As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, the possibility of the lockdown extending to the next year seems more and more certain. With many people reporting increased levels of anxiety and depression in isolation, experts say we’re facing a mental health pandemic, too. One of the solutions experts have been recommending is to distract yourself. Like many others, you might already have turned to baking and cooking.
But if there’s something else you want to try, we recommend re-organizing and re-decorating your home. A home revamp is a great way to keep yourself occupied. It will engage both your creative and technical skill sets. And if you’re happy with the results, it can make you feel accomplished and content. Studies show that our physical environment is tied to our mental health, so this could be just the remedy you need.
Besides its effects on our physical health, cleanliness can affect our mental health, too. We can observe this even from the way organization and cleaning videos have taken the Internet by storm. This is how Marie Kondo became so popular. Watching these media gives you an undeniable feeling of satisfaction. This is because it triggers the release of oxytocin in our brain, the same hormone released when we receive affection from a loved one.
Perhaps it’s high time you decluttered around the house. If you’re worried about later regretting throwing something away, storage units exist for that purpose.
Cluttered spaces can mess with the brain’s ability to process information, thus negatively affecting productivity and your mood. Cleaning is also a physical activity, which helps improve your mood by releasing endorphins.
The ancient Chinese practice of feng shui uses the concept of energy flow to harmonize an individual with their physical environment. Interior designers often use feng shui to map the layout of different spaces.
Of course, you don’t have to follow feng shui if you don’t want to. The important thing is to find a layout that works for your preferences and needs. A kitchen layout based on your preferred cooking workflow might boost your productivity in the kitchen.
The kitchen work triangle, for example, is a popular kitchen layout that pays special attention to three areas: the refrigerator, oven, and sink. These points have to be arranged in a triangle, with each side spanning between four and nine feet. This layout already has a workflow embedded into it. Presumably, you start by getting something from the fridge, chopping it by the sink, then cooking it in the oven or on the stove. Your workflows and routines are things you need to consider when mapping the layout of your space.
Color psychology is the study of color and how it influences human behaviors. We may not even realize it, but we’ve been conditioned to react psychologically to colors from a very young age.
Businesses have been applying color psychology to their marketing materials for a long time. Fast-food chains tend to use a lot of red in their logos, packaging, and interior design because it stimulates the appetite. HP, Dell, IBM, and Facebook all have blue logos to evoke a sense of reliability and security. Many high fashion brands such as Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and Prada have black and white logos that exude an aura of luxury and timelessness.
The same concept can be applied to home design. Unless you’re a rare case that happens to find gray an invigorating color, you might find that gray walls might dull your mood. If you’re feeling gloomy, paint your walls a bright yellow. If you’re trying to eat less, try adding some purple to your kitchen. If you’ve been feeling anxious, paint your bedroom walls a calming blue.
The need for a variety
According to Anthony Robbins, there are six core human needs: significance, love, growth, contribution, certainty, and uncertainty. Having to self-isolate during this pandemic has probably made you realize these things already.
The need for certainty and uncertainty work together. If, for example, you have a surplus of certainty and insufficiency of uncertainty, you may experience boredom and crave something new.
The strange position that the pandemic has put us in is that we have both a lack of and a surplus of certainty. We aren’t sure how long the pandemic is going to last for, and we don’t know if we’ll ever be able to go outside again without having to wear a mask. At the same time, there is a surplus of certainty (or security) in the fact that we continue our daily routines, albeit at home. Every day for the whole day, most of us are just at home. But we long to go outside, and a lot of that has to do with feeling sick of being inside.
So if we’re going to continue being in isolation, it might help us change things up at home. Paint the walls a different color, plant some new flowers, move the furniture around, or even just tidy up a bit. As the saying goes, change is good.
Quarantine has made all of us uncomfortable in some way. Part of that might just have to do with being stuck at home. But because we have no choice but to stay at home as much as possible, maybe we need to change something about our living space. Our mental health is tied to our physical environment. Whether you need a bright paint job, a decluttering, or a good workout, something good is bound to come out of revamping your space.