We’ve all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’. But what if you are where you live as well? How healthy is your home?
Our homes can affect our health, and while we focus on nutrition and exercise…which are undoubtedly important…we may be missing the ways in which our intimate environment affects both mental and physical well being.
But with the amount of time we spend in our homes, we need to focus more on improving the health of our surroundings. That can take the form of changing how we clean… and what we use to do so… taking steps to eliminate harmful toxins and buying different products.
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All of these steps can have an impact on both our immediate and our long term health. Making a few simple changes can help safeguard your health and that of your family. Read on for the best steps to take…
How Healthy is Your Home?
Purchase An Air Purifier
Breathing clean air is a basic precursor to good health, and with pollution levels on the rise, whether you live in a city or even in the country you probably need a filter. Air pollutants affect our health more closely than you may think. The fine particulate matter found in unfiltered air has been linked to lung and heart disease.
Portable air purifiers don’t have to be expensive and can filter out harmful particles which can be especially risky for those with more vulnerable immune systems, such as pregnant women, babies, and older people.
Change Your Scented Candles
We all love a scented candle, especially at Christmas. They can create a really welcoming atmosphere, but they can also have harmful effects on our health.
Most wax candles are made out of paraffin wax, which is petroleum based, and that emits dangerous chemicals into the home environment. Numerous health conditions have been linked to these, including allergies, asthma and even cancer.
Luckily, there are plenty of other options now on the market, including soy based wax, which doesn’t emit chemicals.
I found some wonderful hand crafted choices for you from Etsy, should you decide to make the switch to soy candles right now 🙂
Change Up Your Cleaning Products
Speaking of chemicals, one of the biggest culprits are cleaning products. We think we are making our home environments cleaner and healthier, but all those sprays and polishes could actually be harming our health. Some elements in these cleaning products are toxic and could well be carcinogenic.
Instead, purchase some empty spray bottles and a few essential supplies such as white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice along with plain soap. You can clean almost anything with these, from deodorizing carpets and upholstery to removing stain and de-greasing your oven.
Best of all, you’ll be saving not only your health, but your wallet and the planet as well, as these options are far more eco-friendly. If you want to add a nice smell, use pure essential oils mixed in and your home will soon smell like a classy spa.
Eliminate Intrusive Pests
It can be easy to forget that there is a big, natural world outside of our homes, coexisting with us. But when that natural world overlaps too closely with our living environment, it can cause problems.
Household pests from bugs to rodents can not only cause serious structural damage to homes in some cases but also spread disease into your home with their droppings and trails.
If you have an infestation, don’t try and deal with it yourself – call in a specialist like ABC Pest Control who can take care of the problem and give you the correct advice to stop it happening again.
Get Some Greenery
The humble houseplant can really have an impact on your home environment. More than just a part of the décor, they become a health necessity when you realize their benefits.
Indoor plants purify our air by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Greenery in the home can also have a calming effect by keeping us connected to nature.
If you aren’t great at keeping houseplants alive (if you could see my hand it would be raised high), go for hardy varieties that need little maintenance, such cacti, spider plants, and rubber plants, or a ficus.
Keep in mind there are plants that reverse the usual process by releasing carbon dioxide at night – so if you are going to keep them in your bedroom, make sure it’s an orchid or a succulent that continues to release oxygen at night.
Hit The Lights
Light pollution, especially for those who live in cities, is a huge issue. Not only does it have an impact on wildlife and energy resources, but also our health and our emotional state.
If you’re constantly exposed to artificial light it can interfere with your sleep quality, a fundamental pillar of good health, especially for those with pre-existing medical conditions. It can even interfere with your metabolism.
Start with the basics, by making sure that lights are not switched on when you don’t need them. Timer plugs can help with this by shutting off the power after a certain time that you set.
If you have outdoor lighting, make sure it’s on motion sensor detectors so that it’s not left on unnecessarily. This has the other positive effect of lowering your monthly utility bills.
In your bedroom, make sure that you fit blackout blinds or curtains to keep out unwanted light and ensure that you get a peaceful and restorative night’s sleep. You can also try an eye mask if you live with others and need to compromise, or for when you travel.
Also get into the habit of removing electronic devices from the room where you sleep. The particular type of blue light they emit blocks the brain from producing melatonin – the hormone that signals to the body that it’s time to sleep – so they can be disruptive to your sleep cycle.
So, how healthy is your home? Turning your home into the safe space it was always meant to be doesn’t have to be labor intensive. With some simple adjustments and attention to detail, you can transform it into a less harmful environment that will fully support your mental and physical well being.