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Environmental Wellness

Environmental wellness is related to the surroundings you occupy. This dimension of health connects your overall well-being to the health of your environment. Think of it like this: When you are preparing  a meal, do you rinse and chop your veggies in your living room? Do you season your meat in the bathroom? Do you cook your meals in your bedroom?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions and you don’t live in a one room home, you can personally attest to how difficult it is to complete a task in an ill equipped environment. If you are setting out to prepare a meal, it is imperative that you are in a kitchen where all your utensils and ingredients are in place, and that you are free from major distractions. Similarly, in life, we are more likely to succeed if we set ourselves up for said success by creating an environment for ourselves that supports our goals. It can be hard to feel good if you are surrounded by clutter and disorganization, or if you feel unsafe in your environment.

Our physical environments significantly influence our cognition, emotions, and subsequent behaviors, including our relationships with others. Being aware of how your environment impacts your mental health will help you become more proactive in making changes to enhance your life. Some ways to create or get involved with environments that foster wellness are:

  • Keep a tidy room/ living quarters
  • Make your bed daily.
  • Have an organized laundry system that keeps clothes off the floor (even if they’re organized on the universal laundry chair).
  • Keep food and trash from building up where it doesn’t belong.
  • Make sure your surfaces are clear of clutter.
  • Take trash and recyclables out at regular intervals.
  • Have one designated dump spot to contain clutter until you can deal with it.

Cluttered spaces can create feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, while tidy spaces can invoke a sense of calm.

Keeping your space clean sounds easy, but when you’re struggling with depression or other physical or mental hardships, the tasks may feel insurmountable. Clutter can affect our anxiety levels, sleep, and ability to focus which fuels our negative feelings. Remember to break up your chores, and try to devise a routine of small steps towards bigger goals. We all need help sometimes, remember to ask family and friends, even reaching out to professionals when necessary.

Hang out in environments that foster feelings of peace, safety, and gratitude instead of ones that increase stress or fear

  • Spend time in nature.
  • Go for walks in a peaceful, scenic settings.
  • Sit and meditate in the woods.
  • Explore nature around you, find parks or places that bring joy.
  • Appreciate and take care of your local environment.
  • Plant trees and flowers to improve your environment.
  • Connect to your community, create relationships that foster sense of safety and belonging.
  • Create and or attend community events and support local businesses.
  • Join a community group focused on a cause that is important to you.
  • Join your town/community Facebook page or other social media platforms.

“When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower”

– Alexander Den Heijer, Inspirational Speaker