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What could be better right now than a creative project that will bring you a sense of peace for months to come? 

With a little creativity, you can reap the rewards of creating your own mini zen garden with materials you probably already have at home or in your backyard. Not only does this give you a fun project to work on while social distancing at home, this activity opens the door to mindfulness and relaxation. Here’s how:

1. Find an appropriate container. This will serve as the base of your zen garden. Just about anything can work, but containers with low sides are the best choice, such as a sturdy box lid, a decorative ceramic or glass pie dish, or a wooden drawer organizer. Look around your house and think outside the box.

2. Sand is a key element for your zen garden. Check to see if you have some in your craft closet or perhaps you have access to a sandbox or local beach. Otherwise, place an order from your favorite online craft retailer. Pour your sand into your container and add some essential oil if you’d like an aroma-therapeutic touch.

3. Add stones and trinkets to your landscape. You can select small stones or gravel from your yard, or use beach stones or shells you have in collections around your home. Geodes and crystals are another popular choice thanks to their energy-boosting and healing properties.

4. Choose plants. Air plants are the most popular choice for zen gardens as they can be placed directly in the sand. Succulents are another great choice. Or, section off a space for more traditional plants before adding the sand – just line that spot with small stones, then add some soil. Or, place your plant in a small paper cup then fill it with sand. If you can’t access a store to select a plant, take a cutting from a house plant or something you have growing in your yard. You can always replace it with the plant of your choosing down the road. 

5. Create patterns with a mini rake. You’re probably familiar with the mini wooden rakes that usually accompany zen gardens. While you might not have one of those lying around the house, you could substitute it with a back scratcher or cocktail fork for the time being.

Keep your zen garden in your room, and use it as a mindful way to start and end the day. Or keep it in the living room where everyone can benefit from a little tranquility throughout the day.