Our homes should make us happy — that makes sense, doesn’t it? The places we live have a consistent impact on the way we feel, even if we don’t realize it all the time. They can even alter our mental health in certain ways, especially when it comes to the more positive changes you can make to boost your wellbeing.
Mental health is different for everyone, and each person has their own preferences about what makes a living space comfortable. However, there are a few things you can do in your home to improve your outlook. Whether you choose a few of these ideas, start slow or experiment to see what works best for you, striving for better mental health can begin at home. Here are just a few home improvements to consider.
1. More Light
Whether you have smaller windows in your home or simply indulge in heavy blinds and blackout curtains, blocking the sunlight can actually cause some unhappiness. Darkness can often lead to sadness and higher rates of depression, especially in months where the sun appears less. Seasonal affective disorder is a clinically diagnosed issue that impacts people’s quality of life. Combat it by opening up the windows and making sure rooms are well lit. You can also invest in a sun lamp if you feel down in the dumps.
2. Cozy Up
Home improvements aren’t just about making a space look nice, it’s how comfortable you feel in a space as well. Another factor to consider is temperature. Being uncomfortably cold or hot on a regular basis can lower your quality of life, and nobody wants to freeze in the winter or bake in the summer. Simple fixes like winterizing your air conditioner, checking your heating system and fixing air leaks can make you much more comfortable.
Clutter can drag you down and harm your emotional and mental landscape. While stress and messiness may not seem related, there’s a reason why you feel better about your life when your bedroom is clean and your space looks aesthetically pleasing. Junk causes visual stress, which can, in turn, affect your mental state. Clearing it out can put you in the right headspace to relax.
4. Add Some Green
Plants are beautiful, and they can also boost your mental state. They improve air quality, provide visual appeal and have been proven to make people happier. Just one or two plants in your home can improve your mental health in the long term — just remember to water them. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are several varieties that can make your home a more welcoming place to live.
5. Color Me Happy
Did you know that the colors you paint your walls and decorate with can affect your feelings? Specifically, warm and pastel tones like yellows, oranges, lilacs, reds and peaches have been proven to make people happier, whereas dull, muted colors have been associated with negative and sad emotions. When considering colors for your home, you may want to use some cheerful, uplifting tones.
Home And Mental Health
So many things in life can affect your mental health, and that includes the place you live. You can make several changes and home improvements to boost your outlook, and some of them are easy. Clear out the clutter, or get rid of those heavy, light-blocking drapes. It’s all about working with your preferences and your emotional needs.
Whether you open up the curtains or buy a plant to brighten your day, the little things that make you feel at home can truly make a big difference. You’ll see an improvement in your attitude and your wellbeing, and your house will truly be your refuge.
Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.