How to Create Wellness Spaces at Home to Teach Mental Health
By Sophia Lopez
At the end of stressful work or school days, the one thing we can count on is coming home. For those who experience mental health challenges, home can feel like either a sanctuary or a prison. Cultivating spaces at home that support wellness can make all the difference. Here are a few ideas for creating wellness spaces at home to teach mental health.
As every stressed, overwhelmed mom knows, “time out” usually sounds more like a reward than a punishment. You can change the game of time out by using the concept of alone time as a way to create a space for mindfulness and quiet. Use time out (for yourself or your little ones) as a few minutes of peacefulness to breathe deeply and relax. If you or a family member suffers from anxiety, there's no better quick fix than five minutes of solitude.
Take It Outside
Fresh air and sunshine have the power to make us feel calm and happy. Make it easy to access outdoors by designating an outdoor area for stretching, morning coffee, working out, or tending a small garden. When things get overwhelming, just tell the kids "take it outside to your happy place." Maybe even join them for a little mental health moment al fresco.
Make mealtime a family affair by creating a space for eating together. Eating in one designated place is not only tidier, but it also helps to create healthy eating habits. Keeping the dining table or kitchen table clear at all times makes it easier to sit down for a snack or a meal. As tempting as it may be, don’t eat meals in front of a screen or put a screen down on the table where the kids are eating — this contributes to mindless eating. Mindless eating makes us prone to overeating, poor chewing and making poor dietary choices.
Feel Good Space
Life is full of demands and expectations that can make you feel isolated and unsupported. Carve out an area for letter writing, pet cuddles, phone calls, and doing things that support your friendships. When anyone feels down, take them to the feel-good space and remind them (or yourself) of the things that make you feel great.
Sleep is one of the most important parts of our lives. Make your sleeping area free of digital devices, and allow nothing in bed that will distract you from sleep. Do the same for your kids. A good way to enforce this habit is to have a device charging hub in a communal room. At a certain time, everyone plugs in and disconnects from their devices. Reading is a great way to wind down before sleep, away from the blue glow of digital devices.
Keep It Clean
Don't underestimate the chaos of children. Clutter is bad for the brain. Keeping at least one room free from clutter and mess will give you a place to go to clear your head, no matter what's going on in the rest of the house. If you can create a daily or weekly routine for tidying, it will help you to keep your entire home clean and clear. This can help reduce your anxiety and keep you calmer and more focused.
Everyone has good days and bad days, but one thing we should always be able to count on is finding some peace in our home. If you can manage to do just a couple of the things on this list, you can make space for mental health to begin at home.
Sophia Lopez is a home decorator and freelance writer who balances a hectic work schedule with raising four boys and a cocker spaniel.