The effects of nature on our mental health are well documented. Being outdoors helps to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, helps us to feel calm and content and generally improves our mood and wellbeing. But unfortunately, we live in a society where we all spend far too much time indoors. Most of us work in places like offices, shops and warehouses, meaning we miss out on many of the great mental health benefits the outdoors can bring. But one thing we can do to try and bridge the gap, is to ‘bring the outdoors in’ at home. This can help to create the same sense of relaxing calm we get from being in nature and make the best of our situation. Here’s how to do it.
Utilise Your Conservatory
Lots of us have conservatories at home, but they often sit neglected. If yours has become an abandoned dumping ground then consider doing some renovations- it’s a fantastic transitional space between outside and in. Large windows all around give you plenty of light while still giving you shelter from the elements. When the weather is nice you can open all of the doors and windows and really celebrate this space in your home. If your conservatory is too hot in summer and cold in winter, consider having the windows upgraded. Adding blinds to adjust the heat and light is another smart idea. Add some comfy seating, a table and some beautiful decor and enjoy this as a spot to enjoy. Drink your morning coffee while watching the sun come up, or cosy up with a book on a rainy day. It helps you to feel like you’re connected with the outdoors while still being inside.
Bring in Nature With Your Decor
Natural colours such as leafy greens, neutrals and earth tones will all create a relaxed vibe. As humans, we are strongly affected by colour and natural hues create a calming effect on the body. Bring in plenty of living plants, vases of flowers and even faux foliage to create a sense of the outdoors. And use materials such as wood, wicker and other natural pieces to bring it all together. If you’re unsure how to go about this in a cohesive way, search Google for interior designer Brisbane (or wherever you’re from) to find an experienced professional to help. They will be able to work with your space in the best way possible and help to turn your vision into a reality.
Keep it Bright
One of the reasons being outside is so good for our mental health is due to being in natural light. This daylight boosts serotonin in our brains, our body’s ‘feel good’ chemical. An issue that many of us have being sat indoors is our rooms are far too dark. Reconsider your window treatments and buy blinds and curtains that let in as much daylight as possible. Move sofas and chairs to be as close to windows as possible to utilise that natural light, and things like large mirrors will help to reflect light back into the room too.
How have you brought the outside in at home? Has this helped with your mental health?