How to can create an environment that supports your health and wellbeing
Does your environment nurture you? Have you given any thought to how you can create an environment that supports your health and wellbeing?
It’s all too easy to forget the important part our environment plays in our health and general wellbeing – physical, mental and emotional. When we become accustomed to our environment we stop seeing what’s around us, and without realising it we can find that our environment is contributing negatively to our mood, health and happiness.
Equally, there is lots we can do to positively create an environment that make us feel better.
It’s worth spending time creating an environment that will support and nurture you.
What helps make you feel better?
Start by thinking of the things that make you feel better when you’re low or unwell. This will be different for different people of course! Is it fresh flowers? Candles? Cosy blankets and a hot water bottle?
Three things that help create an environment that supports me:
- I’ve created a meditation corner in my home, to make it easy for me to meditate daily. I go there out of habit, no willpower required.
- I have plenty of candles and diffusers around, which give me that home sweet home feeling at the end of a busy day.
- I keep a journal on my bedside table, to remind me to reflect on the day and unload my to-do list before bed, so I don’t go over and over it in my head when I’m trying to fall asleep. This is one of my regular restorative routines.
Tips for creating a comforting and nurturing environment that supports your health and wellbeing
This is all about creating a safe space where you can feel comforted and nurtured. This can be anywhere – in your home, at work, even out of doors.
Give these ideas a try:
In your home
- Play uplifting music – or find a recording of waves crashing or a log fire burning. Whatever makes you feel most tranquil or comforted.
- Brighten up an unloved space with fresh flowers, a houseplant or a beautiful picture or piece of art – something that makes you feel joyful to look at
- Get in the habit of using diffusers, incense or scented candles to create pleasant aromas around your home
- Apply the ‘useful or beautiful’ rule – is this item practical/necessary? If not, does it ‘spark joy’? Fix or throw away anything that’s broken, and gift, donate or recycle anything that you no longer need or love.
- Create a peaceful meditation corner or reading zone – somewhere you can retreat to for a few moments of calm
- Tidy and organise your desk
- Add a mini zen garden or a pot plant
- Keep some personal items such as photos around you – and other items with positive associations, such as thank you cards from clients or colleagues
- Work in as much natural light as possible – or use a daylight bulb
- Make it easy to keep your work area clean and tidy – get a desk tidy and have plenty of cupboards and drawers to tidy things into
- Give your desk, keyboard and mouse a regular clean – easily overlooked, but important both for physical health and how it will make you feel when you sit down to work.
- Get outside daily – schedule time into your day, even if it’s only for a few minutes. If you can, try to visit a green space like a garden, park, field or river.
- Do a grounding practice and take a few mindful minutes to connect with nature. Pay active attention to what’s around you: listen to birdsong, feel the breeze on your face, feel the ground beneath your feet. This will make you feel both nurtured and energised.
- Create a nurturing outside space of your own: whether you have a big garden or just a tiny yard – or even a window box – do whatever you can to make it beautiful. Plant something gorgeous. Set up a bird feeder to encourage nature in. Make a water feature. Invest in some really comfortable seating – and make time to sit outside and relax – or make a space for practicing yoga or tai chi.
Where to begin… when you don’t know where to begin
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, start by thinking about just one thing you can change.
This is going to be unique to you; what works for you won’t necessarily work for everyone. So start by thinking about what makes you feel most supported, nurtured and healthy. If you’re on a budget, make a list of all the things you could do that are free – or cost very little. There are plenty!
Picture yourself coming home after a busy day. If you could see, hear, smell and touch anything you wanted, what would you choose? How could you create that – or a version of it – in your home (or even at work!)?
If there are specific things you’d like to incorporate into your daily routine (like meditation, reading, or gratitude practice), think about how making some small changes to your environment would gently support that.
The main thing to focus on is what makes you feel good, and what’s the simplest way to make it happen.