Is your environment affecting your mental health?

Take a look around your home. Are there some places that you look at and it just causes you anxiety, stress, and physical pain. That’s a sign your environment is affecting your mental health. There may be some other factors in your environment that are affecting your mental health. Let’s talk about that…

I can’t believe it’s May already. What a year it’s been so far. I hope you guys are doing well and staying sane. I say that because May is mental health awareness month. For the next 4 weeks we will be talking about all things Mental Health. We’re going to Deep dive into some topics I feel should be talked about more.

Environment affecting your Mental Health

The 2 factors that make up your environment

This week’s topic is about how your environment may be affecting your mental health. This doesn’t just mean your physical environment. That is only part of it. The 2 factors that make up your environment is physical (I.E your surroundings home, car, noises) and social (I.E. safety, hobbies, toxic relationships)

Both of these factors have multiple examples of what could be affecting your mental health. Have you ever stopped and thought that what is around you is affecting your mood? Are you thinking about it now? Let’s dive into other examples of physical and social factors that could attribute to your mood and mental health.

Physical Factors

As I have said before physical factors have to do with what physically surrounds you. Let’s take a deeper look as to how this environment is affecting your mental health. These are just some of the factors, there are many more out there. These are just the ones I have knowledge of. I will update the post when I learn more about others.

Noise

Have you ever heard someone chewing loudly and it just annoyed you that you felt like you could physically hurt this person? You may have just thought it was a pet peeve, but having a sensitivity to sounds is something that affects your mood.

Not just chewing, but the slightest sound could have significant side effects on your mental health. Being easily annoyed by sounds isn’t something to take lightly. Certain noises could increase your anxiety, blood pressure, spark depression, and many other things.

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Temperatures

Have you always wondered why you get a little bit more moody and grumpy… maybe even a little depressed during a certain season of the year? I read an article from Psychiatry.Org about extreme weather conditions have also been associated with increases in aggressive behavior and domestic violence.

Did you know weather could affect your moods? I have noticed I have more energy and more motivation during the in the cooler fall day and cold “winter” days. I get easily annoyed and irritated if I am in hot weather for to long. Who would have thunk that being from and living in Florida. I was born in the wrong state.

How does the weather affect your mood?

Hazardous working conditions

This doesn’t just mean your job is dangerous and may put you act risk. It is one of many reasons. Hazardous working conditions can mean anything from worrying about job security to doing the job of 3 people, but only getting paid for the job of one.

Work conditions like that take a toll on your mental health because what you should be feeling is up in the air. You don’t know which direction you should be leaning towards. Having a manager or boss that flip flops with “Do as I say, not as I do” kind of mentality. They demand more of you and may take advantage of you being a team player.

I had to quit my job because I was working under hazardous work conditions. It took a toll on my mental health. If you would like to read that post you can find it here: Why I had to quit my job – When obligation comes before health.

Environment affecting your Mental Health
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Mobility

This doesn’t have to be limited to moving your body, this could also include language barriers, knowledge, fear, and poverty. Having the limitations of moving your body, but also moving around your home can affect your mental health by not having the means or space to move around.

Language barriers could be hard to deal with when people don’t understand you and get frustrated with you and give up trying. That can bleed into fear of speaking, so not only are you limiting your mobility of speaking you are creating this fear of speaking so you are not made fun of or made to feel less.

That could also cause stress to you to be subjected to someone else’s stigma that include racism, sexism, homophobia, or other prejudices, which are also a physical factor of a mental health problem. That is a whole other post that should happen, but I won’t be doing. My post would bias since I am against all of that. I will let others talk about that.

Sleep deprivation

Sleep and mental health are closely connected. Not getting enough sleep can affect your psychological and mental health state. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night can prevent you from thinking clearly or keeping your emotions in check.

Not only would you have a “foggy” brain and forget things that you know to be true. On top of not getting enough sleep at night could lead to mood swings of anger and depression. Excessive sleepiness nights can put you at risk at work or affect your relationships.

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Social Factors

As I have said before social factors have to do with the people who surround you. Including the relationships you have with others and yourself. Let’s take a deeper look as to how this environment is affecting your mental health These are just some of the factors, there are many more out there. These are just the ones I have knowledge of. I will update the post when I learn more about others.

Poverty

You wouldn’t have thought poverty could affect your mental health, but it can. Those who experience poverty for an extended period of time are more at risk for developing health and developmental outcomes in their life.

Having financial stress, life-changing events or not having certain access to things causes these mechanisms to happen that can affect the brain circuit in a person. Not only does poverty affect adults it can also affect children, which can lead to hostile home life, child abuse, and neglect as well as many other things.

Lack of social support

It is important to have strong social network support. People need family and friends to lean on for emotional support. Having a group of people to turn to in a crisis or having people cheering us on as we reach our goals helps boost our motivation and our confidence.

Not having that strong social network has been linked to depression and loneliness. Without that social support could increase the risk of depression, suicide, or alcohol abuse.

If you are someone who needs social support or are lacking people in your support group. I encourage you to read my post on How to believe in yourself when it feels like no one else is.

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Toxic relationships

Have you ever felt emotional and physically drained after speaking to someone? Raise your hand if after speaking to someone you feel worse than when you started.

Those are the people I like to call them Dementors. If you are a fan of Harry Potter you know that Dementors are the dark creatures that consume human happiness, creating an ambiance of coldness, darkness, misery, and despair. Making them the perfect guards of the prison Azkaban.

These toxic people you have relationships are trying to keep you in Azkaban by sucking your happiness, hope, and will to better yourself. These toxic relationships you have in your life may cause you to feel not worthy, have fear and anxiety. They cause you to be insecure and paranoid about things in your life you wouldn’t normally question.

