside relaxing, watching DIY birds Feeding while taking in all of nature’s beauty.” You could take pictures or sketches if that interests you, but research has shown many benefits to birdwatching no matter your preference! For example, BioScience found an increase in well-being for people who watch their feathered friends; it also helps with stress relief. It seems like the music they sing even brings out more surprises–the Ecological Economics paper shows a possible correlation between income level and satisfaction levels while listening to these songs.

Cozy Outdoor Space!

Cozy Fire pit
Cozy Fire Pit photo by https://unsplash.com/@courtneyrclayton

In the evening, it’s cozy to sit by a fire pit. The warmth of the fire may provide a calming sensation to help you decompress from work or school.

If sunsets are your thing, then spend time outside watching them–don’t forget to bring some insect repellant!

Backyard fire pits come in many styles and sizes, but the goal is to have a tranquil space you can enjoy with friends and family roasting marshmallows.

Backyard fire pits will not only relax your body but also soothe your soul! 

Backyard fires are typically for people who value outdoor living more than a typical barbecue or grill, as they’re usually present-centred gatherings for everyday occasions like graduating from college, having fun family reunions, or just relaxing at home.

Having one of these little outdoor places where you can connect with nature and feel all warm inside will do wonders to calm your mind.

✔️ Backyard fires give off intense heat – Especially during the colder months of winter–It’s cozy on chilly evenings by a fire pit, and it’s a great way to warm up or have an outdoor dinner.

Final Thoughts

See! It’s not as hard to create a backyard zen space as you may think. Remember, if it’s too much work, then it defeats the purpose of relaxing and decompressing. Let out that inner child and have some fun with your new zen space!

Watch to learn how to make the above-mentioned “Water Fountain Pot.”

Madam A.F. Rancier. (2020, April 10). DIY Two Tier Planter Water Fountain [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ig33Kv4Ank

Sources of Information

The WebMD Medical Team. (2020, August 25). What Happens to Your Body When You Relax. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-what-happens-when-relax

Goldman, R. (2020, July 22). What is Jacobson’s Relaxation Technique? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-jacobson-relaxation-technique

MacLean, K. A., Ferrer, E., Aichele, S. R., Bridwell, D. A., Zanesco, A. P., Jacobs, T. L., King, B. G., Rosenberg, E. L., Sahdra, B. K., Shaver, P. R., Wallace, B. A., Mangun, G. R., & Saron, C. D. (2010). Intensive Meditation Training Improves Perceptual Discrimination and Sustained Attention. Psychological Science, 21(6), 829–839.https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610371339

Mayo Clinic. (2021, February 26). Relaxation techniques: Try these steps to reduce stresshttps://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368?reDate=11072021

Department of Health, State Government of Victoria, Australia. (2020). Walking for good health – Better Health Channel. Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/walking-for-good-health#health-benefits-of-walking

Watson, K. (2020, November 4). What Are the Benefits of Drinking Hot Water? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-drinking-hot-water

Stanborough, R. M. J. (2020, June 17). Seed, Soil, and Sun: Discovering the Many Healthful Benefits of Gardening. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/healthful-benefits-of-gardening#improves-memory

Rumsey, A. (2019, January 30). Why Eating Outdoors is Better for You | Luvo. Performance Kitchen | Healthy, Convenient Frozen Meals. https://info.performancekitchen.com/blog/eating-outdoors-better/

Ornitherapy: The therapeutic power of birdwatching. (2021, May 11). BirdWatching. https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/news/birdwatching/ornitherapy-therapeutic-power-birdwatching/

Atchley, R. A., Strayer, D. L., & Atchley, P. (2012). Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings. PLoS ONE, 7(12), e51474. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051474

Hartig, T., Mang, M., & Evans, G. W. (1991). Restorative Effects of Natural Environment Experiences. Environment and Behavior, 23(1), 3–26. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916591231001

Berman, M. G., Jonides, J., & Kaplan, S. (2008). The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature. Psychological Science, 19(12), 1207–1212. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02225.x

George Matthew Adams Quotes. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved July 9, 2021, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/george_matthew_adams_105128

8 thoughts on “Backyard Relaxation: Creating a Zen Space”

  1. Hi there,

    Awesome article; I really loved the reading!

    I have a backyard, but I’ve never done anything with it. I really would like to turn it into a zen place to relax and enjoy my own time. Your article has inspired me to start already today. Just a question, please. Will you share some videos showing how to decorate a backyard in the future? I like the fountain that the woman constructs in the video, but I would like something bigger. I am also thinking of building a kitchen in my backyard to make barbeques with my family and friends. This would be awesome.

    Thank you for this useful post, and I am looking to reading more.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Daniella. I’m thrilled to hear that my blog has inspired you! Relaxing Zen time is a great way to decompress and take care of yourself because it provides many benefits There’s more content coming on outdoor decorating projects with original videos showing how-to steps or interviewing homeowners who have completed backyard projects – stay tuned for those in the future! It would also be cool if we could do some video tours around New Zealand looking at other people’s backyards, too – what do you think?

      As always, thank YOU so much for reading my blog posts every week 🙂

      J W RIDDELL

      THE FUN HUB  

      Reply
  2. Oh I would love a backyard. My sister has a back yard and she spent the lockdown turning hers into a Spanish garden. Soo beautiful. If ever I buy a house, I will have my yard. A swing chair is a must, totally agree with the lighting and the trickling water, something really soothing about that combination. I could totally go en on a patio with a birdbath and y husband would love a fire pit. The dream is alive. You have highlighted all that I would want there in exquisite detail. Thanks.

    Reply
    • You are so right, Kelly. The ambience of a firepit, the pleasant lighting with the soothing sound of trickling water and watching those birds splash around that combination will have an abundance of health benefits from mood to mental function, not to mention just how good it feels on your skin.

      Reply
  3. Living in a multi-floor building apartment I really miss having a backyard that can turn into my own space of relaxation. The best I could do is to turn my balcony into something similar. So I put plants all around so I can feel more privacy and also used wooden furniture that give a more warm feeling with nice comfortable pillows. Whatever is available!!!

    Reply
    • I strongly advise you to do so and to schedule some Zen time regularly since the advantages will flow over into other areas of your life, and you will feel more at peace. Although you only have limited space, I admire your keen thinking in using what is available to create a pleasant environment that will spread good fortune and good health for years to come.

      Many Good Thoughts and Happy Zen Time

      J W RIDDELL -THE FUN HUB

      Reply
  4. I always told myself that the day I do buy my own house, I want to have an area where I can just relax and have time to myself. This is such an amazing article. It spoke to me and I thank you for it. I will be sure to share it with my partner as we want to build a house together one day. 

    Reply
    • Ancient Chinese techniques are the perfect building materials to start creating a zen space. Using these will provide you with recovery and personal development and increase your garden’s maintenance capabilities for more accessible care! The property value might even go up thanks to this new zen addition, too- what an incredible project idea! ZEN SPACE!

      Many Blessings 

      Reply

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