Home and Your Mental Health: What You Need to Know
Health,  Reviews and Collaborations

Home and Your Mental Health: What You Need to Know

Home truly is where the heart is- it’s a phrase that’s thrown around readily, but there’s real meaning to it. Home is the place we feel at our most safe and relaxed. It’s our retreat from the world, where we can come to recuperate and get ourselves ready to get back out there and deal with whatever life throws at us. Home is at the heart of who we are and our entire lives, so it’s important to get it right. If you’re feeling a little unhappy or unsatisfied with where you live, here are some things to bear in mind. In some cases, moving home might be the answer but in other cases, some simple changes might be all you need.

The type of property and surroundings

It’s important to choose the type of home you live in and the surrounding area really carefully. It’s not always just a case of what looks nice, you need to take your personality and lifestyle into consideration. Maybe you’re a very busy individual, always on the go due to social commitments and/ or career. If you don’t spend that much time at home (other than to sleep) you won’t necessarily need something huge or overly expensive. Maybe you want something cosy, and that’s easy to maintain- so something small, right in the heart of the action might suffice. If you enjoy having local amenities and conveniences right on your doorstep then the city is the place to be.

On the flip side, if you can’t stand the noise and amount of people that busier areas bring, you’re likely to be much happier a little further out. Maybe you have aspirations of growing your own vegetables, living as off the grid as possible and having lots of space for you and your family. If so, a place in the countryside will suit you far better, as long as you’re happy to do long drives to get to shops and other places you need.

It’s easy to see just from these two examples that if you end up in the wrong kind of property or in the wrong area then you could end up really quite unhappy. The person seeking peace and quiet could be overwhelmed by the noise and hustle and bustle of a busy area. The socialite or working professional might feel excluded living out in the sticks, or find that their commute to work takes much longer than they’d like. If you’re somewhere in the middle of these two kinds of people, a nice townhouse in a smaller town or even a large village could give you the best of both worlds. The amenities you need, but without it being overpopulated, noisy or full of pollution.If you’re thinking of moving, these are all things to bear in mind. We all need a home that works with our lifestyle and personality, instead of trying to mould these things to fit our home.

Distance from loved ones

As humans we’re social creatures, and rely very much on our loved ones for social support, to feel wanted and for companionship. One thing to consider if you’re planning on moving away from the people you’re close to in your life is whether you will truly feel happy not being able to see them as often as you once did. Some people can manage this better than others, and regular catch ups on the phone and occasional visits are enough for them. But for some people it can be harder, and feeling alone and isolated can affect your mental health. While we all want to think we’re very independent, can stand on our own two feet and can get by just fine without anyone else, it’s not always the case. If you enjoy having the people you care about a stone’s throw away and the closeness that brings, you’ll need to factor in moving further out and what it might do to your mental health.

Clutter and mess

Clutter and mess can massively contribute to your state of mind. Even if you’re not especially house proud and feel like a bit of mess doesn’t bother you, subconsciously it will be. Research has shown that a messy bedroom can even affect your sleep. Do yourself a favour and commit a few days to decluttering. Go through every room with three big boxes, label them ‘sell’ ‘donate’ and ‘give to friends’ it can make it easier to make decisions, especially when there are items that are still good but you just don’t use them anymore. Anything that’s clearly rubbish, throw it straight into the bin. If you have lots of items, especially larger things like furniture that you want to get rid of it could be worth hiring a skip. Either way, make space in your home (and your life in general) for the things you use and genuinely love.

There’s no point holding onto items that you have no use for, it allows clutter and mess to accumulate. Once you’ve decluttered, give your home a really good clean. Hire a carpet cleaner and do the carpets, take down the curtains and put them in the washing machine. Wash cushion covers and throws, pull out large items of furniture and vacuum behind, and thoroughly clean light fittings- get rid of the dust and accumulated dead insects! Get all of the jobs done that don’t get touched on a normal day of cleaning. You will be amazed at how much fresher the air feels, and how organised and on top of things you feel after this. If you’ve been struggling with a lack of space, this could be all you need to give back the room you need.

Fragrances

When your home is clean and tidy, why not set about making it smell nice? Fragrances can be a fantastic way to create an ambiance and a real sense of home. Decide on a scent you love and then use it throughout, with things like candles, reed diffusers. Scents can invoke a sense of calm, lavender for example has been shown to promote sleep so can be useful in the bedroom. Even if you’re not one for scents, ‘clean linen’ is a nice, inoffense fragrance that will make your home smell like fresh laundry.

Colours and decor

Once your home is clean and in order, take a look around. Is it in need of redecorating? If the paintwork is yellowing and the wallpaper is peeling, it’s never going to create the nicest of atmospheres. Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, a light neutral will help any room feel bigger and more spacious. Paint the doors and skirting boards with a coat of brilliant white gloss and your property will instantly look fresh and clean. Bring in some colour and interest with accessories– rugs, cushion covers, vases and plants to create a space that feels like ‘your’ home.

These kinds of things aren’t just optional home extras, they can really bring it to life and create a nice atmosphere. After all, we all want a home we feel happy and comfortable in. If you’re playing by the rules of colour psychology, blue in the office will help you to be more productive, and green in the living area will make you feel calm and relaxed. Spend some time making your home a place you want to be, something you can take pride in.

*Collaborative post

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