💚🧠Mental Health Provider Article #3 🧠💚
Creating a Safe Space
By: Ashley Stevens, MA, LPC
Did you know that your environment can have an impact on your mental health? The places you frequent, or your living space can take a huge toll on your mental and emotional well-being. That’s why it’s important to create a safe space for yourself where you can relax and unwind. Below are just a few things to pay attention to when creating a safe and calming space for yourself:
Sensory: Temperature, smells, lighting, and color palettes can affect how comfortable, relaxed, and safe you feel. Loud noises and harsh lighting can lead to anxiety and agitation, much like cool, dark rooms can leave you feeling less motivated and depressed, especially in the winter.
Aesthetics: Creating a calmer environment can be as simple as having a clean space. Cluttered spaces can cause anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed, so it’s helpful to have a clean organized space filled with meaningful objects or pictures that bring feelings of happiness.
Familiarity: It is important to have positive associations in your environment like family keepsakes, familiar objects, or photos that remind you or give you a sense of connection. Sometimes disorganization or things that remind you of a difficult relationship can trigger feelings of anxiety or depression so ensuring that positive connection is important when creating a safe space for yourself.
Culture and Values: When feelings of isolation or depression arise, it is important to surround yourself in an environment where you can connect with others that share the same or similar values, beliefs, and culture in order to create a deeper level of connection.
People: Sharing a space with someone you can trust can create a sense of calm. Being in environments where there is conflict, unreliability, and inconsistency can create feelings of stress, anger, and anxiety and one can become easily overwhelmed which is why it’s important to remove yourself from those spaces and situations accordingly.
When the world around you feels overwhelming because things are out of your control, focus on the things that you can control by managing your environment.