Nurturing Mental Health at Home: How to Create a Space that Promotes Healing and Mindfulness

November 29th, 2021

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Nurturing Mental Health at Home: How to Create a Space that Promotes Healing and Mindfulness

The Connection to Mental Health and Your Living Space 

The places that you spend the most time have a serious impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Multiple studies have shown the connections between living spaces and the effects on mental health through how a room is furnished, the size of the living space, and whether or not you live alone or with others. Anywhere from what state you live in, the weather in your area, how often you socialize, and the conditions of your work environment all play a direct role in your mental and physical health.

 Nurturing Mental Health at Home: How to Create a Space that Promotes Healing and Mindfulness

While many environmental factors are known to contribute to our mental state, there are certain elements that further impact our ability to adjust to our surroundings and cope with stress. The most notable environmental factors that can influence mental health include the aesthetics of a room, the familiarity of an environment, interactions with other people, the culture and values of an environment, and the lighting, temperature, sound, smell, or color of a space. 

It has been shown that the relationship between house-sharing and mental health has a direct correlation to one another. In fact, individuals that opt for shared housing expect strong social relationships with their roommates on top of saving money. By creating a high sense of community attachment, house sharing provides social support that in turn leads to positive mental health in individuals. On the other hand, negative living experiences in a shared housing situation can have the opposite effect.

When it comes to the relationship between the size of living space and the well-being of an individual, there seems to be a positive effect on life satisfaction and mental health. Living in a room with windows that overlook green spaces and views of nature can also directly impact your mood for the better. Individuals that live in a dark, damp, and cramped environment will experience higher levels of depression, insecurity, and anxiety. 

If you are buying a new home, it is important to keep the size and environment of your living space in mind. On the plus side, there are certain ways to manage your mental health in whatever space you find yourself living in. If you are searching for homes in Raleigh for example, maintaining a positive state of mind is possible no matter if you are looking for townhomes, condos, or new construction homes

Meditation at home as a way to promote mental health, healing and mindfulness

Understanding and Focusing on the Purpose of Your Space 

Planning what goes into your home and how it will be organized is the key to happy home life. Each room and space should have a designated purpose and be decorated and utilized for that purpose. By thinking about how you want to use each space and what aesthetics you want each room to have, your home will become a safe place to relax and unwind after a long day. When decorating, make sure to consider traffic flow, functionality, ambiance, and cost-effectiveness. By focusing on the purpose of each room, your home will be the true reflection of your personality.

Tips on how to understand the purpose of your space:

  • Do not set up your desk in your bedroom. 

  • Do not set up your meditation spot in a room full of distractions and noise. 

  • Focus on intention. 

  • Think about the amount of natural light in each room for design purposes. 

  • Know what you want each room to be used for. 

  • Think about storage needs. 

  • Keep room layout in mind. 

  • Small details make a large impact. 

  • Add personal touches as reminders of what you value.  

Reducing Stress and Fatigue by Removing Distractions and Minimizing Stressors  

Your home should be the perfect example of tranquility and relaxation. If it is designed and decorated correctly, your living space will become the stress-free environment that you have always dreamed of. Since a long and tiring day can lead to negative mental health, improving the atmosphere at home through multiple small changes will go a long way in creating a favorable lifestyle.

The ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui is a great place to start when thinking about removing distractions and minimizing stressors in the home. Known as the art of placement and how our surroundings influence our way of living, this practice has been used for thousands of years to create balance and harmony at home. The key aspects of Feng Shui include removing everyday clutter, adding balance to your space through physical elements, using mirrors as a reflection of positive energy, and adding a garden to your outdoor space for a sense of peace. 

Here are ways to reduce stress in the home:

  • Clear physical clutter. 

  • Invest in organization tools such as shelves or containers. 

  • Quiet any excess noise in the home. 

  • Maximize the use of your space no matter the size of your home. 

  • Dedicate a room in the home specifically to relaxing and relieving stress such as a mediation or yoga room. 

  • Use houseplants and flowers in the home. 

  • Use calming colors in the home while decorating such as a light blue or any natural hues. 

  • Stay in the present by unplugging any electronics when not in use.

Calming massage at home to reduce stress and promote healing

General Aesthetic Considerations

One of the most important aspects of design in a home is whether or not a design functions properly for its purpose. In terms of aesthetic considerations, there are no set rules or guidelines to follow as long as the aesthetic meets the purpose of the design. Whether you are wanting to achieve an ornate interior or a more laid-back design, the expression of beauty and taste can be expressed in multiple ways.

Considered to be one of the most important principles in architecture and in the home, some of the most desired aesthetic design styles right now are rustic, minimalist, coastal, bohemian, and mid-century modern. By giving a room a distinct look and feel, aesthetics are a prime example of artistic expression. Through lighting, color schemes, furniture placement, and decorations, aesthetics are the fundamental components of visual appeal. Once you understand the science behind aesthetics, you will be able to properly highlight the finest features of your home and space.

Improve your home’s aesthetics by:

  • Add more mirrors for the illusion of space. 

  • Freshly paint your walls. 

  • Bring your home to life with indoor plants. 

  • Update your flooring with tile, vinyl, or hardwood flooring. 

  • Replace your doors and windows. 

