Improve Your Living Space to Improve Your Mental Health

Improve Your Living Space to Improve Your Mental Health

Mental health is a tricky, elusive thing that must be continually sought after with imperfect results. Often, it takes hard work and a soft heart, but there are also subtle yet powerful environmental cues that impact your mental health. Taking a look at your living space and habits can point to changes that stand to improve your mental health. These small changes may seem gimmicky, but study after study shows there are benefits to be had. Let’s take a look at some of the most common and reliable ways to improve your living space and improve your mental health in the process.

Décor and Organization

A well-organized home may can help feel more organized with the rest of our lives. Whether they are personally meaningful or you just like how they look, adding simple decorative touches can help you feel more at home and more at ease. Rage cleaning can help us process and purge some of our negative emotions, but it’s not a cure-all. Obsessively cleaning and beautifying a living space may be its own source of stress and failure. More than fixing a problem, rage cleaning can sometimes help us identify how pervasive an emotional problem has become in our lives.

For some, disorganization can feed their creative spirit, but don’t assume these benefits don’t apply to you just because you like things messy. You may be able to borrow from the best of both worlds. Leave your creative workspace disorganized, but allocate a different area of your home as a meditation space and consider the benefits of keeping this space tidy.

Sleep, Eat, and Exercise Spaces

Along with a dedicated place for meditation, look at the spaces where you sleep, eat, and exercise. There are many things you can do to your bedroom to improve your sleep. Reduce ambient illumination with blackout curtains. Keep the space clutter-free and make the bed on a regular basis. Charge your phone away from your bed to resist the temptation right before bed and first thing in the morning.

Much of the same advice applies to your dining room and healthy eating spacesv. Keep the area clutter-free. Eat the majority of your meals at the dining room table, not the couch in the living room. Use smaller plates and leave the food in the kitchen to help with portion control.

Even if you have a gym membership or a favorite yoga studio, it’s often wise to have an area of your home where you can get some exercise. This is a tricky one for staying power, but it doesn’t have to be a fancy home gym. Exercise bikes are a popular choice.

Pets and Plants

Pets are powerfully adorable distractions. Dwelling in negative emotions is not the same as processing your feelings. Often, the best coping mechanism to deal with unproductive stress and anxiety is a distraction that causes a shift in your immediate perspective. In other words, it’s hard to be angry when faced with an adorable, beloved pet. More than just pets, other types of animal bonds can improve our mental health. In fact, there’s an entire organization, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, dedicated to studying the health effects of the relationship between humans and animals.

Houseplants offer a powerful combination of home decorating and a connection to a living thing. Nurturing something that then flourishes also helps nurture one’s self. People who cultivate houseplants tend to get a boost to their self-esteem. Of course, it helps if the plant is happy and healthy. Use a houseplant finder tool to know where and how to care for your plants.

Find a Balance

Try not to bite off more than you can chew at once. If you have the DIY bug, that’s one thing, but you shouldn’t need to spend a ton of time and money to improve your living space. Overcoming obstacles builds resilience, but going twenty rounds with a piece of IKEA furniture isn’t necessarily a boon to your mental health. A high-maintenance dog may not be the right choice if you also love to travel. If getting out of the house helps motivate your exercise routine, a home gym may end up as wasted space.

Find a balance but also look for the changes that are most likely to speak to you and your mental health journey. It’s almost certain that there are things you can do to your living space that will improve your well-being.

Marcus Pickett

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