How Your Home’s Design Can Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Did you know that the colors, furniture, and layout of your home could be having an effect on your overall mental health? Although these decisions about your home may feel small and insignificant, in cumulation, these small decisions become the overall atmosphere that surrounds you daily.
Have you ever walked in someone’s home and you just have “a feeling” about it? It may not be anything more than that, but it’s a gut impulse feeling that you get when you step inside. It could feel dark, cluttered, dirty, or maybe even a little claustrophobic.
If the home has been designed well, the feelings will be a little different. Homes designed with mental health in mind feel light, airy, refreshing, organized, and clear. This guide below will provide five quick things that you can do to consider mental health in your own home.
Maximize Natural Light
Natural light can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health. So much so that natural light has been shown in research studies to have a direct impact on depression rates.
To feel your best, be sure to maximize natural light in the space. If you need drapery, try the “High & Wide” rule. This means hanging your drapery higher than the actual window and wider than the window, which allows more light to come in. If you don’t need ultra-heavy drapes, consider sheers, which have a light and airy feel and can make the space feel refreshing and inviting.
If you’ve got the space, think about adding a window seat to an existing window. Window seats are excellent opportunities to bring light in and provide additional seating or storage, so you can enjoy activities by the window. These seats can be all wood or incorporate an upholstered top for additional comfort. Adding a small lamp can make this area a cozy reading spot, even after the sun goes does.
Keep the Walls Light
Going along with the importance of natural light, try keeping your walls painted a light color as well. Light colored walls allow light to reflect more in the space, for a brighter feeling room. If you want to incorporate your favorite color (let’s say royal blue), that is certainly something you can still do.
In this case, you would want to paint your walls white, a light neutral, or a lighter version of your favorite color (light blue). Then use bright accessories to tie in your favorite color without it being overpowered. Maybe it’s a navy throw, a piece of art, or a favorite blue armchair. This allows the space to feel custom and tailored to you, without feeling too dark.
Make It Yours
Think of some of your favorite things that make you happy. Is it an activity, like canoeing and camping, or sewing and quilting? Or maybe it’s a person, like spending time with your spouse or children?
Whatever the activity may be, featuring favorite items or photos of people who make you feel happy can be another great way to increase overall mental health. Use different frame sizes or colors to create a gallery wall of all your favorite photos. Or if you prefer a favorite activity, try to give place to that activity in your home as well.
Maybe that means designing a place to hang your hiking backpack inside your home so you’re always ready for an adventure. Or perhaps, that means cleaning up an area to incorporate a sewing space to enjoy. Whatever hobbies you enjoy, make room for that thing, in an effort to increase your overall mental health.
Declutter the Space
Is your space light and bright, but it still feels dark? It could be that you have too much furniture, trinkets, or belongings in the space. A cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind and may cause you to feel overwhelmed, bogged down, or sad.
When you’re cleaning out your space, go through your items one by one. When was the last time you thought about or used the item in question? Does it serve a purpose? If the purpose is strictly sentimental, consider taking a photograph of the item and letting it free. Too many sentimental items can lead to a very cluttered house, which may not give room for new memories to be made.
If you’re on the fence about throwing something out, consider loading those items into a box and storing them. After six months, go back through the box, after the items have been out of sight. As you’re going through the box, if there are items that you did not miss or did not remember were even in the box, chances are that you won’t miss it when it’s gone either.
Go ahead and take the leap—toss it out. Having an organized home can help to create an organized and restful mind!
Keep a Regular Cleaning Schedule
Good home design is only as good as the people who clean it. Keeping an unkempt home can make even good design look uninviting and dirty. Finding and following a house cleaning schedule can help you organize the tasks, knowing what to clean and when. Break the tasks apart—everything doesn’t need to happen in one day.
You can group the tasks by type, for example doing all the dusting or vacuuming on the same day so you’re not running around with multiple cleaning tools. You can also group the tasks by room type, for example deep cleaning the bedrooms on Monday and then on Wednesday do the living room, etc. Whatever you decide, find what works for you and stick to it. Intentional regular house cleaning may only take a couple minutes each day, but if it builds up, you may find yourself left with a mountain of tasks that can seem insurmountable.
To get started with your design, consider making an inspiration board using your favorite colors or pictures of your favorite things. Gathering imagery of items that you like in a design may help to inform decisions about the type of items, colors, and textures, you may want to include.
By following these quick tips listed above, your overall mental health should feel the effect, and be thanking you. Your spaces will be bright, light, clean, and surrounded by your most favorite things. This type of design approach leaves room for new memories in a healthy and inviting space.
Featured Photo from pxhere.com