How Mental Health Can Be Improved by Flat-sharing

It’s normal to feel stumped when it comes to ways of improving your mental health. Standard mental wellbeing tips such as mindfulness and eating incredibly healthy foods may not work for you (because who doesn’t love pizza?).

One of the best solutions for how to be mentally healthy and happy is something that a lot of people haven’t considered before and you might just find that the key to improving your mental health is, quite literally, a key (to your new house with your new flatmates). Your living situation has a great impact on your mental health so finding the right flatmates will stand you in good stead to improving your emotional wellbeing.

Here are our top 5 reasons why flat-sharing can improve your mental and emotional wellbeing and how you can make sure your new flatmate is just as awesome as you:

1. Social bonding = mental wellbeing

Evidence suggests that flat-sharing is the key to happiness. Okay, this is a slight exaggeration, but the NHS really did cite that social connections are a key step to sound mental wellbeing and is one of the main things to consider when searching for techniques to improve your mental health.

Social interactions are actually a form of mental health exercises and building on these relationships not only create strong social bonds but can also be considered as a useful habit to improve your mental health. What better (and more convenient) way is there than nurturing the bonds with your flatmates (because let’s face it – we all love a cosy night in on the sofa sometimes).

2. Flatmates can stay mates

It’s actually incredibly common for flat-sharers to end up as best mates. We know what you’re thinking… You have to be lucky for a situation as ideal as this. One of the biggest issues people face when it comes to flat-sharing is having to live with someone that you don’t get on too well with (i.e. they suck). Granted, a living situation such as this is likely to be detrimental to your mental health.

The solution? ideal flatmate takes luck out of the equation and replaces it with your perfect flatmate by asking you questions about your preferences so they can match you with people you have things in common with. So, yes, this really means that the chances of you living with someone who cleans the kitchen naked and plays the drums at 3am become zero. It’s kind of like Tinder, minus the thumb cramp and aubergine emojis.

3. A money problem shared is a money problem halved

Financial issues are a leading factor in poor mental wellbeing. The cost of rent, bills and general living expenses tend to be pretty extortionate. Sharing a flat not only means these costs will be dramatically reduced, but you’ll also be sharing the responsibility of paying bills and general household equipment, pathing the way for a successful and easier path to ‘adulting’.

4. Food for thought

There’s a tonne of psychological and biological reasons why eating together is beneficial for your mental health. I won’t bore you with the science behind it but our ancestors found hunting and eating meals together became a hugely beneficial bonding experience. Luckily, you’re not expected to run around the city chasing your dinner with a pitchfork anymore. However, this shouldn’t prevent you from having valuable bonding time with your flatmates. Not only is the social side a great technique for improving your mental health, but the regularity of sitting down together and eating meals is also proven to be a good tip for improving emotional wellbeing.

As well as this, having flatmates means you can take it turns to cook meals for each other. This might help to dissuade you from eating your fifth pizza of the week, meaning you’ll have a healthy stomach and a happy mind.

5. Safety in numbers

Living in a flatshare alleviates some of the stressors you may face when living alone. It’s totally normal to worry about burglaries and when you’re in the house alone, hearing noise is particularly worrying. Having the moral support of other people in the house means you can fend off the ghosts together and you might find that this peace of mind leads to better quality sleep. Having a good shut-eye is another hugely beneficial tip for improving your mental health so not only will you avoid being in dire need of 10 cups of coffee, but you’ll also see an improvement to your emotional wellbeing.

Here are a few of our mental health tips for flat-sharers:

  • Cook healthy meals together at regular times

  • Enjoy social activities together (whether that means partying until 3am or sipping a cup of tea on the sofa)

  • Stay on top of bills and rent as a group

  • Make time for each other

  • Fight off ghosts together

If you feel like you’re struggling, here’s a list of the Top 10 UK Mental Health Charities which can provide you with support and give you the advice that you need.