Our mental health can be affected by a whole host of factors and many of these can be found in the home. Today we are going to take a look at some of the reasons you may feel sad when you’re at home.
Thinking about lighting in our lives in general, can hint at why the lighting in our home can easily affect our mood and in turn our mental health. Much like when people feel their mood shifts when summer gives way to winter, the same can be said of our immediate environment.
Too much and indeed not enough lighting can have drastic affects on our mood and mental health. Lighting can contribute to the feelings of being over and under stimulated and sometimes it can be hard to find the right balance.
Increase your natural light intake when indoors by ensuring that the curtains or blinds are opened and windows are unobstructed. If you find you are someone who benefits from more natural light, then it could be a good idea to invest in a daylight lamp, simulating natural daylight.
There are also products on the market that help to wake you to a more natural light, some even use aromatherapy and have gradual settings that mimic sunrise and sunset.
It is easy for people to say that looking around your home, if you feel that it is bland, or doesn’t make you feel happy, that you should decorate. However, decorating is not always cheap and can be time consuming. In an ideal world, being able to paint a signature wall in a colour that matches your overall vibe, promotes a certain activity or makes the room relaxing, would be fantastic. There are ways you can increase your visual stimulation at a fraction of the cost and minimising your effort.
Add some art work to your room, this could be something you have created, a charity shop find or perhaps a piece specifically bought for the purpose.
Change your soft furnishings such as throws, cushions or curtains. This is a much more affordable and simple way to completely edit the look of your home without needing the decorate.
Try adding plants to your room, they add interest, are naturally therapeutic and create that visual stimulation that our minds need.
Tidy Home, Tidy Mind
It’s true, at least for me, that if my home feels messy or cluttered, I find it much harder to concentrate on tasks and relax.
At first blush shifting your focus to a tidier home can seem daunting, but breaking this down into some manageable, smaller tasks can make it a breeze.
Once you have decluttered, perhaps donating to charity shops, organised and put things away (we have some tips coming up soon on just how to do this), you will feel much more at ease and have a sense of accomplishment.
It is something that needs to be maintained though, so remember to set yourself up with a simple and effective tidying blitz to do each night, or morning. This doesn’t need to be exhaustive, a little routine that will quickly become second nature such as wash up, put dirty washing in the laundry, pick up things from the floor, put clean dishes away and so on.
As I have gotten older, noise has much more of an affect on me and my mental health. I prefer to have a quieter home, which is hard when you have children. In our house we have quiet time, where we can relax before bedtime and unwind with minimal noise. We also have times where our house is noisy and each have ways to cope when we become over stimulated, such as using headphones, taking time out in a quiet room or speaking to other members of the house so they are aware of how we feel.
It’s not perfect, but it makes noise more manageable and keep us all feeling happier and more balanced.
Nature can have a massive boost on our mental health and it’s not always easy to go for a walk, or spend time in a local park. Not everyone has access to an outdoor space of their own either, so it can be a challenge to find the benefit of nature to positive effect.
A fantastic way to achieve this is to get yourself a plant or two for indoors, even if you aren’t green fingered, there are incredible faux options around now, some being really affordable options.
If you can afford real plants, and are able to look after them, it can be rewarding. Even better if you grab yourself a window box and plant some seeds!
We will be exploring ways to battle many of these impacts on your mental health in coming weeks, looking at simple fixes that don’t cost much and ones that require some investment. If you need an instant boost why not create yourself a little relaxation corner, maybe a comfy chair, add a fluffy throw and a lamp, where you can relax and read or drink a cuppa without distractions.