It wasn't until I could roll around my bed like a child that I realized that physical space is necessary for maintaining my sanity. While ten months of living in a little dorm room with two people was part of the college experience, I tended to make myself small rather than taking up any more space than I needed to.
This is more than an issue of inactivity and lack of exercise. You can go to the gym six days a week and still feel restless. The bottom line is sometimes we need more than an hour of running in place to lift our spirits. We need open air and nature.
If you're familiar with my blog, you'll know that I find the most peace in nature. So naturally, the answer to my negative feelings of confinement is to spend more time outdoors. But there's more of a science to the happy vibes you get from having physical space to run, dance, and jump around.
After looking into the benefits of open spaces, I found that there are a lot of studies urging for an increase in the number of public parks in urban areas. The Trust for Public Land published research discussing the benefits of parks; among the things cited, they argued that parks would reduce community crime, encourage physical activity, and foster an overall sense of wellness. So it's clear that having room to be silly and active have positive physical and emotional effects.
I made this lock screen at the beginning of the year and I think it has more meaning now than ever before. To allow yourself the physical room to flail your arms everywhere, dance around, and take up as much space as you want for the moment is a luxury we should all give ourselves from time to time.
There is always space to be created for ourselves. Sometimes we have to find it, other times we have to carve it our first. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to do things for yourself. Giving yourself the space you deserve is one extremely important way you can show yourself some love.
Peace and love.