The truth is, recovery is only as successful as you make it. The more work and effort you put into your recovery, the more successful it will be. Most of it depends on you, including the changes you are willing to make. Lifestyle changes can be difficult for anyone, even when they don’t revolve around recovery from addiction. Whether you are trying to eat healthier, adding more physical activity to your daily regime, or attempting a new hobby, making these changes is essential for improving your overall mental health.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 51.5 million individuals in the United States were living with a mental illness back in 2019. At that time, that was about every one in five adults living in the United States. That’s a lot of people when you compare it to how many of us are currently living in the United States. There are many ways to improve mental illness, just as there are for improving a sustainable recovery. If you are interested in learning about five ways to improve your environment for your mental health, we encourage you to continue reading!
Self-Care and Mental Health
There are obvious reasons why it would be important to take care of yourself and your mental health. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, or any other type of mental illness at an extreme rate, it can be detrimental and even life-threatening. However, there are even mundane reasons to be cautious of your mental health. Many experience mental health issues, potentially at a lesser rate than others, but in a way that can be just as detrimental to their everyday routine.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) claim that how you feel can “affect your ability to carry out everyday activities, your relationships, and your overall mental health.” There are several ways to improve your emotional wellness, many of which are simply habit-forming life changes you can make. Some that the NIH recommends include:
- Developing healthy physical and eating habits
- Practicing mindfulness and gratitude
- Finding ways to reduce stress successfully
- Developing healthier sleeping patterns
- Finding ways to strengthen your social connections
Improving Your Environment
Some of us may be more monetarily fortunate and able to change our environments in some ways than others. It can sometimes be beneficial to move yourself to an entirely new place to improve your mental health. Other times, it’s helpful to move closer to family, friends, or members of your support system. Life responsibilities can sometimes prevent us from making these changes. Roadblocks aside, five ways you can improve your environment to improve your mental health include:
- Reduce your screen time. Blue light and social media affect the way we think, feel, and our overall self-esteem and confidence, which can cause feelings of depression and anxiety to skyrocket.
- Change your physical space. Feeling out of place in your house, apartment, or bedroom is sort of like feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. Change your furniture or even your favorite color on the wall, or maybe even get a furry friend if admissable. Your home should be your sanctuary where you can disconnect and recharge, not cause anxiety and frustration.
- Mind the company you keep. While it’s crucial always to express kindness and compassion, the bottom line is that some people can be toxic. Ridding your life of people’s poisonous energy can be essential to your mental health, especially if you are newly out of treatment or are in recovery.
- Plants, plants, and more plants. This may seem silly, but interacting with plants has been shown to reduce psychological stress. The Journal of Physiological Anthropology references studies claiming that “plants relieve physiological stress and negative psychological symptoms.” So, go to your local garden store and pick up a few leafy friends!
- Create separate spaces. Spending too much time indoors can begin to wear on your mental health. Creating dedicated spaces throughout your home can help. Specifically, creating a “me-time” space can be essential. Whether you make a meditation room, a designated yoga space, or a reading nook, that area should be strictly for you to use to unwind and destress from the day’s troubles.
How Can We at the Lakehouse Help?
Even though we focus on addiction first and mental illness second at Lakehouse, we may be able to help you. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and mental illness, our staff of professionals is here for you. If you are dealing with a mental illness only, we can still provide you with the help and resources you need to heal. Please don’t hesitate any longer to get the help you need today.
A lot of the responsibility of treating your mental illness often falls on you. Knowing your environment and what needs to change regarding your mental health needs helps you live a healthier life. Changes you can make to improve your mental health range from lifestyle changes to transforming your physical environment. The five ways you can alter your environment to improve your mental health include: reducing screen time, changing your physical home space, being cautious of the people you keep around, adding some plants to your house, and creating designated relaxation spaces throughout your home. Other ways you can improve your mental health include developing healthier eating habits, taking up a physical activity regimen, and developing new hobbies. The changes you make in your life will affect your mental health, and the more positive changes you make, the more positive results you’ll see. If you are struggling with mental illness, call The Lakehouse Recovery Center at (877) 762-3707.