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Cool, calm, and collected: Decompression spaces in higher education

Blog_March_no2_Government_Blog_Inset_images_2Take relaxation to the next level

When it comes to the topic of colleges and universities, people may generally think of ivy-lined buildings, activities on the campus green, “rush week,” and more, but for some students in higher education, there’s something else on their minds: stress.

Whether it’s about maintaining a specific GPA, succeeding in a competitive environment, securing scholarships, dealing with the uncertainty of securing a job after graduation, or even dealing with social pressure from peers, students in higher education institutions can experience high-pressure environments — even the most successful of students.

That’s where decompression spaces come in. Also known as “wellness rooms” or “mindfulness rooms,” these dedicated spaces are built with one purpose in mind: helping higher education students relax, practice self-care, and manage burnout. But what makes these spaces unique from any other quiet room?

Decompression by design

Decompression spaces allow students to take a break, center themselves, and practice stress-relieving activities like meditating, napping, or just being alone — and it’s all by design. These calming environments include:

  • Zen dens — Provide a space for students to practice meditation, engage in calming activities, or simply disconnect from the outside world to find tranquility. These spaces are specifically designed for relaxation, mindfulness, and finding inner peace.

  • Lounge areas — Create a relaxed atmosphere with comfortable seating and soft lighting to help students socialize, read, or simply take a break.

  • Outdoor spaces — Enable students to connect with nature and enjoy fresh air. These spaces include courtyards, gardens, and green areas and often have benches, picnic tables, and hammocks for relaxation.

  • Game rooms — Encourage students to engage in recreational activities and have fun with their peers with board games, video games, pool tables, and tennis tables.

  • Wellness centers — Offer a range of amenities and services, including massage chairs, yoga classes, counseling, and workshops on stress-reduction techniques.

  • Pods or relaxation stations — Let students take short power naps or engage in relaxation exercises during long study sessions.

  • Art rooms and creative spaces — Allow for self-expression and provide a sense of relaxation for students via art rooms or creative spaces designed for artistic activities such as drawing, painting, and crafting.


Furnished for comfort

When it comes to creating a decompression space, comfort is key. Whether it be chairs students can sink into, sofas to inspire conversation, or low tables for lounging and more, having the right furniture in place can help make a difference. Types of furniture include:

  • Beanbag chairs — A hallmark of many campus decompression spaces, these large, soft, bean-filled chairs allow students to lounge and relax comfortably.

  • Sofas — Soft, padded sofas provide a comfortable place for students to sit and are often arranged facing each other to promote conversation and community. Modular seating is popular to create cozy spaces.

  • Foam floor mats — Foam mats allow students to stretch out on the floor, lie down, or sit in a circle for group discussions. Mats help create casual, flexible spaces.

  • Low tables — Coffee tables, ottomans, and padded stool tables allow a surface for snacks, books, or laptops while lounging comfortably.

  • Rugs — Large area rugs help define decompression spaces within larger rooms or halls. Rugs make spaces feel cozy.

  • Pillows — An abundance of pillows, in all shapes and sizes, provides flexible, informal seating options for the floor or sofas.

  • Pods — Modular and/or free-standing furniture can help provide a cozy refuge for privacy, well-being, and reduced acoustical disruptions.


111752874Did you know?
In addition to beanbag chairs, decompression rooms can feature seating such as soft rockers, sway chairs, and rocking stools, so students can practice calming movements while relaxing.


Welcoming calm with open arms

Providing decompression areas or spaces for students can help them unwind, relax, and take a break from academic pressures. These spaces can be an important campus resource for supporting the whole student and promoting well-being alongside academics.


Rely on Workspace Interiors & OMNIA Partners

Workspace Interiors works with members of OMNIA Partners to find the right furniture solutions and services that can help your institution meet its needs. We can provide total turnkey solutions through our wide selection of in-stock products plus customized furniture solutions to suit the unique requirements of your college or university. Look to us to help manage any or all parts of the process, so you can stay focused on helping your students succeed.

Find out how we can help you support collaboration throughout your organization. Contact Workspace Interiors today