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How Does Your External Environment Impact Your Mental Health?

Loud noises, cluttered surfaces or having to climb over furniture just to move through the room can leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. When our spaces lack function or clarity, it can have a negative impact on our mental health.

Here are 4 environmental elements that can negatively impact your mental health and how to deal with them:

1. Sound

Loud and unpleasant sounds can feel jarring and intense. If you're highly sensitive like me, you may feel easily stressed or irritated by constant loud noises. You can avoid being affected by:

  • using noise-canceling headphones

  • playing music you enjoy

  • hanging up noise-blocking curtains or using art and furniture to muffle sounds through the walls

  • installing draft stoppers on your door frame


2. Traffic flow and functionality

Having difficulty reaching items or constantly bumping your foot into furniture can be very irritating! So work smart, not hard. Evaluate if your current traffic flow works, but if not, maybe it's time to consider:

  • Replacing large pieces of furniture with something smaller

  • Taking away items (less is more) and decluttering

  • Rearranging the layout

  • For all those shorties like me, keeping a step stool nearby helps to reach difficult items up above! (tip: only keep the least used items on top shelves)


3. Level of tidiness and cleanliness

Tidiness deals with mess while cleanliness deals with dirt. Messiness can make it difficult to find items quickly, which can lead to frantic searching and stress. Dirtiness can simply be very unpleasant and unhygienic to live with, so here’s how to manageably maintain tidiness and cleanliness:

  • Break down cleaning chores into smaller tasks each day instead of blocking a full day just for cleaning. For example: dust on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday, clean the bathroom on Wednesday, etc...

  • Establishing sustainable organizing systems with a home for every item so you know exactly where to find things and put them back immediately after use.


4. Level of personalization

If your space feels stark and cold, it can be depressing and very uninspiring. It’s difficult to feel motivated or energized when we aren’t inspired. So if you can add a little something here and there that reflects your story or personality, it’s a small detail that can bring a little joy and fun into your life. Display what you LOVE and make it your own. (Here, we have a sentimenal piece of art hung on the wall with a ballerina statue to make it cohesive.)


Sometimes, we are afraid of change even if it means it’s going to benefit us. The work that comes with change can be overwhelming, but if we don’t take this step forward, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and our long-term well-being. Set up your space so that it SERVES YOU and supports the life you dream of, but do it one small step at a time.

In the words of Desmond Tutu, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time”.

Tula Living’s holistic design approach works to solve both your functional and aesthetic needs so that you can FEEL good at home and support your mental health. If you need any help with rearranging furniture layouts, creating organizational systems, or personalizing your space just get in touch!





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