Being mental health awareness week I’ve been thinking a bit about the other ways we look after our mental health, in particular things we can do within our homes. Small changes we can make to our environment to help create a happy home that lifts our spirits. Things are tough out there right now, there is the worldwide collective of nearly 2 years in a pandemic. We’ve experienced lockdowns, changes to our ways of living, some of our freedoms being taken away. Now is a really important time to be looking at ways we can take care of ourselves Ways to add some joy, to nourish ourselves and fill ourselves up. It is only when we’re filled up that we’re able to give our best selves to others.
The Good Home Report study that was done in 2019 by The Happiness Institute and Kingfisher looks into the impact our home have on our overall happiness and wellbeing. One of their key findings was that our homes have significantly more impact on our happiness than our jobs or our incomes. Size, location and whether we own our homes is less important than we might think. While we all have different preferences when it comes to how we decorate our homes, the study discovered certain things that we all have in common.
Five core emotional needs we all share when it comes to happiness in our home
- Pride – We want a home we can feel proud of. Usually these feelings of pride come from our personal achievements. Maybe you have made over a room and love the way it looks, or have created a beautiful flower arrangement that sparks joy whenever it catches your eye.
- Comfort – Our homes should be as stress free as possible, a sanctuary or haven from the outside world.
- Identity – It’s important that our homes are an expression of our own unique identities – that they speak of who we are.
- Safety – We want to feel safe and secure in our homes, both from physical threats and also that our homes are structurally sound.
- Control – How much are we able to decide what happens within our home – while you might not be able to change the kitchen layout if you are in a rental, for instance, you are still able to find ways to improve your space perhaps by the bedding you choose, or the art you hang.
What I love about this list is that we have some degree of control over most of these things and are therefore able to take steps to create a happy home and increase the happiness we feel about where we live.
The study also came up with the following five suggestions on how we can create happier homes
- Rearrange space – making the most of the space you have, no matter the size is a key way to finding happiness in your home. Ensuring that our homes really suit their purpose – that the unique ways in which we live is reflected in our spaces. Take the time to observe how you (and your family) use the space. If you like to eat dinner together at the table perhaps you can shift some things around to make the dining table the focus, ensuring there is space on all sides for ease of access. Make sure your chairs are at the right height so that you can sit comfortably. Perhaps add a rug underneath – indoor outdoor rugs are fantastic for under the table, especially if there are kids around, as they are robust and easy to clean. Take the time to set the table with nice cutlery, maybe add some flowers, really set the scene and make dinner an experience. Or if you love to watch movies together why not turn your lounge in to a lush comfortable space, lots of cushions, some throws to snuggle into, some lamps so you can turn of the overhead lights. Figure out what is important to you in the way that you move through your days, and use these things as a blueprint to create a happy home.
- Make time for change – Putting in the time and effort to improve our spaces. Whether is is a full renovation or repainting a wall, making change can have a massive impact on how we feel. Small improvements can go a long way in increasing our happiness with our homes. it is not so much about the size of the project as it is about the fact that we are actively taking steps to make things better. Try changing your bed to reflect the season, investing in some fluffy towels or revamping a room.
- Invite people in – No surprise here, we are social beings. Inviting people in to share our homes increases our emotional connection to where we live as well as our pride in our homes.
- Get green fingered – Plants make a big difference to how we feel. Whether we have a yard, a balcony with plants or a few that we keep on the windowsill, having some greenery around will improve our overall wellbeing. Cut flowers are also a great way to bring joy, and can easily be picked up from the farmers market for an option that is well priced and in season.
- Put your own stamp on it – Finding ways to express ourselves in our home, to create a space that is a reflection of the people with in it. I love bright/patterned sheets – a little happy surprise as I get into bed, COLOUR! Custom wallpaper in mad patterns, unexpected combinations. Designing my home for me and my family, rather than what I think others will appreciate is key to my happiness and wellbeing.
I’d love to hear some things that you do (or could do) to help increase your happiness with your home.
Sometimes it can help to have an outside point of view. If you’d like some help to create a happy home book a consultation with me now and we can discuss some ways in which you can increase the happiness of your home, and your life.