By Friday, I am pretty exhausted, but I always look forward to being at home, being with my family. BUT I used to dread the weekend because I knew that there would be no rest. My house would literally look like a Fraternity (about 50+ strong) came into my home, partied so hard, and left a mess for me.
So, I would immediately start my weekend from a stressed, overwhelmed state! I would spend my entire weekend cleaning. I would literally walk passed my daughter asking to play and tell her just a moment. An hour later…just a moment. I would play with her only to be distracted by the dishes in the sink or the dog hair in the corner of the room. UGH!
Does this sound familiar?
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your physical environment, you are not alone! There are hundreds of studies! No, I have not counted and yes I like to over exaggerate, BUT goggle it. There are so many studies that show that our physical environment has a direct impact on our mental health!
You know this is true. Have you ever walked into your home and just felt depressed, overwhelmed, or even agitated? Have you ever felt that the clutter in your house affected your brain? Well, it does!
When my environment is cluttered, my brain is cluttered. I struggle with thinking and I cannot prioritize. I am overwhelmed.
If my environment is dark, then I feel tired and have a difficult timing moving. When I feel blah about my decor, then I feel blah on the outside. Yes, blah is a scientific term.
You get the idea. The important part is that our environment impacts each of us differently. We all have our own threshold for what we can handle in this gradient of dirty, clean, cluttered, clear, dark, light, etc. So, we need to find balance and understand how our environment impacts everyone else in my home!
Example: I can go around and have completely clear, clean counters. JOY! Literal joy just thinking about it! BUT completely clear counters will drive my husband crazy! He literally has a song called, Everybody needs a little bit of Clutter. It drives me insane, but for my husband he needs the visual presence of things. It feels more accessible to him and tasks easier to him.
Are you feeling like this is totally not manageable??!?!
Here are some quick wins that can improve your environment and mental health!
Lighting can often be a cause of fatigue or depression.
We tend to purchase curtains…black out curtains to be precise. Blinds are hard to clean and I just do not really like them. However, the black out curtains in our living room where LEGIT. They were so dark and they did not pull back very well. They did not have the grommets at the top, so it just led to our living room always feeling dark. Queue the depression and fatigue…very literally!
We purchased lighter curtains with the grommets to make it easier to let the light in! It made the world of difference. FUN FACT – they carry curtains at Dollar General, Amazon, Target, etc. So, this can be a relatively inexpensive fix with great impact!
Our brains really respond to color – even baby brains respond to color. So, the colors we chose in our environment is important from the paint color to the color of the decor. This will be different for many individuals. But my suggestion would be to determine how you want the space to feel. If you want the space to feel warm and inviting – what does that look like to you?
Grab a sample of paint and leave it on the wall for a while. Does it create that feeling for you?
Decor can be a really tricky thing because there is a risk for clutter. If you space is visually busy, it can have a negative impact on our brains. So too much decor can be a bad thing. Consider choosing decor that is simple and serves your space. I have a small house, so I like to consider things that have multiple purposes. It is pretty, but useful.
I love the idea of 15 throw pillows on my bed. Comfortable, cozy. BUT I do not like the idea of picking up 15 throw pillows daily because my kids and husband throw them around. Although beautiful, it does not really serve my family.
A small plant – even a fake one – can have a positive affect on your space.
Also, consider placing pictures of family, beautiful scenery or a place you love around the house. This can make it feel more inviting and comfortable.
Eventually, you will want to create sustainable organization systems for your family. Do not try to do the whole house at one time. It will be tempting, but don’t. Be realistic with your time.
Start with one focused area in a room. I started with my refrigerator. It was a hot mess and where things went to spoil and die! YUCK! Until, I created a system that worked! Now, I waste less food, spend less at the store, and I can actually find EVERYTHING. So, can anyone else!
Intentional Living Tip: Take small steps toward redefining your space. It may be a drawer that is driving you insane today. Then tomorrow you can tackle the awkward corner cupboard that literally in the vain of your existence. Just take one little step and you will soon succeed! You will wake up a new you, with a new house, and a stronger family before you know it. I did!
If you would like more encouragement, Join my Facebook Community Home Intentionally If you are ready to shift from overwhelmed to overjoyed, survival to thriving, and frustrated to empowered – Enroll in my Co-Organization Course Today