As science and medical research progress, we are learning more and more about how important our mental health is to our overall well-being. Mental health is at the forefront of many issues that people face today, so finding different ways to improve mental health can be very valuable.
There are plenty of different courses of action that one can take to improve their mental health. We know that getting regular exercise, like running consistently, can help boost mental health. We also know that things like diet, screen time, and human interaction are all closely tied with mental health outcomes.
Perhaps the most common and most effective way to improve mental health is to go to therapy. Therapists are professionally trained to help you better understand your own brain and equip you with the tools necessary to maintain positive mental health.
There are also other, less official ways to improve your mental health that can be very important. While these little things aren’t necessarily as impactful as going to therapy sessions for everyone, they can really help some others. With mental health, every little bit helps for many people, considering how important mental health is to overall wellness.
One of these lesser-known tips that can really help improve mental health is separating work areas and play zones throughout your house. You may think that this seems silly, but the science and logic back it up. Separating work areas and play zones can help your brain compartmentalize your different tasks, allowing you to be both more productive during work and happier during leisure time.
Why Defining Work and Play Spaces Matters
The first step to separating your work and play in your home is to identify which spaces are good for work and which are good for play. Lots of this could be straightforward; if you have an office with a computer and a printer, that is clearly a workspace and not a play space. Similarly, your family room with a TV and game table should be your play space.
It isn’t wise to spend time working in your family room, just as it isn’t ideal to be playing computer games in your office. Being able to differentiate these spaces can lead to far better compartmentalization in your brain. This means that when you go into your workspace, your brain can flip a switch and go into work mode. You’ll be able to be more productive, which can lower your stress and improve your mental health overall.
Likewise, it’s very important to be able to switch over to leisure mode once your work is done for the day. Finding time to enjoy other hobbies and personal time when you aren’t concerned or stressed about work is absolutely essential for most people to achieve a positive work-life balance.
Finding this good balance will help you relieve stress and live more freely. This can improve your mental health, which in turn can help your productivity at work. This virtuous cycle can continue to help you live a fuller and happier life.
Separating Work and Play Reduces Burnout
Another benefit of separating your work and play spaces in your house is that it can help you reduce work fatigue and burnout. If work-related stress is seeping into your everyday life, it’s very hard to maintain positive mental health habits. If you’re able to compartmentalize work and leisure, then you can be the best version of yourself both at work and while relaxing.
Maintaining a good work-life balance, especially for those people working from home, is essential. Having a higher separation between work and leisure has been shown to be associated with things such as higher productivity, lower absentee rates, and improved health and wellbeing.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to be able to find times throughout your day to relax and not be stressed about work. Lowering your work-related stress will improve your mental health and overall wellbeing. Mental health is incredibly important, so don’t let work get in the way of a fulfilling and happy life! Keeping work and play in their proper places will help your brain do what it needs wherever you are.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.