Many of my recovery friends know I just moved about a month or so ago to a new townhome and complex. The old one we had been renting the last 6-yrs was not renewing anyone as they began a major remodel to the whole complex. We had been living in only 525 square feet for the last 6-yrs and with three cats! Lol.
It was ok with us and we were ready to move as the last two years in a non-gated community was taking its toll on my mental health feeling safe and my stress level was through the roof and my writing being challenged with constant noise was suffering as kids running around unsupervised and screaming, strange people walking through at night and some very rude neighbors above us that were smoking weed everywhere teens cussing out loud and that was on a GOOD DAY!
We found a new place with 250+ more room and with all new appliances, new carpet, and wood flooring and much more. My electric bill went down 75% and it is a gated quiet and the neighbors are pleasant but not “all up in your business!” Lol. On a serious note, I had no idea just how stressed out about where we lived until we moved to this new place and how calm, quiet, and happy I am feeling with no fear or anxiety. Here is a new Guest Article that helped me understand how to set up and carter to areas that are important to those of us who suffer mental illness and how to make your home stress free in your living space and things to do! … ~Catherine Lyon, Advocate
Make Your Home Better for your Mental Health
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you are trapped inside of the home that you have to live in every day. Going to bed in a home that you’re growing to hate is a shortcut in life to make you despise everything else going on around you. If you have felt this feeling before, then you’re not alone.
One of the main reasons that this happens is because people don’t treat their home like the peaceful sanctuary that it should be. Your home should be a calm place that you can go to relax your mind and evade the stresses that pervade the rest of the world. Here are some ways that you can make your home better for your mental health…
Utilize Natural Light as Much as Possible
Natural light is something that opens up a home and makes it feel like a warmer place to be. It’s easy to feel like you are boxed in when your living space has about as much natural light as a deep cavern. Utilizing lots of windows and having lighter colored walls to help light travel throughout your home. This brighter environment will help you feel like you can move throughout more of your home without feeling like you are wading through the dark.
While you plan for natural light, it might also be a good idea to install lighting options in your home that allow for the electric light to reflect natural cycles. For example, installing a dimmer can help you to reflect the lower evening light to prime your body for sleep. You might also install a skylight that will flood the room with light whenever the weather permits.
Reduce Clutter and Clean Messes
First of all, clutter is one of the biggest enemies of a calming home environment. A chaotic arrangement of “things” piled up in your home environment is a very quick way to make sure that you never feel comfortable in the space of your own home. For this reason, take some time every day, whether it is just 10 to 15 minutes, to make clear up any possible messes that might be lying around your home.
Clutter, while seemingly such a simple thing, creates chaos in the mind that makes it hard to wind down after a long day. Sometimes, this clutter isn’t just relegated to messes of mail, garbage, or dishes, either. Sometimes, the very way that your home is put together just invites clutter. For this reason, it can be helpful to consider a more minimalist design for the inside of your home, so that you can keep your living environment open and fresh for your mind. In this same mindset, it can be helpful to have a smaller home, rather than a large one, since larger homes just mean more space and issues to deal with.
Apply Calming Colors to Your Decor
The colors that you choose to decorate the interior of your home make a large difference in your emotional state. Specific blazing colors are meant to evoke high energy, while other colors might evoke more of a calm feeling. Usually, interior designers recommend lighter blue colors as a way to achieve calmness, but it really depends on your own specific preference.
Emphasize Natural Amenities
Being in nature helps alleviate stress and anxiety. For this reason, it is very helpful to use natural accents in your design and decorations to bring some of that nature a little closer to home. For example, more plants in a home can help oxygenate the environment and gives some of the stress-relieving benefits to you after a long day at work.
You can use more than plants in this pursuit, though. Outdoor amenities, whether it be a bench under an arbor or a zen rock garden, can help make it a little more pleasant to be at home. This is an important thing to keep in mind when you are moving, as moving to an area that better displays those natural amenities, such as a mountainous area, can be good for your mental health.
Lastly, Try to Reduce Loud and Abrupt Noises
Visual distractions and chaos are only one part of the equation when it comes to destroying the peaceful vibes of your home. Noise pollution is another thing that can make your home feel a little bit like a prison. Loud and abrupt noises take you out of your comfort zone and make it difficult to relax.
To prevent this from happening, sit down in your home for a couple of hours and just listen. For example, things like an old furnace or AC will have an unsavory roar when they kick on. Lots of these things can be serviced and solved if you take the time to know what the problem is.
Now that the holidays are here, dig in and express yourself with fun and colorful decorations that will make your home look awesome and make you FEEL in the festive holiday spirit!