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WANT TO BUILD BETTER MENTAL HEALTH? START WITH YOUR HOME

Your environment can lift your spirits or make you sad, so it’s important to create settings that are conducive to your well-being.

01 Jun 2021
Therefore, picture this: You’re in your home office, tapping away on your laptop in between online meetings. You hear loud knocking from the apartment above yours, your air-conditioning has broken down, half your work documents are scattered across the room because you ran out of shelves. How do you think this affects your focus and productivity?

Whether consciously or subconsciously, the mind absorbs and reacts to things around us. That could explain why you feel relaxed the moment you step inside a spa. Maybe it’s the soothing interior colours, the calming scent that perfumes the air, the soft music playing in the background or … well, you get the drift.

As we spend more time working from home these days, it’s important to take a good look at your house and see if it’s supporting your mental health. Here are 4 easy ways to optimise your home environment.

 

KonMari Your Home

No one says it better than the Queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo. If it doesn’t spark joy, out it goes. How do you expect to keep a clear, calm mind if you’re surrounded by a mess of things that are simply collecting dust and taking up precious space?

Brighten Up

More commonly reported in countries with changing seasons, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that typically starts in autumn and lasts through winter. One of the causes is reduced sunlight (exposure to the sun helps the brain release serotonin, the mood-boosting hormone). Whichever part of the world you may be in, we all benefit from 10 to 30 minutes of natural sunlight each day so it’s a good idea to flood your home with it. Sure, you want to blackout all lights at night for quality sleep but once morning arrives, drawback those thick drapes and let the sun in.

Your Daily Greens

Having plants around the house is another way to invite nature and its healing effects into your home. You don’t have to go all out and cultivate an entire garden, just choose a few plants that are easy to care for and work them into your home décor.

Colour Your World

Like sunlight, colours can affect how we feel too. Generally, warm tones like yellows and oranges lift people up whereas darker or muted colours such as greys can bring down one’s mood. Then again, we all have our personal association with colours. What’s important is to dress your home up in hues that make you happy.

 

Set Aside An Exercise Corner

Research has found that 30 minutes of exercise just 3 days a week can help strengthen mental health by reducing anxiety, depression and negative moods while at the same time, improve self-esteem and cognitive functions. Any form of aerobics exercise – try dancing to your favourite tunes – is good for this. Motivate yourself to exercise regularly by setting up a dedicated space for it. Lay down a yoga mat, decorate with fitness-related paraphernalia, and hang up a weekly scoreboard so you can keep track.


References:

https://livefit.com/blogs/livefit/4-home-improvements-for-better-health

https://artofhealthyliving.com/5-home-improvements-to-boost-your-mental-health/

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-your-environment-affects-your-mental-health-5093687

https://lifespeak.com/can-home-workplace-affect-mental-health/

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/5-ways-your-home-impacts-your-mental-health/

https://www.uwhealth.org/news/the-connection-between-your-home-and-your-sense-of-well-being

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2020/01/31/marie-kondo-on-how-to-make-your-home-a-more-calm-and-relaxing-space/?sh=7604d77d279a

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/