Mental health disorders are at an all-time high right now, with more and more people feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of depression and anxiety. The worry over health and finances, along with the requirement to spend more time at home learning and working, have been a recipe for disaster for so many.
The new year is a great time to take a step back to honestly assess just how you’re feeling. Ask yourself: Am I still motivated? Am I finding ways to enjoy my time? Am I feeling overwhelmed or hopeless? Am I avoiding phone calls or texts from others? The answers to each of these questions are an important part of developing a plan to address one’s current mental health situation. That plan should always include working with a trusted physician or therapist that can help create a customized plan that will work for you. This might include adding some extra Vitamin D or a few B vitamins, getting more exercise, focusing on better sleep or possibly some medication to get through the tough times.
But one thing you can do that is simple and affordable is to focus on your space. If you’re spending more time at home these days – and most of us are – consider how your environment might be contributing to your feelings of discontent.
Here are a few things ways you can use your space to refresh your mind:
Colors play a huge role in our emotional responses to situations. Red rooms are said to increase feelings of hostility and urgency, while yellow can lead to feelings of energy, warmth, joy and even hunger. Green and blue can bring us a sense of calm and relaxation. Take a look at the hues in your home and consider updating or adding the power of color.
An unorganized space, whether it’s around the home or in the office, can negatively affect our productivity and emotional well-being. Some research even shows that a cluttered space can increase cognitive overload and decrease our brain’s ability to remember things. There are some people who feel more depressed and fatigued and report higher levels of stress when their workspace or home is cluttered. Take some time to declutter and reorganize. There are so many helpful shows and books that can provide tips on how to tackle each area to make them more efficient and easy to maintain.
How long has it been since you rearranged your furniture? Sometimes just moving things around within the space is enough to refresh the mind and spirit. True Feng Shui can be difficult to master, but the principle makes sense – create a space that is appealing to the eye that creates a sense of calm, balance and joy. Turn the bed 180 degrees, move the couch to the opposite wall, switch your desk to a window wall. You’ll be surprised to see how much of a difference this can make in your sleeping habits, your productivity and your overall wellness.
How green is your space? Some believe that adding just a few houseplants can help reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure, while also purifying the air. Some even find that taking care of houseplants is a great reminder of the importance of practicing self-care, while helping you connect to the miracle of nature. Start with a low-maintenance plant, like a philodendron, and experiment with your green thumb.