Designing for Wellbeing in the Home According to Experts
Whilst many of us are now aware that eating well and exercise are essential to looking after our health and wellbeing, few consider how important their surroundings are. As the saying goes ‘there’s no place like home’ and it’s true but do we consider how our homes impact our physical and mental wellbeing?
‘Wellness’ is so much more than one-off trips to spas for specialised treatments. It covers many elements – from fitness, nutrition, healthy social connections, relaxation, mindfulness and crucially creating living spaces that nourish our body and mind.
Often, we don’t address our health until something goes wrong. If your health fails, it can overshadow everything else that’s going on in your life. But by making a commitment to taking on a healthier lifestyle, the benefits can be far-reaching – from day-to-day living to optimal longevity and vitality in our later years.
How can our home impact our wellbeing?
Research is now showing how humans are significantly impacted by their environment and surroundings. Environmental psychology, for example, is focused on the interplay between people and their environments (physical, social, and mental).
As your home is the space where you spend the majority of your time it’s crucial that it supports you in these key areas of health;
- Providing space for relaxation and stress management
- Optimising your sleep
- Offering areas for social interaction and engagement
- Allowing interaction with nature and natural light
Where do you relax?
Stress is now recognised as a common cause for many health conditions including IBS, Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure; therefore, ensuring you manage your stress levels in the home is crucial to your health.
Our homes can be a safe haven, but they can also be chaotic and messy. Finding an area in your home that is dedicated to relaxation can be a great way to prioritise stress-management and self-care.
This could be a cosy corner where you can place a comfy chair, a reading lamp and some soft furnishings. Your bathroom can also provide a peaceful paradise with the right fittings and luxuries – think blissful baths with candles and a great book.
Does your home optimise your sleep?
There’s no doubt about it, the biggest trend in wellness at the moment is improving our sleep. Great health starts with a great night’s sleep – without it, we are less likely to make healthy choices and more likely to be increasing our stress levels.
Several factors in our home can impact the quality of sleep we get:
Make your bedroom cool
Ensuring our bedrooms are cool is key to providing the body with the right temperature for deep sleep. We can do this by using natural materials for our bed linen and airing the room regularly.
Ensure there’s lots of natural light
Something as simple as natural light can provide a tremendous health and wellness boost. There are numerous studies that emphasise how light improves productivity, alertness, mood, and overall psychological health. Artificial light has the opposite effect. Natural light in our homes also helps our body’s natural circadian rhythm to stay on track. Making the most of the light sources in our house is a great way to do this. Throwing open the curtains in the morning to flood the house with as much light as possible and using low-level lighting in the evening to support sleep hormones can help with getting some good shuteye.
Bring the outside in
Plants can provide some incredible health benefits and are a quick and easy way to add a sense of wellbeing into your home. From improving air quality and regulating humidity to providing a natural mood-boosting lift, their benefits go further than simply looking beautiful. According to studies, greenery can even reduce stress levels, increase memory retention and concentration, and filter out pollutants.
These are just a few of the ways you can start to create a better home environment for your mental and physical wellbeing. The more care and attention you put into it, the more it will embrace you back.