How Lighting Affects Mood and Wellness

Natural light is proven to help boost your mood and decrease depression. Thanks to increased levels of sunlight, your brain will produce more of the happy chemical serotonin that makes us feel energetic and well-rested. Referred to as the “feel-good hormone,” this increased production of serotonin will lead to strong mental, emotional, and physical health benefits. Plus, scientists believe that the more natural light we are exposed to, the closer our bodies are able to stay in tune with their natural circadian rhythms. This is why light exposure at home is so important. 

With regular exposure to sunlight, individuals are able to experience higher energy levels, happier moods, a changed appetite, and heightened emotions. Not to mention, natural light at home will help towards creating a relaxing and calm environment. While natural light is the desired form of lighting, LED lighting is known to come with similar benefits since it mimics the hue of natural sunlight. Exposure to LED light can lead to healthy brain development, better sleep, increased motivation, improved concentration, energy boosts, and decreased anxiety. With that being said, make sure to get as much natural light as possible and replace all current light bulbs in your home with LED light bulbs.

Self Care Isn't Selfish: Promoting Mental Health at Home

Using Color and Aesthetics

Color is one of the best ways to tie a space together. Since each color has its own varying distinct personality, finding a color scheme that can create a cohesive feel throughout your home is important. For instance, warm tones such as reds and oranges are known to energize a space, while cool and natural tones such as blue, white, or gray create a calming environment. While color can either make or break your space, using color in the right way can go far in creating an aesthetic that will nurture your mental health.

When deciding on a color to match your aesthetic, consider choosing color groups, tying rooms together with accents, paying attention to sightlines, and using accessories for bold colors. If you are unsure about what colors to choose for your space, neutral paint colors are a safe bet especially if you are thinking about what the best paint colors are to sell a home.

Bringing Nature Into Your Space

Connecting with nature is one of the most effective ways to achieve mindfulness and promote healing. Whether you want to incorporate more house plants into your home or to plant a vegetable garden in your backyard, bringing nature into everyday life could not be easier.  Plus, if you ever decide to sell your home, a natural and intentionally tended yard can help increase curb appeal.

Here are ways to bring nature into your home:

  • Decorate with houseplants to add greenery while purifying the air. 

  • Decorate with paintings of nature. 

  • Start an indoor herb garden. 

  • Display stones, crystals, or rocks in your home. 

  • Decorate with natural wood furniture. 

  • Choose textiles and natural fibers such as bedding or curtains that can connect you to nature. 

  • Open your windows for fresh air. 

  • Hang eucalyptus leaves from your shower head for aromatherapy and health benefits. 

Maintaining Your Daily Routines and Rituals

One of the best ways to maintain a positive mindset and to promote strong mental health is to keep a daily routine. While it can be easy to get distracted and to lose motivation, keeping a routine and setting rituals can do wonders for your health. By creating healthy habits, relationships are known to improve, stress will be reduced, and it will make it easier to accept change. Even though it may be easy to say that you are going to start a new routine, the hardest part during the process is to stick with it daily. Whether you want to create an effective workout space at home or to set aside time for self-care, maintaining a daily routine will bring you one step closer to achieving your goals.

How to stick to a routine:

  • Get up and go to bed at similar times. 

  • Eat daily meals around the same times. 

  • Focus on a healthy diet and proper exercise routine. 

  • Set aside time for solitude and mediation. 

  • Encourage a good night’s rest. 

  • Start with small goals and intentions.

  • Decide what you want to include in your routine. 

  • Consider time blocking and planning your day ahead of time. 

  • Be consistent. 

  • Find a way to track your progress. 

  • Be prepared. 

  • Make the process fun. 

  • Reward yourself for achieving your goals.

Work from home stressors and ways to promote healing and mental health

Considerations For Those Who Work From Home

As more and more businesses switch to remote work after the onslaught of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many individuals have reported a change in their mental health. While working remotely can provide flexible scheduling and has completely cut out the stress of commuting daily, remote work has also come with its own set of unique challenges including increased feelings of anxiety, loneliness, isolation, depression, and the expectation to always be available.

Even though many people seem to like working from home it’s also important to realize that it is ok to not be ok. No matter how you feel about remote work, taking care of your mental health is just as important as all of your other daily responsibilities. That is why finding ways to manage your mental health while working from home is a must. Some of the best ways to adjust include creating a daily routine, taking breaks when needed, spending time to upgrade your home office, finding time to exercise, getting outside to explore nature, finding ways to work with other humans, making time to connect with your peers, and not being afraid to say no. 

Mental Health Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Learn about different types of mental illness and find out where to seek treatment.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: This free confidential crisis service is open every day a week 24 hours a day.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: This free hotline is confidential and will provide you with local assistance and support.

Mental Health America: Learn about the importance of mental health and how to live a mentally healthy life.

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! Nice to 'meet' you and thanks for visiting our Raleigh Real Estate Blog! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I'm a REALTOR® in Raleigh-Durham, NC, the owner of Raleigh Realty. I work alongside some of the best Realtors in Raleigh. You can find more of my real estate content on Forbes, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and more. Realtor Magazine named me a top 30 under 30 Realtor in the country (it was a long time ago haha). Any way, that's enough about me. I'd love to learn more about you if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram or connect with our team at Raleigh Realty. Looking forward to connecting!