Open Accessibility Menu

Creating a Calm and Supportive Environment for Your Mental Health

Creating a Calm and Supportive Environment for Your Mental Health

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is: Look around, look within – to raise awareness about how much our surroundings can affect our mental health.

What are some other factors that can affect well-being and mental health?

Having a safe, stable, and healthy home really sets the foundation for achieving and maintaining good mental health.

  • This can be challenging due to factors that people may not be able to control, but it’s important to consider the things they can do to create a supportive and calming environment.

Just how do our surroundings affect our mental health?

  • Physical environment: Our physical environment can affect our mental health. For example, cluttered or messy living spaces can increase stress and anxiety, while a clean and organized space can promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
  • Natural surroundings: Something as simple as walking in a park or going to the lakefront can lower stress and boost mood.
  • Social environment: the people we surround ourselves with can also have an impact on our mental health. A supportive and positive social network can promote feelings of belonging and connection, while negative relationships can increase stress and anxiety.

To what extent do our surroundings have an impact on our mental health?

  • People vary in their sensitivity to environmental factors, meaning that some individuals may be affected more than others.
  • The longer we are exposed to a particular environment, the greater the potential impact on mental health.

How can we change our environments?

  • Focus on your home – keep your space tidy and sleep friendly. This can include adding elements that bring you joy, such as a color you like or plants
  • Maximize natural light. Open curtains or blinds to let in natural light.
  • Minimize noise: reduce noise exposure to excessive noise. Use earplugs or white noise machines to block out unwanted sounds.

What should people do if they need additional support with their mental health or wellness?

It’s important if you are feeling overwhelmed to seek help by:

  • Talking to a trusted friend or family member
  • Seeing a therapist or counselor
  • Joining a support group
  • Taking medication, if prescribed by a doctor

For more information about mental health services at University Medical Center, visit

Remember, you are not alone. There are people who care about you and want to help. If you are struggling, please reach out for help.

Watch: Clinical psychologist Dr. Nathan Brown discusses how our surroundings can impact mental health.