I was in a relationship with a narcissist and left with what little belongings I had. That was wild having to start over after leaving an abusive relationship. Once I left him and got myself on track, I cut a lot of people out of my life that made me feel worthless. I talk about that on the Our Redonkulous Life podcast. Check it out if you would like to get to know me more and how I got into personal growth.

Untidiness

Having an untidy home could be affecting your mental health. Just looking at a messy home and not knowing where to start can feel overwhelming.

Feeling overwhelmed… Don’t know where to start? You look around your home and know it needs to be cleaned, but you are drowning in knowing where to start. Which then leads you not to do anything and then beat yourself up about it.

Right there… That is how it affects your mental health. By looking at it gives you anxiety. By beating yourself up over not cleaning is giving you anxiety and maybe depression. You might start calling yourself names like lazy or a loser. Even worse you could have a family member or friend say those things to you.

I have been there and still have those days. I kinda end up making a game out of cleaning you can read about it here, if interested. 10 ways to motivate you to clean – for the days when you don’t want to.

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Lacking meaningful work or hobbies

Growing up well into my college days I was always doing something creative as I got older and got into a serious relationship and put on my soon to be wife and stepmom cap I kind of lost myself. I did everything I could for my family and put myself on the back burner till one day I realized I had nothing for myself. However, I wasn’t doing anything for me.

Turns out I wasn’t the same creative person I was 10 years, hell even 15 years ago. Realizing this put me in a funk and made me ask myself the most important question and I couldn’t answer it. The question being “Who am I”. It took me almost a year to figure out what I wanted in life I started by asking my self more questions like the ones here Self Discovery: 25 questions you never ask yourself, but should.

I needed to take the time to create new habits. Take the time necessary to figure out me and try new things. I ended up creating this blog which is meaningful work to me. If you can try new things whenever you can and find hobbies that make you happy. I took up journaling which really helped to get all my thoughts out of my brain and on to paper.

Lack of self-care or relaxation

As I said above I did everything I could for my family and put myself on the back burner. As a stepmother and a soon to be wife I stopped doing the little things that made me feel like a human. I stopped putting on makeup, doing my hair, and many other things.

When Mike was at work overnight and Mikayla was at her moms I did a self-care night. Ate the things I loved without the judgment of my family because they hate it. I watched those trashy reality TV shows, did a face mask, painted my nails. Just took a night for me and relaxed. I didn’t worry about the laundry or the housework.

Have a Self-care night, because you need to take care of yo’ self.

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If you are starting a personal growth journey I would recommend taking a look at your surroundings. Since a lot of us are still quarantining this is something you can do without leaving your home. You can work on the environment that is affecting your mental health

Not all these factors could be affecting you, but if some of them are…. just choose one and work on it for the week. I repeat the week. Not in a day. Changing the life you are surviving takes more time to build so you get get the life you love living.

Until next time, Have a great day!

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Environment affecting your Mental Health

Michele Surett

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Hey Redonkulous Peeps! Its Michele here... I was born and raised in what I thought was lifeless boring Florida until I grew up and got a car of my own. I now see the adventures to be had here around every corner and I want to share it with my family as well as you guys! Join us on the adventures of exploring Florida, Food and Making family memories.

47 thoughts on “Is your environment affecting your mental health?

  1. Since we have been at home so much lately I’ve been really trying to make my home more welcoming. If we have to be here all the time it has to be a place we are really comfortable.

  2. I think, as you point out, that Toxic Relationships can affect mental health. Seems like if someone can shake those, then they are on their way to a better being.

    1. I stayed away from toxic people (even my toxic family relatives!) for the sake of achieving healthy mental health. I can’t risk myself just because they are family.

  3. Absolutely, our environment is one of the main causes of feeling bad. Untidy spaces, noisy flatmates, toxic relationships or people around us, very cold rooms with strong drafts… I always find myself very grumpy in certain places. Unfortunately it is often times too difficult to change much, as nasty environments often come with poverty… aka not having enough money to move.

  4. This is a great post. My environment totally affects my mood. If my house is messy I simply can’t be productive. I have to clean every morning before I can do work or else it distracts me.

  5. Social Factors is big impact of my mental health because of my people surroundings. Honestly they give me a lot of pressure about life.

  6. Now I spend most of my time at home, I don’t even realize what is going on outside (well unless you mean grocery store coz I am updated on their promotions!). 2020 is the year of survival, and I rather keep it that way.

  7. There are so many factors that can affect mental health, it’s no wonder some people feel overwhelmed and unable to cope.
    Thanks for sharing this really useful information.

    Georgia| Britvoyage

  8. This is so true and very relevant for most of us right now! I’ve always tried to treat my home as my safe happy place, and that has helped so much during these crazy times.

  9. Keeping on our mental health is so important right now – especially under our current situation. Right now, staying occupied in a healthy way is my 1# priority right now. Stay safe, happy & healthy!

  10. This topic is a little sensitive but I must say that you made it clear and simple. Thanks for sharing this great article

  11. I agree with all of these specially lack of self-care. Everything begins with oneself… You can’t really love another until you love yourself. How are we going to care for others if we do not care for ourselves? And we shouldn’t feel guilty if we indulge in things that makes us happy.

    1. I never did self-care until 2019. I am a firm believer now that you need to do a self-care night. Try a different couple of things to find a routine that fits you and your needs.

  12. This is really comprehensive. I realized how much my work environment affected me this spring with the loss of my physical classroom. I wouldn’t classify it as hazardous, but crisis schooling was definitely not conducive to good mental health for teachers or students.

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