Our homes should be our own personal castles, where everything is in its right place and coziness is plentiful. Our surroundings have a constant impact on the way we feel, even if we don’t always consciously realize it. Our homes can alter our well-being in both positive and negative ways. This has become more and more apparent as the pandemic of the last year, and its resulting quarantine, has made us all much more aware of the state of our castles.
The past year has shifted the way we view our immediate environment. Many people in a pre-pandemic world may not have spent a lot of time at home. Suddenly, those people were forced to spend their time at home, working and attending school remotely. This has no doubt made many people realize how important it is to have a cozy and functional home and how much it can actually impact how we feel both physically and mentally.
In this article, we will discuss how COVID-19 changed the way we think about our homes and how making positive changes to the surrounding environment can impact our mental and physical health. While the pandemic will not last forever, hopefully many of the positive changes that it brought will stick around.
By having to stay in our homes, many of us were able to notice and address things about our immediate surroundings that could use improvements. Some of the top items on that list are delved into below.
Comfort Is King
If you have no choice but to spend a majority of your time inside the house, isn’t it only natural that you make it as comfortable as possible? Our homes should be a place of serenity, safety, peace, and positive energy.
All of those positive qualities stem from the exact same place: a good night’s sleep. Sleep is key to keeping the human body and mind working properly. Without a proper amount of sleep, we may lack the energy to work, get exercise, and engage in activities with family and friends. The benefits of quality sleep are innumerable, that’s why choosing the right bed and bedroom decor is important.
Everything that decorates the bedroom should complement feelings of comfort and tranquility. The impact that serene surroundings, ample light, and a comfortable bed can have on your overall mood and energy levels should not be taken lightly. Goldilocks had the right idea: finding a mattress that’s “just right” is incredibly important.
Organization Is Key
The need to stay at home forced many citizens of Hendricks County (and the world) to adjust to working remotely. The need for separate home and work spaces became very important. It made us realize how important it is to have a dedicated work space in our homes in terms of maintaining motivation. Through trial and error, many of us found that working in front of the television from the sofa was perhaps not an ideal scenario for productivity.
Even if your home isn’t large enough to have a separate, dedicated space for a home office, just having a corner for work can have a positive impact on productivity.
Curbing the Clutter
As the old saying goes, a clear space equals a clear mind. Living in a home riddled with clutter can significantly increase your anxiety. Lockdown has made many of us realize that a number of our possessions are just taking up space and serve no real purpose other than cluttering.
This led to a mass purging of possessions for many people. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to let go of things that don’t inspire joy.
In the midst of the lockdown, many people took to taking walks as a way to get exercise, sunlight, and to recharge on vitamin D. However, this wasn’t possible for all citizens to do, and it was especially challenging for people living in the city or apartments where there were no private backyards.
Many people found a solution to bridging the gap between human and nature: incorporating natural elements, such as wooden accents and houseplants, into our homes. Home decor can have a big impact on mental wellness, especially if you surround yourself with organic elements that inspire joy.
Along with this, houseplants can help to purify the air in your home.
Mental Wellness and Our Homes
Mental wellness is totally subjective and different for everyone. This means that everyone will have different criteria for what makes their living space comfortable. However, there are a few things you can do in your home that have been found to universally inspire positive outlooks. Utilizing any or all of these ideas can lead to improvements in mental health and overall well-being. Here are just a few things to consider when striving for better mental health in your home:
Let There Be Light
As mentioned in the section above, light can have a significant impact on physical and mental well-being. Whether you have windows that are on the smaller side or blackout curtains, blocking natural sunlight can actually be detrimental to your mental health. Darkness can often lead to sadness and increased rates of depression, especially in the winter months when the sun is already appearing less.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a clinical type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons and levels of sunlight. In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Less commonly, people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.
Even if you don’t suffer from SAD, the absence of natural light can affect your mood. There are a few ways to combat negative feelings that come from lack of sunlight. Open up those windows and make sure the rooms where you spend the majority of your time are well-lit. There are also lamps that you can buy that mimic natural light.
Improvements to the home aren’t always about improving the physical appearance of the home. It all has to do with how comfortable you are in the home as well. Temperature can be a huge factor in the overall comfort of our domicile. Being consistently physically uncomfortable in our own homes can lead to any number of negative effects on our wellness. Anyone who has lived through a rough Indiana winter in a drafty home can attest to how on-edge it can make you feel. This can be alleviated by some simple fixes such as winterizing your air conditioner, getting regular check-ups on your heating system, and fixing any drafts from leaky windows.
Connecting Colors With Happiness
It may be hard to believe, but colors and emotions are closely related. Different colors can make us feel different emotions. Surrounding ourselves with colors that inspire positive emotions can be key in being happy and content at home. Let’s examine different types of colors and how they can make us feel.
Shades of red, orange, and yellow are all what are considered “warm” colors. In the home, warm colors can evoke different positive emotions such as happiness, optimism, and energy. On the flip side of that, cultural conditioning has taught us that some warm colors are also meant to inspire alertness and warning (think stop signs and barrier tape). Because of this, warmer colors may be more appropriate for active parts of the home such as the living room and kitchen.
Shades of green, blue, and purple are all considered to be “cool” colors. In the home, cool colors can be evocative of serenity, peace, calming, and soothing. The color purple is often associated with creativity because it is a mix of blue (representing calmness) and red (representing intensity). Using these colors in your creative workspace or bedroom can harness their power in the most effective ways.
Colors that are found in nature can be another way to inspire serenity in the home. We mentioned the easiest way to achieve this in the section above: by investing in houseplants. In addition to the pop of green that houseplants can provide, other earth tones like brown and orange can also inspire calmness.
Mindfulness as Priority
The challenges of the last year have made us realize that it is very important to have a peaceful corner of the house to slow down and unwind. Start by identifying a corner without a lot of traffic or activity. Many people believe that practicing mindfulness, stretching, yoga, and meditation are keys to living a life free of stress. Having a dedicated place in your house to unwind can be very beneficial to your overall wellness.
In this special space, surround yourself with beautiful things that inspire joy such as inspirational quotes, pictures of loved ones, candles, plants, crystals, or fresh flowers. Having something comfortable to sit on, such as a pillow or yoga mat is key as well. The closer you are to the floor, the more grounded you will feel.
So many things in our life can affect our physical and mental well-being. While the pandemic situation brought many challenges to our lives, it also helped us slow down and focus on the world directly around us. The good news is that we have control over what we like and don’t like about our homes.
We’ve outlined a few ways in which you can improve your home in an effort to boost your outlook. Whether it’s opening up the curtains or taking time to declutter a corner of the house, the little things that make your house feel like a home can truly make all the difference. More and more, you’ll start to see a positive upswing in your attitude and overall well-being as you continue to make your home your own.
Hope Healthcare is offering various services in the office and as drive-up services. If you’re struggling to find and afford healthcare, we’re here to help. Take advantage of programs today to start feeling better without overpaying.
We’re now accepting new medical patients. Our volunteers and staff make it possible to offer free and low-cost health care to those without insurance. Their expertise also allows us to address various medical conditions.
Give Hope Healthcare a call at (317) 272-0708 for more information or to book an appointment today. If we do not answer, please leave a message, and we will call you back.