4 Ways to Optimise Your Home to Improve Your Mental Health
A much needed light has been shone on mental health recently. We’re more aware than ever before how factors like work and relationships can positively or negatively affect our mental wellbeing.
However, have you ever thought about how your home affects your mental health? We’ve become used to hearing how meditation, therapy, spending time with family and friends, activities you enjoy, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help us feel better. But what about making subtle changes to our living space?
Well, it has been scientifically proven that making particular changes to your space can reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Let’s show you what you need to do!
Sunlight is Essential
Do you ever notice how you wake up brighter and happier during the summer months? When it’s lighter and the sun is out, it instantly lifts our mood. That’s why it’s so important to make sure we’re letting the sun shine through to our living space.
We know we’re lucky to get the sun in the UK, but when it does happen to be shining, open your curtains or blinds and soak it all up.
There are plenty of benefits to sunlight including, the release of serotonin which is often considered to be a natural mood stabiliser as it helps to reduce depression and regulate anxiety.
How to add light to your room
- When working from home, put your workspace near a window to catch the natural light
- Place mirrors in particular spots in your room to reflect the sunlight
- During the day, pull the curtains back or open your blinds to let the natural light flood in
Of course, if you’re not able to brighten up your space with natural light, go ahead and do it with bright light bulbs (LED, halogen or fluorescent do just the trick). Believe it or not, it can have the same effect as sunlight.
Get Rid of Clutter
Do you know the saying “clear room, clear mind” - or something to that effect anyway! Turns out it wasn’t just a made up mantra by a clean freak, there’s actually some truth behind it.
Researchers are learning that living amongst clutter can create a chaotic and stressed mind, as our mental health can often be a reflection of our environment.
There’s a reason why the popularity of The Minimalists has grown sharply. The Tedx Talk featuring The Minimalists talks about ways we can have a perfectly rich life with less things. Prioritising experiences and connections over the things we own that we don’t really need.
If you often feel overwhelmed by the amount of things you have in your home. Or you feel like it is negatively affecting your mental health, it might be time to declutter your room or home. On the other hand, if you’re moving out, you’ll no doubt have to make time to declutter your home before moving house.
How to declutter your home
- Start off with a small section of a room and gradually make your way around, by taking everything out from drawers, boxes etc and sorting through them
- Create different piles, including a “keep me” pile, a “donate/charity” pile and a “recycle/throw away pile”
- Once you know what you want to keep, put it back in its original place
For the things you wish to donate, get rid of or simply don’t know what to do with yet, why not rent a storage space nearby? That way you can sustainably keep your items safe until you know what you want to do with them next.
Add Artwork to Your Living Space
To feel happy within your space, you’ll have to have a few things which brighten up the room for you! For many people, a piece of artwork is the perfect way to finish off a room and create a vibe (for example, peace and serenity or loud and energetic).
Try art of landscapes to invoke a certain feeling in your room. It could be a tranquil beach, a serene jungle, maybe even a picture of your favourite European city. Or you could put up images of your friends and family, even more so if they’re images that bring back good memories.
Adding art is just one of the ways you can maximise space in a small home too. So, think big when it comes to customising the living spaces you use the most.
Put Plants in the Room
As well as art, plants are just as good to uplift your living space. Plants not only look great, but they oxygenate the air around us and have tons of other benefits like:
- Reduced stress levels
- Improved mood
- Increased productivity
- Improved attention span
There’s no wonder so many of us stocked up on plants during the pandemic!
The good news is that even if you don’t trust yourself to look after your plants properly, there’s a range of lovely plants that are low-maintenance and still provide the same great benefits.
Low maintenance plants
- Aloe Vera
- Sansevieria (Snake plant/Mother-in-law’s tongue)
- Bamboo palm
Whether you spend a lot of time at home or not, it’s important that your home space and work space is tailored for optimum mental health. Plus, you don’t even need to put in too much effort (or money!) into making these changes. They’re quick, easy and simple to implement, and you might even witness the positive changes to your mental health right away! Create a plan, find a storage space and start decluttering to get the ball rolling.
25th Apr 2022