How to Make Your Home Environment Work for Your Mental Health
Your home is more than a place to entertain, cook, and sleep. It should strengthen every aspect of your life, including your mental health. A growing awareness of mental health issues has made all of us more aware of what hurts and helps our mental state. Your home environment influences how you think and feel. We’ve put together a few tips to make sure it’s working for, rather than against, your mental health.
Physical clutter creates mental clutter. Clutter contributes to feelings of anxiety, and the older you get, the more anxious you feel when it accumulates. Before you start to declutter, take a deep breath and make small goals. Taking on the whole house at once is a quick road to overwhelm.
Begin with one room or area at a time. For example, do the kitchen counters on one day. The next day, organize your pantry. Or, you can take on the whole kitchen on one day and the living room the next. Once you’ve organized one space, move to the next. It may take you a week or two to get through the whole house, but decluttering will give you mental (and physical) space to breathe.
Blend with Nature
The outdoors has impressive influence over the mind. Research has shown that a walk in nature is enough to reduce the rumination that contributes to anxiety and depression. A short view of a natural setting can help restore the brain’s ability to focus and concentrate. Nature also captures your attention while triggering feelings of pleasure. You can recreate those same benefits within your home.
Create a seamless transition from the outdoors. Natural wood finishes, native plants, and accent pieces with organic shapes and colors make your home feel like a part of its surroundings. Photos and paintings of outdoor settings and color palettes inspired by nature are simple but effective boosters for your mental well-being.
Simplify and Look for Multipurpose Solutions
It’s easy to fill your life with gadgets and doodads that you really don’t need. Not only does that contribute to clutter, which we’ve already established hurts your mental health, but it can also complicate your life. Look for ways to simplify and declutter your space.
Embrace multipurpose solutions to cut down on clutter and the time you spend doing standard home tasks like cooking, cleaning, and maintaining your home. It could be replacing a push mower with a ride-on or throwing out a Crock Pot in favor of a multi-cooker. Even simplifying your household cleaners can make things easier. Opt for a multipurpose cleaner rather than separate ones for the bathroom, kitchen, and living room.
Rethink Your Colors
Color influences how you think and feel. Warm colors like red and orange stimulate your eyes and raise your heart rate. They can also make you feel hungrier. Bright colors and busy patterns are fine for daytime spaces. However, you also need areas tailored to relaxation. Whether it’s a bedroom or basement rec room, color these relaxation spaces with neutrals and natural hues like green, blue, and browns. They’ll give your eyes and mind a break.
Home can and should be your refuge. Decluttering is a good first step. From there, make small changes to improve the soothing quality of your living spaces. It could be changing up the color scheme or adding a houseplant. The differences may be subtle, but they’re perfect for soothing your mind and improving your mental health.