Following Mental Health Awareness week last week, it is important to start looking at our Interior Design and see what changes we can make to improve our minds.
For most people, we return to our homes daily, therefore as the most “lived-in” space it needs to be a happy place too. The same can be applied to offices, other workplaces and sociable locations.
According to the Mental Health Foundation website: “Good mental health is fundamental to thriving in life. It is the essence of who we are and how we experience the world. Yet, compared to physical health, so little is commonly known about mental ill health and how to prevent it. That must change.”(1)
We give our top 5 changes and additions you can make to a room to boost one’s mood while in it.
1. Declutter the gutter
Clutter doesn’t only take up unnecessary space in the home it can also clutter the mind and cause stress. As Marie Kondō (AKA KonMari) said: “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”
2. Green means go
A lack of oxygen and clear air can lead to feeling lethargic and drained, resulting in a low mood. Adding plants into an interior space not only looks great and finishes a room but they also release life-giving oxygen. Double bonus.
3. Exercise for your mind
Exercise releases endorphins which make people happy. Contrary to belief, exercise doesn’t just have to be at the gym or on sunny days outside. Bring in the ability to exercise at home by making space for a yoga mat which can be easily popped away. Or for the super gym fan a whole area or room could be dedicated to fitness equipment.
4. Let there be light
Natural light is an instant mood booster. It also has many other health benefits too. When the skin is exposed to direct sunlight it absorbs Vitamin D so try to angle living space so an open window or door allows the direct sun to penetrate into the room.
Getting as much natural light into a room has been shown to ward off seasonal depression and also reduce the risk of alternative florescent lighting. Some manufacturers claim that full-spectrum, or “Daylight” bulbs help to mimic lighting and are thus “healthier”, but this has not been proven as yet. Think about natural light when deciding on drapes and blinds to maximise on sunlight.
5. We’re social animals
Humans are naturally sociable. Ensuring a living/working environment suits this primal “group” need will have a positive effect on everyone’s mental health. Angle furniture so everyone has an unrestrictive view of each other and have communal type styles. Ensure obstacles are removed and the focus is on interaction with people rather than interactions with objects (TVs, tables, toys, borders etc).
Want to submit your own opinions regarding Interior Design ideas for mental health? Likewise if you have written an article that you would like us to feature on our Interior Design news, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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1. MHF, Who we are and what we do, https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are [Accessed 21 May 2019].