One of the lessons I’ve learned along the way is how important maintaining a beautiful and peaceful home environment is to your mental well-being. This is especially true now that I am chronically ill. Studies have shown that visual beauty can have profound effects on the mental and physical state of an individual, these may include:
reduction in anxiety
easing muscle tension
lowering blood pressure
boosting immune system
Chances are, if you have a chronic illness, you are spending a lot of time in your home. It makes sense given the information above, that we should make an effort to create tranquil and visually uplifting surroundings in the places where we dwell.
If you have a large cash source available, and can afford to have someone come into your home to work magic, (a’ la Fixer Upper style) it’s a no brainer. Sadly, this is not the case for most of us. But there are very simple, low exertion, and cheap steps we can take to achieve the results we desire.
Listed below are a few ideas that help to keep your aesthetic and tranquility cravings satisfied:
1. Make the bed everyday ~ this may sound basic, but it’s a surprisingly simple task that can make a world of difference in how you feel about the productivity of the day. Even Navy Seals promote this bit of advice!
2. Keep things picked up ~ like #1, this may seem ridiculously simplistic, but an uncluttered room lends to an uncluttered mind. If I see something on the ground, I make myself stop to pick it up immediately, even if I don’t feel like it or I’m in pain. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.
3. Grow something green ~ the color green has a calming, healing effect on the mind and body. Nature is one of the greatest anxiety relievers available to us. Even if you have a ‘black thumb’, there are houseplants that are almost impossible to kill. I always have a few of these thriving around the house at any given time. You can pick these up at the grocery store for around $5.00, and can even grow new plants in water from the cuttings –
4. Let the sunshine in ~ open the shades! Let as much natural light into your rooms as possible. The mood of an entire space (as well as your own) can be lifted by light streaming through the windows.
5. Paint ~ if possible, and if desired, paint the room a different color. This is one of the least expensive home improvements you can achieve.
6. Art ~ Find a painting or photograph that illicits a positive reaction inside of you, and let your eyes take it in whenever you need an emotional pick me up.
7. Outdoor Spaces ~ Don’t forget to use some of the above examples on your outside living areas as well. Outdoor rugs, small little side tables, and fairy lights are just a few items you can use to decorate these spaces with for pennies on the dollar.
Creating a physical environment around us that contsructs ‘peace of mind’ can be achieved with little to no cost, and can go along way in helping us achieve our goals of not letting chronic illness get the best of us!