12 Ways to Create a Home Environment that Supports your Health and Wellness
Did you know that your home environment plays a big role in your health and wellness? Having a cluttered home can make you feel tired and sluggish. And, some common household products create indoor air pollutants which can give you allergy-like symptoms. Cleaning up your home environment will have positive effects on your physical health and mental wellness.
Keep reading to learn 12 ways you can clean up your home environment, so it supports your health and well-being.
- Pay attention to indoor air quality. Open windows regularly to let in fresh air and consider investing in an air purifier to keep indoor air pollutants to a minimum. Another great way to improve indoor air quality is to have a variety of houseplants. They remove airborne toxins, release oxygen and humidify the air which is good for your skin. Having indoor plants is also a simple way to bring the calming effects of nature indoors which can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Tip: Visit www.bloomscape.com for a wonderful selection of indoor plants shipped right to your home.
- Start using soy candles. Scented candles are typically made with petroleum-based paraffin wax which emit potentially hazardous chemicals that can lead to health risks such as cancer, allergies, and asthma. Switching to clean burning candles will dramatically improve your indoor air quality.
Tip: Check out your local farmer’s market or health food store for locally made soy candles.
- Avoid chemical-based cleaning products by switching to all-natural cleaners for your home. Some common chemical-based cleaners cause skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or even chemical burns. Studies have shown long-term exposure to such chemicals can led to cancer. Start using household cleaning products that are made with safe ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.
Tip: Check out www.branchbasics.com for a great selection of chemical-free home cleaners.
- Be aware of light pollution and sound disturbances during the night hours both of which can disrupt sleep. Take inventory of your bedroom at night and see what steps you can take to reduce noise and light pollution while you sleep. Studies show unwanted light and outdoor noise can negatively affect your sleep and result in sleep deprivation which leads to fatigue, a heightened stress response and weight gain.
Tip: Get black out shades for windows and black electrical tape to cover led lights from TVs, chargers and other electronics. Use a sound machine or earplugs to block disruptive outdoor sounds.
- Clear out your pantry, refrigerator and freezer of all foods that don’t support your health goals. If an unhealthy option is available, the likelihood of you eating it is higher. Out of sight is best. Fill the space created with healthy options that support your wellness.
Tip: Do a food audit in your kitchen and make a list of the healthier options you can get at your local grocer. Environmental Working Group has great resources at www.ewg.org.
- Give a pet a home. Did you know pet ownership is associated with positive health benefits, such as improved mood, lower blood pressure and reduced cardiovascular risk? Having a furry friend also keeps the energy circulating in your home and makes for a loving companion.
Tip: If you can’t swing a pet right now, volunteer at your local animal shelter and give a homeless animal a cuddle. You will still get the endorphin benefits and make a difference in an animal’s life. Go to www.humanesociety.org to find a local shelter near you.
- Start filtering the water in your home. A water filter ensures your water isn't contaminated. Although your local water company filters tap water, it could still contain potential contaminants such as lead, chlorine and pesticides. Getting a filter, such as a pitcher that goes into your fridge or one that attaches to your shower head, can help remove these contaminants. If you have concerns about the quality of your local water supply, consider having it tested with mytapscore.com or look up how it ranks at www.ewg.org/tapwater.com.
Tip: Check out www.santevia.com for a variety of filter options for your home.
- Store your food in glass containers, not plastic. Much of the traditional plastic storage containers contain harmful bisphenol A, a class of chemicals called phthalates which is a hormone disruptor that can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and liver The best way to protect yourself in your home is to use glass containers to store and reheat food.
Tip: www.pyrexhome.com has a great selection of glass storage containers with BPA-free lids.
- Declutter you home. Has clutter built up slowly in every part of your home? It can have negative consequences on your health and well-being. Clutter will drain your energy, create brain fog, increase stress, and harbor dust, mold and mildew which is difficult to clean. To avoid overwhelm, schedule a regular time each week to declutter, like Sunday afternoon. Set a timer and do as much as you can in that time.
Tip: At the end of each workday tidy up your desk so it’s a clean slate for the next day. And, make your bed each morning. This simple act has a positive impact throughout your day.
- Donate, sell or get rid of stuff that no longer brings you joy. If there are items in your home that are no longer useful or that you no longer want, let them go. Everything you own in your home should generate positive feelings and a sense of gratitude. Take inventory of what to keep, toss or donate. It helps to have clearly designated boxes or bins labeled donation and consignment. Have it easily accessible, like in the laundry room, so you can efficiently designate an unused item appropriately.
Tip: Visit a local consignment shop (for clothes and/or housewares) or visit www.goodwill.org to find a local donation spot.
- Clear off your kitchen counters. Appliances, condiments, food and cleaning supplies should be put away in cabinets or closets. The kitchen is the heart of the home. Take time to organize it so you have a visually clean space which will promote calm and a motivation to cook! Spend 10 minutes at the end of the day tidying up the kitchen so clutter doesn’t build up again.
Tip: For organization inspiration check out The Container Store, www.containerstore.com.
- Create wellness zones in your home. Having your own small wellness spaces will make you feel healthy, calm, and nourished. For example, in your bedroom you could have a meditation corner with some candles, crystals, and special mementos. Your kitchen could have a special cabinet or drawer just for your favorite superfoods, and supplements. Your living room could have a cozy cushion next to a small table to journal with a plant on top and some essential oils that you like. The point is to create your wellness zones and have them encourage you to invest in your wellness each day.
Tip: Find 1 spot in your home where you can create a wellness zone. Be intentional about its purpose and the 1-3 items you use for it. Practice being in the zone each day for 5 minutes. Start small and see big changes!
Take some time to think about where clutter accumulates in your home. Start with 1 area and refer back to these suggestions to help you get started. Taking it space by space or room by room is much more productive than trying to tackle your whole house or apartment at once. A tidy home is much easier to maintain, and you will notice you gain efficiencies throughout your day because things are easier to find, your mind is clear, and your stress hormones are in check. You deserve to feel your best and creating a home environment that supports your health and wellness is a great place to start!