Emotional Wellbeing


Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

5 Ways that Your Living Space Can Impact Your Mental Health

Your mental health matters just as much as your physical state. The body cannot exist without the mind, and unless both act in tandem, it’s going to be hard for you to function in the world. 

How you conduct yourself when you’re not at home matters when it comes to how others perceive you. However, your living space impacts how you view yourself, whether or not you are always aware of it. 

Let’s discuss some ways that your domicile can either put you in a healthy or unhealthy mind space. 

A Cluttered Home is a Disorganized Mind 

Part of healthy, stress-free living comes from cleanliness. If you throw your soiled clothes across the bedroom and your sink is always full of dirty dishes, it reflects a cluttered mind. 

You want to work toward simplicity and order if you wish to be mentally balanced. That means there should be a place for everything that you own. It will make it easier to locate objects when you need them.  

You should clean and pick up after yourself regularly. Coming home to a clean house will relax you. When you see that, you’re conveying to yourself that you’re in control of your life. 

You Can Decorate with Art that You Like 

Another part of being mentally healthy is surrounding yourself with décor that makes you feel good. Everyone has a unique style. Some prefer band posters and blacklights, while others opt for Monet prints or Warhol reproductions. 

Think about whether you want to decorate in a particular style or whether a more haphazard approach works best for you. In either case, choose paintings, posters, sculptures, or even trinkets or knickknacks that elate you. You want to surround yourself with items that make you happy when you look at them. 

If you look around your living space and feel like you need to change or update your style, then do so. Giving your house or apartment a decorative facelift might be what it takes to make some other healthy lifestyle changes. 

Surround Yourself with Green, Growing Things 

If you feel sad or unfulfilled in your living space, then getting yourself some plant lifemight be what it takes to perk you up. Not having anything living in your home besides yourself means that you have nothing for which to care. 

Nurturing plants with sunlight, water, and any other nutrients that they need can give you purpose. When your plants thrive, it’s a thrilling feeling. You can make watering or even talking to them a part of your daily routine. 

Letting in the Light 

It is also helpful to try and flood your living space with natural light when possible. Shutting yourself away in the dark can lead to unpleasant thoughts. If you want to change your mindset, raising the blinds or drawing back the shades can be a way to do that. 

Humans thrive when they are in sunlight. When they don’t get enough of it, it’s easy for them to become depressed. 

That is what seasonal affective disorderis all about. It’s when you feel fatigued, hopeless, depressed, and socially withdrawn at certain times of the year. Letting in lots of sunlight during those times can be part of what chases it away, along with pharmaceutical intervention, in some extreme cases. 

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one might be experiencing seasonal depression, it can be important to look for signs of the condition. There are several ways to manage SAD here where Dr. Michele Kambolis, Ph.D. ,  provides guidance on identifying signs of SAD in ourselves and our loved ones.

You Might Think About Getting a Pet 

You also may want to add a pet to your living space to get yourself in a better mood. Animals and humans cohabitating is excellent for both of them. There are therapeutic benefits from getting a dog, a cat, or even something that’s less work, like a rabbit or gerbil. 

Much like with plants, having something to take care of gives you purpose and renewed balance. If you feel like a dog or cat is too much work, or if you live in a building that doesn’t allow them, you might opt for something that is very low maintenance, like some fish. Watching them swim can calm you down. 

Remember that everything you choose to put around you when you’re at home matters. For instance, the decorations that you select should kindle joy in you, and you should remove anything that has negative associations. 

You can’t always control what happens when you’re out in the world. Events take place sometimes that might seem chaotic or even frightening. Ensure that your home is a comforting place where you can relax and unwind in total tranquility.   

 Featured image: Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash