Wellness Corner: Mood and Your Environment

   Our physical environment can have a profound effect on our moods and energy levels. Décor items such as plants, art, throw blankets, and lamps take a small dorm room or apartment from dull to just-like-home in no time. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Add Elements of Nature
   A small house plant, mini Zen garden with sand and rocks or even a small wooden carving or desktop fountain all add natural energy to your space. Houseplants help provide clean air, and similar objects add interest and beauty to your space.
2. Choose or create a work of art
   Art does not have to be expensive to look great. Choose affordable options that will easily move with you or that you will feel good about giving away if you don’t want to take them with you on your next move.
   Search for something that inspires you in colors you love. Look for discounted posters at large retail and art supply stores, affordable framed and canvas art at discount stores, or have even more fun and craft something of your own. Partner up with a friend who loves art or search online for some project ideas.
3. Personalize Your Space
   Take your favorite photos of family, pets, friends or vacations and use them to personalize your living space. Seeing photos of people and places you care about boosts mood and feelings of love and attachment.
   Group a few of your favorites in a collage frame, use them digitally on a custom calendar or create a small, inexpensive canvase online or at a large, discount store like Walmart.
4. Clean up
   This one sounds super obvious, but clutter in the form of paper, dirty laundry, or too much of something can quickly take over a small space and deplete your energy whenever you walk in the room.
   Set aside just an hour to wipe down mirrors and surfaces, disinfect the bathroom, put small items back where they came from and then start a load of laundry. Listen to music or talk on the phone to make the tasks go by even quicker.
5. Turn On A Lamp
   Being exposed to artificial, florescent lighting all day can be draining. Open the curtains for day-light in the morning and afternoon and treat yourself to an inexpensive lamp for dimmer times of the day.
   A plastic version with adjustable bulbs and a few light settings are the most versatile and can be used for both studying and hanging out in a comfortable space.
6. Add some texture
   There’s a reason our grandmothers have blankets and pillows around the living room – they are cozy!
   Choose some small pillows in a favorite color for your bed or a lounge chair. Add a small fleece blanket or homemade version to add some personality and warmth to your space for chilly nights to come this winter.
   Lastly, whatever you add to your décor, make sure that it suits your personality and lifestyle and makes you feel right at home. It’s always a good idea to check with roommates whenever décor will go into a shared living space too.

Ashley Geist-Cusik