11. Mental Health and Home

Its been a while since my last post, as I’ve suddenly become more active on my Instagram page, and writing meaningful captions for each post are taking away my creative juices from writing these longer blog posts (does anyone else feel like that?)…but here’s a life update…we’ve finally moved!

We were living in a 1 bed rented flat, that had more issues than you could count on one hand, and each month something else was going wrong. With a landlord/agent who weren’t really doing much about the issues, we had no other choice but to move, and I am so glad we did.

About two months ago I decided to start up a new Instagram page (aniqas_attic) and share my motherhood, marriage, life, mental health, fitness (lol!) journey there, as there were many accounts I was following who I felt inspired by.

While scrolling one random weekday, I came across a “live” between two influencers who rent in the UK, and it stopped me in my tracks.

We have rented for the last 6 years, and in the first flat we lived in we decorated it ourselves, bought new furniture and had new carpets fitted, just so it was more homely and personal to us. We then had our daughter, and in the process of buying a new place, and difficulties with her health we started slacking.

When the house purchase fell through at the 11th hour, 4 days before Christmas closure 😱 we urgently needed anywhere to live, and found our second flat. With it’s high ceilings and large front room, and the fact that there was a garden and a cellar, made us feel relaxed that this place would do while we started to house hunt again.

Then Covid happened, and lockdown, and the market slowed right down. And with that the boiler broke, the apparent “condensation” was more obviously rising damp, mice were spotted and heard frequently, the garden door was fitted so badly that it let in wind, and slugs, and spiders…and so much more…yet the landlord / agent did very little to rectify these issues 😭

There was no love left in that home, we hadn’t bothered to decorate it or personalise it this time around, partly because of our toddler moving around a lot more, and partly because mentally we never really did consider that flat as something long term. For us it was only a resting spot until we found a house to buy.

The unfortunate thing is, though, being cooped up in the flat for this whole year has taken its toll on my physical and mental health. The anger and frustration at unresolved issues, the fear of mice getting into every corner of the flat, the annoyance at (very large) spiders appearing in the middle of the night when going to the bathroom, all of it was just too much.

So while I was listening to the two influencers talking away about how they update and personalise their homes as renters, I realised part of my unhappiness was because of the fact that all of the above had meant I wasn’t willing to make this flat a home, and just wanted to move away to somewhere which didn’t make my skin crawl.

Fast forward to the present day, and I am happy to say that a few weeks ago we moved into a 2 bedroom house. It’s rented, as currently banks need more than 10% as a deposit to secure house purchases, but this time around I refused to come into this place with the mindset that this was a temporary house.

I also wanted to come here without all the dark furniture and furnishings we had collected over the years, and I wanted to inject a lot more colour into our home, or just make it all white – anything but the blacks and browns that I had fallen out of love with.

And so my first purchase was a light teal blue velvet bed 😍

We have kept most of our large pieces of furniture, but as they are now spread out across two floors and in different rooms, we were able to soften them by using lighter and more colourful soft furnishings and decor.

Having spent the last few weeks updating and decorating our new rental has had a massive positive impact on my own mental health and well-being. The white walls, the art work, the colour, the sun streaming into my bedroom, all of it has helped lift my mood and make me smile as I enter each room.

We even bought ourselves our first bunch of flowers from Morrison’s in two years, and that addition to the dining table makes me suddenly feel as though I’ve finally returned home alhamdulilah.

I hadn’t realised how much pottering around the house, and busying myself in small DIY projects to make the place more homely and personalised, impacted my mental health and well-being, as well as my whole outlook on my day to day. And I’m so grateful for that Instagram live I watched that helped trigger what was missing and what I needed to do to help me on this well-being journey.

Here are a few pictures of how our place is currently looking, and head over to my Instagram or Facebook page to see more 🥰😍

My new light teal blue bed 🥰😍 from Next
Changing up the colour of some mirrors for the bedroom
I updated the bathroom using stick on Walplus tiles (I’ve tagged them on Instagram), as the previous tenants had stencilled and painted over the patterned tiles. This is still not complete, but it’s getting there!
Our Morrison’s flowers…and wall art 😍
The guest bedroom…it’s still dark, but the white sheets and light carpet help make it look less gloomy 🙈
My first attempt at a gallery wall, made from birthday, anniversary, wedding, new baby cards that we were given and had kept.
And finally the living room. We’ve actually just changed the cushions and added a throw, but it seems I haven’t taken an updated picture yet 😬

Published by Aniqa

🗣Using my voice to change the narrative 👩🏻‍🏫Teacher Educator • 📝Writer • 💖 Mental Health & Well-being Advocate •🇵🇰🇬🇧 Londoner •🧕🏻👨🏻‍🍳👧🏻 Family

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