A huge part of getting to know yourself is found in interacting with your home space. The way you move, establish a routine, the way you work, the way you behave while you are alone – these are all things that are discovered in the solace of our homes. While you might not be particularly into interior design, or have the budget to facilitate a full-scale decorative project, there are ways to help cultivate the atmosphere, colours, and sense of peace that you want to reflect in your home. Designing your own space and making it exactly how you want it to look can benefit your mental health in immeasurable ways.
How does your space affect your mental health?
It is a known fact that your home affects your mental health. Particularly in this lockdown year, in which most of us have spent our days inside, our homes reflect the way we feel in more ways than we realise. Here are a few ways in which your home affects your mental health.
Clutter and mess.Psychologists believe that clutter and mess in your home can cloud your judgement and increase anxiety. A clean, decluttered space can create a sense of tranquility in a stressful period like this year has been.
Your boundaries. If you do not live alone, but instead live with a partner, family or housemates, it can be very difficult to set boundaries when it comes to the cleanliness of the home, your food, your space and your alone time. Boundaries are difficult to set, but they are vital for your mental health, particularly when they exist (or don’t exist) in your own home.
Your facilities. Of course, having good facilities doesn’t just impact your routine and physical health, but your mental health too.
With so many people experiencing anxiety, what design features could help to alleviate some of that weight?
Firstly, designing a peaceful home isn’t a prescriptive process. Finding inner tranquility is not a one-size-fits-all exercise; it comes from whatever version of peace suits you the best. Nevertheless, there are some ways to cultivate inner peace using colours and design features to help your mind relax. Let’s get started, shall we?
Firstly, let’s start with the visuals. The way your home looks is often considered important because of what other people might think of it – but in actual fact, the visuals of your home are most important for you. Although you might not think you care about how your home looks, your brain does. The colours you use in your home will alter your mood, even if you don’t realise it. What are some of the colours that contribute to peace and calm?
Blue. Have you ever wondered why you feel so relaxed looking at the sea? Blue is the number one colour that helps your brain feel at ease. Having blue walls, furnishings or even pictures on the wall will help settle your mind and encourage tranquility.
Green. Green is one of the most natural colours, occurring in our line of sight whenever we see a field or a forest. Green helps us to feel rejuvenated, rested and ready to take on the world.
Yellow. Yellow is a happy colour. Although some people might not want a fully yellow house – it’s a little in-your-face – a few touches of yellow can brighten your mood even on a subconscious level.
Implementing splashes of these colours in your home can change the way you feel – especially if you are staring at your four walls all too often these days. Don’t underestimate the power of colour in affecting your mood. You could decorate your walls with abstract flower and tree paintings that encompass the blues, greens and yellows that can promote a peaceful mind. Particularly in your “rest spaces” – i.e your living room and bedroom – cultivating a calm atmosphere is essential for your mental health.
When it comes to implementing affirming choices in your home, you could explore the act of buying something for yourself each week – such as a bunch of flowers – to place in your home. This small gesture, an act of kindness towards yourself, not only makes your home look and smell lovely but also creates an environment in which you do things purely for the love of yourself. No matter your age, gender, situation or background, this way of taking care of yourself hones your self love in a simple, no-BS way.
On a practical level, there are ways to create a space that is both functional and beautiful for the ultimate relaxation station. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can make your home as functional as possible within the space you have.
Using the verticality of your home. If you live in a small place, using the height as well as the floorspace is a great way to make you feel like you’re wrapped head to toe in beautiful and practical loveliness. Features like hanging plants (which are also excellent for oxygen levels, and the colour green of course!), high bookshelves and tall lamps to make the most of your space.
Buildable storage. Buildable storage allows you to give your home just enough storage space, without the shelving, boxes or cupboards filling up the place. Muji storage boxes are an awesome way to achieve this – just stack them however you want, chuck your belongings safely away, and be left with a clean, clear space.
Designating work and relaxation spaces. If you work from home, it is important to create a distinction between where you work and where you relax. This helps your brain to fully disengage from the stresses of the working day when you sit down to relax at night.
Self care isn’t all about buying things – that’s a fact. However, creating a home space that serves you in your relaxation, mental health and prosperity can be done through simple, often inexpensive choices that arrange your space to reflect your desired state of mind.
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