As we spend more days working from home or being cooped up indoors, you may find yourself feeling uninspired and unmotivated looking at the overfamiliar settings of your home. Being stuck in the same environment for prolonged periods of time can cause people to be unstimulated. Your physical environment has a great impact on your mood and general well-being. The impact of our surroundings on our well-being is often an overlooked factor when we consider ways to improve our mental health. Our home environment is typically where we spend most of our time, and would naturally have the greatest influence on us. Brightly lit rooms or rooms with lots of natural sunlight, for instance, can improve anxiety and depression. Being surrounded by nature, even in the form of house plants, can lift our spirits.
If you feel as if you are languishing or lethargic, it could be time to do some home improvements and change the physical environment that you are in!
Create a Space for Exercise
Many people have taken to home workouts when cities went into lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have converted to home workout junkies due to the convenience of not having to travel to the gym, and others still prefer not to visit places that may be crowded with people. In any case, having a small space at home that is specifically dedicated for your home exercise routine can act as your escape from work responsibilities. A dedicated space can also remind you to be consistent with your home workout whenever you walk by it.
Be it a yoga mat or dumbbells, set aside your exercise equipment at a spot in your home that is spacious enough so that you can work out without bumping into furniture. Try to set your workout space where you are less likely to be disturbed by your family and their activities. This helps you to create a physical space that belongs to you where you can engage in your exercise routine without any distractions. The lack of a change of environment as you go about your home workout may make you feel lethargic or frustrated at times. Mix it up with walks outside if you deem it safe, or take some vitamin B12 to boost your energy levels!
Light Up Your House
Natural sunlight increases the production of serotonin, a hormone that stabilizes our mood and anxiety amongst other things. Simply put, being exposed to sunlight can put us in a better mood, and increase our feelings of calmness and satisfaction. Sunlight also regulates our body’s circadian rhythm, and helps us sleep better at night.
An easy way to let natural light stream into your house is to draw the curtains open. You may consider installing day curtains if the sunlight is too strong or if you want to ensure that you retain some privacy. If there is little sunlight coming into your house, invest in some dimmable lights. Artificial light also has some of the same benefits of sunlight, and is a good alternative for houses that do not receive much natural light. Having dimmable lights allows you to turn them up in the daytime when you want to feel refreshed and need more energy to go about your day. You can then dim the lights in the evening when it is nearing bedtime to help you get ready for bed as too much light exposure at night can interfere with your sleep.
Declutter Your Environment
Clutter around your home can create clutter in your mind. Having to work from home can make your home more disorganized than usual, and you may not feel like clearing it up if you have been stuck at home. The clutter may appear harmless, but it increases your stress levels. By telling yourself that you will clear it later, you will be constantly reminded of the physical mess when you walk around your home, and it will add on to your to-do list that never seems to end.
Cleaning your home may seem like a huge task, but it does not have to be. Tackle one or two sections of your home per day instead of trying to declutter all in one go. Breaking down the effort into smaller tasks will make it more manageable, and reduce the stress and anxiety of the whole project. After you have decluttered your home, remember to avoid letting it build up again. Practice a good habit of putting things back in place after use and throwing rubbish out immediately. Doing so will reduce the risk of clutter building up repeatedly, and having a tidy environment will help you feel more relaxed in your own home.
Your home is your sanctuary as it is where you usually spend most of your time. Having a positive home environment can significantly improve your mental well-being. As it might seem slightly stifling in these times, you can easily start on some home improvement projects to make it more positive for you.