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We Are Our Surroundings: How Our Interiors Shape Our Mental Health

Welcome to We Are Our Surroundings, a series where we'll be discussing how the interior design and decor of our homes shapes our mental health, physical health, and plays a role in what we choose to eat.

When it comes to being in shape, the body is what we see and therefore what we "know". According to the Noir & Neutrals handbook, what it really means to be in shape is having a home you love to wake up to and inspires/motivates you, having your mental health in tact, and lastly, ensuring we are moving well so we look AND feel our best; a truly holistic approach. Keep reading for a few tips on how we can make small simple changes today to help our tomorrow.

De-clutter and choose items that reflect your interests, gives you confidence, and things you love.

Let's start with the bedroom. Arguably, the bedroom is the most important room in the house next to the kitchen. What's in our room is important because it is our domain, it reflects who we are. The items we choose to place there have major significance on our lives without us realizing it. Think of it like this: our rooms are the last thing we see before getting a nights worth of rest and the first thing we see when we wake up, priming our minds for the day... so what does your room say? Are you and your life messy? Clean? Colorful? What words do you live by? Who are you really? Start with these basic questions to give your room a boost.

For example, I'm all about eating well, moving well, reading more, and traveling often so when you walk in, you will see cookbooks or books on food, a yoga mat or a bed that caters to better sleep for better movement, books everywhere or words in artwork, and a globe or world map set to places I want to travel to. This makes it easy for me when I go to sleep and wake up knowing I'm surrounded by things that make me feel alive and brings about good thoughts. Furthermore, every single item tells a story which makes for good conversations.

Make your closet a place your excited to go

This is my closet over the time. Looks a little different these days but you get the picture. From left to right, I think we can all agree the right is much better than the left.

Dress up your closet so you only see what you desire to wear. Box up your seasonal clothing and create space for new items. No one wears flannels in the summer so why would you want to look at them collect dust in your closet while you wait for it to be fall/winter again? That would be the equivalent to watching your life collect dust and waiting to be lived. Can you see how this correlates?

Use Pinterest or whatever helps give you visual inspiration and decide how you want to dress. If you already have your own personal style, this will be a breeze for you but if you want to switch up your style or try something new, this is a great time to do so. Put your best clothing, the clothing that makes you feel the best, to the forefront to inspire confidence. Getting dressed can be easy if you allow it to be and will take the stress of what to wear off of your plate.

Choose colors

Every color evokes an emotion. What emotions do you want to have when waking up or going to sleep? How do you want to come off to others? To yourself?

Color schemes are usually 3-4 colors consisting of a primary, secondary, and 1-2 accent colors. How can you change these today? If you don't already have the colors you enjoy, all it requires is you to make a decision on what colors to use going forward.

Ultimately, we have to choose colors in which make us happy. For me, I love neutrals with a pop of color so my color scheme became off-black because straight black is too harsh, off white/cremes because pure white is too clean for my taste, and gold as the accents, paying homage to my childhood; always seeing gold around but not overdone and somewhat subtle. Gold also represents the sun in which when natural light hits, warms up the color of the room, evoking the feeling of happiness.

As you can see, these simple changes can have a larger impact than previously thought. Our interiors shape not only our mental health, but also shapes our moods and how we move in the world. When we feel good, we are inspired and have a seemingly endless amount of energy which makes us want to get moving. Love yourself and mind your interiors. See you next time where we'll be discussing how to choose furniture to improve your physical health.


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