Posted on Nov 20, 2023, 3 p.m.
A healthy home environment can support you through life’s greatest challenges and give you a safe harbor from the stress and strain of a busy career.
Your home should give you the confidence to face the world, too. This sentiment is echoed by poet and activist Maya Angelou, who called home “the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned”.
However, transforming your four walls into a safe haven takes time, effort, and planning. You need to make a few strategic changes to improve your air quality, organize your space, and bring peace to your space.
Toxins are one of the most common hidden hazards in the home. Some houses still have lead paint, while others develop a dangerous build-up of mold and water. This is a serious issue, as no amount of lead or mold is “safe” for yourself or your family. Clean up your house and improve your home’s air quality by learning to identify the signs of indoor air pollution:
- Unpleasant Odors: Foul smells are a sure sign that mold and bacteria are growing in your home. After a deep clean, try to keep your windows open and ventilate the space.
- Humidity: When you enter your home, can you smell the dampness or feel a change in air humidity? If so, you may have mold or mildew growth. Rectify this by investing in a dehumidifier and servicing your AC unit.
- Difficulty Sleeping: Sleep deprivation can be caused by air pollution. Left unchecked, this can cause issues like depression and cardiovascular disease.
- Respiratory Illness: Air pollutants like household chemicals, bacteria and viruses, dust mites, pet dander, and secondhand smoke can cause respiratory illnesses that undermine your health and well-being.
Most air pollution issues can be resolved by dehumidifying your space and ventilating it properly This is particularly important during the winter months when you’re more likely to have the windows closed for prolonged periods.
If cracking a few windows doesn’t solve things, bring in a professional who can make modifications to your house. Sometimes simple solutions, like damp proofing rods and wardrobe dehumidifiers, can make a world of difference.
A healthy, happy home should be in sync with nature. Some houseplants, like Peace Lily and Variegated Laurenti Snake Plants, naturally improve air quality, too.
However, the thought of an eco-friendly makeover may fill you with dread if you work on a tight budget. After all, the typical solar panel installation will set you back between $6,600 and $36,000. This is enough to make any homeowner wince, even if you do want to work with nature to power your home.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to affordably finance eco-friendly home upgrades. Start by installing energy-efficient upgrades with a great ROI like energy-efficient windows and LED bulbs. These features are relatively low cost and will help minimize your energy costs. They also last longer, meaning you create less personal waste and can maintain a cleaner home space.
Cleaning Your Space
Cluttered living spaces can spike your anxiety and make you feel stressed. Clinical psychologist, Dawn Potter, PsyD explains that taking the time to clean can be a“very good way of managing stress or anxiety.”
Maintaining a clean home is good for your physical hygiene, too. That may be why 87% of Americans take their shoes off before entering their home. However, if you struggle to clean, you may find the thought of deep cleaning your whole house is a little overwhelming.
Start small and focus on a single room like the kitchen or bathroom. Set aside an afternoon to pick up some cleaning supplies and go to work on your surfaces. Queue up some calming music to create a positive association between cleaning and relaxation, and avoid the temptation to judge yourself if the room is looking unclean before you start.
Maximize the healing benefits of cleaning by green cleaning your home. Green cleaning products are usually vinegar or lemon-based and are usually less harsh. This is good for the environment and ensures that you aren’t breathing in any harmful vapors. Just remember that you should never use bleach and vinegar at the same time, as mixing the chemicals will form a toxic chlorine gas.
Maintaining your home shouldn’t be a chore. Rather than spending all your efforts on scrubbing tiles and hoovering the couch, consider setting aside some time to put together interior design efforts that boost your emotional well-being.
Start by identifying an area of your home that you’re less than enthused about. For example, you may notice that the living room is looking a little dark, so consider installing more mirrors to reflect more light or repainting the walls in a cooler tone.
These kinds of home renovations don’t just make your home look nicer; they affirm that you are capable of caring for yourself. Creating a space that suits your needs can be powerful if you’re used to living according to other people’s preferences. Even small changes to decor, paint, or pillows can make a huge difference to your self-esteem and give you a sense of belonging.
Creating a healthier home environment usually starts with a deep clean and better ventilation. Once you’ve taken care of the basics, consider installing some eco-friendly upgrades like double-glazing or LED bulbs. These small changes support your desire to protect the environment and can help you build an environment that helps you feel comfortable in your own home.
This article was written for WHN by Charlie Fletcher who is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and her search for the truth. You can find more of her writing on Contently.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
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