Living in a small space has always required compromises, and with many of us now working from home indefinitely, our surroundings can feel even more cramped than before.
The potential mental health consequences of feeling confined to one’s space became particularly evident during the worst of the pandemic, when “a lot of people felt very enclosed, and that was causing anxiety and some depression,” says Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, health psychologist. at Texas Tech University School of Medicine. But while it’s true that compact spaces can feel claustrophobic or stressful, they can also be soothing and comfortable with the right approach. As Jaime Kurtz, professor of psychology at James Madison University, points out: “As a species, we have evolved in small spaces. We didn’t evolve to live in 3,000 square foot houses.