From daily torturous commutes and unforgiving urbanites to jam-packed sidewalks and stuffy subways, the stress and anxieties of a New Yorker can go from zero to 60 multiple times a day. After surviving the day, your beloved apartment becomes not only refuge, but a place for relaxing and rebooting. Design your personal escape from the urban jungle with feng shui accents and adjustments.
Anita Rosenberg, an expert Los Angeles Chinese feng shui guru, shares with Refinery29 these tips for designing a zen-filled space:
- Use plants and trees to add a life force and welcome nature inside
- Balance a room with a variety of shapes and patterns, from square and oval-shaped items to striped and floral patterns
- Activate space with function, fresh fruit and flowers
- Romanticize the bedroom by decorating in pairs and placing rose quartz under the bed
- Decorate with mirrors and photos of family
- Use wooden furniture with rounded corners
- Create harmony in your small space by concentrating on a couple complementary colors, rather than a disrupting the space with numerous bold colors.
- Find opportunities for color with furniture, rugs, wall art, drapery and custom shades.
- Lean toward hues found in nature, such as colors found at the beach or in a forest
- Avoid loud patterns that have sharp and angular shapes
This trip to England will be unlike the last—dodging crowds of smartphones snapping pictures of Buckingham Palace or St. Paul's Cathedral. Give your return trip an alfresco theme, and make relaxing in the beauty of London's outdoor luxuries top priority.
- Stroll through London's Royal Park Hyde Park—historic land once socially reserved for the upper echelons of Britain and seized by Henry VII from Westminster Abbey monks.
- Pack a picnic for an afternoon at Regent's Park that was once a "royals-only retreat," describes TimeOut London. Meander through beautiful rose gardens or relax on the grass during a music festival and take in the tunes.
- Pack a picnic, bring your yoga mat for stretching and mindfulness or put your nose in a book while nestled in a grassy meadow at Hampstead Heath. Adored as "North London's greatest green gem," Hampstead Heath is a wildly untamed open space that departs from London's well-manicured landscapes.
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is known as the largest metropolis in the world. For anyone engulfed in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, a relaxation getaway may just be the elixir to feel revitalized and refreshed. Take a day off from reality to explore Mount Fuji and see incredible landscapes from a gorgeous mountain viewpoint. The JTB Sunrise Tours takes you through Tokyo countryside and guides you to a Mount Fuji ascent. Soak in tranquility while leisurely riding on a scenic boat ride on Lake Ashi. Then you'll feel revived for an adventure to Mount Komagatake by the aerial lift Hakone Ropeway to see more breathtaking views.
For a different type of 24-hour escape, explore Nikko and uncover Japanese cultural life from the Edo Period. Free your mind while exploring the ancient Tosho-gu Shrine and learning about the first Shogun of that era, Tokugawa leyasu. Admire the World Heritage Site's ornate architecture and colorfully lavish decor. Become more immersed in the culture of this era at Edo Wonderland, an interactive theme port that transports guests to a time of samurai archery, ninja star knives and geisha costumes. After your sightseeing, cultural getaway, you'll feel rejuvenated for another fast-paced day in Tokyo.
As you and your loved one look forward to your Parisian getaway, romantic images of the majestic Renaissance mansion the Hôtel Carnavalet or a picturesque corner café glamorously cloud your vision. Your dreamy excursion to the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame is broken by the realities of crowds of tourists and stressful traveling moments. Mitigate time lost from waiting in long lines or navigating on-foot traffic by planning your sightseeing itinerary in advance.
Although strolling up to the Eiffel Tower sounds magical, advanced planning could help prevent a less-than-pleasant experience. To avoid an overcrowded Champ de Mars, book a trip during the off season of October through March. (Keep in mind November through February is Paris's coldest and wettest months). Visit the tower on a weekday in early morning or late evening to dodge mobs of tourists. Also, purchase tickets in advance online and on the second stage, rather than the top, if you lack time and patience, recommends ParisEscapes.com.
Low-key Parisian wanderers in search of tranquil and peaceful place could also admire luminous gothic architecture of the Sainte-Chapelle, enjoy a walk around the Jardin des Tuileries or escape to the Bois de Boulogne. You can watch the sunset while cruising along the River Seine or indulge in authentic French wine tasting. As with any trip to one of the world's favorite cities, stay organized, don't overload your schedule and be flexible.
(Photo credits: New York City by Trodel – London by @Doug88888 – Tokyo by Weijie~ – Paris by Moyan_Brenn – via Flickr)