Healthy Habits

Optimize Your Space to Improve Mental Health

Organizing home

Create a list of things you can do to improve your environment and surroundings within 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes. Optimizing your space to improve your mental health is something anyone can benefit from. For those living with mental health conditions, it is one tool of many that can be used to improve and support your mental well-being.

Here are some ideas to get you started!

5 minutes:

  • Start small by setting a timer for 5 minutes and tidy up as much as you can. When the timer goes off, it’s time to switch tasks and focus on something else.
  • Open your windows. As the weather allows, open your windows and enjoy some fresh air!

10 minutes:

  • Be mindful throughout your day. Instead of putting items down and adding to your clutter, get in the habit of putting them away. Small things, like putting clothes away right after they are washed, can help lessen the tasks when you go to clean later.
  • Add light to your space. Open the curtains and allow sunlight into your living and work spaces. Take a few minutes to clean a window or two, and let the natural light boost your mood.

30 minutes:

  • Remove unneeded belongings. Periodically going through and identifying items you can donate or get rid of can go a long way toward keeping your home minimally cluttered and clean.
  • Practice mindfulness while cleaning. One study found that people who were mindful while washing dishes – taking time to smell the soap, feel the water, and absorb the experience – reported a 27% reduction in nervousness, along with a 25% improvement in mental inspiration.

60 minutes:

  • Once your space feels clean, think about organization. How can you maximize your space and be intentional about organizing to avoid future clutter and mess? Having a clean and organized space can help you feel in control and calm.
  • Notice how you feel in different parts of your home. What spaces feel the most comfortable and why? Consider how you can include those elements in other areas of your home that don’t have the same energy.
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