One of the best things you can do for your mental health is having a pleasant environment all to yourself. A quiet place to retire can help improve your outlook, keep things in perspective, and give your brain a chance to restore itself. While many factors in your environment may be out of your control, there are certain things you can control in our home to better support positive mental health. Let’s look at some tips and advice that can improve your environment at home.
When you’re in your current home, do you feel cramped and stressed? Many don’t realize that the actual layout of their home can have a tremendous impact on their mood and overall mental health. Living in a dim basement or a home with tight, enclosed spaces can cause you to feel anxious within your own home. If this is true of your situation, then it may be better to find a space with an open and light layout. You may worry about how the stress of moving will impact your mental health. In this case, a realtor can help alleviate the stress of selling your home. While you can certainly take steps to improve your current living space, a change in layout and location can positively affect your health and perspective on life.
Plants are an inexpensive way to brighten your mood. Bringing elements from nature into the home helps us feel calm and relaxed. Not only do live plants provide a nice aesthetic to a room, some plants actually eliminate harmful toxins from the air. They take in carbon dioxide and release needed oxygen, and studies have shown that having plants indoors actually helps improve concentration and productivity. If you’re unsure about your green thumb, try starting with a low-maintenance succulent.
Remember when your mom used to tell you that you’d feel better after your room was clean? Well, we may have disagreed with mom at the time, but there’s actually some wisdom behind her thinking. Many studies have been done that link clutter to high levels of anxiety and stress. When we are surrounded by clutter, we subconsciously think that our work is not done, which in turn makes us feel guilty. Additionally, clutter can be the cause of frustration when it comes to misplacing things, or not being able to find something amid all the mess. If you proactively set aside just a few minutes every day to clear the clutter around you, it becomes more manageable and provides a less stressful environment.
Once you rid your home of clutter, you need to be intentional about what you put in your space. Surrounding yourself with things you love will improve your mood. This doesn’t mean you need to extravagantly remodel your home, but even having a small closet or space to call your own full of things you love can be a huge boost. Do you love to read?
Set up a well-lit reading nook with a small bookshelf, a cozy chair and blanket, and a small accent table. Are you a music aficionado? Set up a corner in the room where you can play a musical instrument or immerse yourself in music. Do you enjoy exercise? Carve out a spot to put an exercise bike or a yoga mat. Bonus: exercise also helps your mood! Remember, less is more — only put things in your space that are blessing your life and make you feel better.
The colors we choose to decorate our walls and space with can certainly impact our mood. Soft blue and light green colors tend to have calming effects, while environments full of bright red colors tend to increase stress. According to this article, Behr’s In The Moment shade of combined blues and greens is light enough to use in most any sized space. Dusty, muted shades usually bring about soothing feelings. Doing a quick search on color schemes and how they enhance your mood will provide you with a wealth of information that will equip you to use color as a powerful tool for positive mental health.
If you live alone, it can be quite discouraging to come home from a long day of work to an empty house or apartment. This can make you feel lonely, and even contribute to any depression or anxiety. You can get a pet to help you feel a little more companionship. In fact, there are even therapeutic dogs available to those who need them. They are trained to provide comfort and solace to people needing that sort of interaction.
In this day and age, it’s hard to get away from screens. Televisions, computers, smartphones — all these and more are a part of our daily lives and routine. Studies have shown that too much screen time negatively affects health, and especially mental health. Have a space in your home that is designated “screen-free.” Maybe it’s your bedroom or the kitchen. Wherever it is, be purposeful in engaging and being present in the world around us.
Our home should be our sanctuary, not a place of stress. By making a few minimal changes to your environment, you can make a positive impact on your overall mental well-being.