Spring officially sprung last weekend, which gets everyone in the mood for some Spring cleaning!
So I wanted to share some simple ways for you to create a healthier home environment, especially since that’s where we’ve been spending most of our time these days.
And while home has always been where the heart is and a healthy home environment has always been important, I think it proves to be even more so now that everyone has experienced being home more this the past year.
I’m not sure if you were aware of this, but your health goes way beyond than what is on your plate. That’s right, your relationships, joy, career, level of fitness, and hobbies all contribute to your health & well-being – it’s what Holistic Health and Nutrition is all about.
And your home environment is no exception!
Outside of work, it’s where you spend much of your time (all of your time now WFH), and it should contribute to – rather than undermine – your health and happiness.
So let’s get into 5 simple ways you can improve the health of your home.
Here are 5 ways to create a healthier (and happier!) home environment:
1. Remove dust regularly
This was my least favorite chore growing up (sorry Mom! lol). But if I had known then what I know now, I would have made sure not to miss a week.
The dust in your home is a collection of particles from your furniture, cleaning products, perfumes and even food packaging that can host a stew of toxic chemicals, like Phthalates, flame retardants, and phenols. These chemicals have been linked to health issues such as hormone disruption, fertility issues and even cancer, so it’s best to dust frequently so you can reduce your exposure to such harmful chemicals.
Dry dusting can kick up the dust particles into the air you breathe, so it’s recommended to use a wet mop on a tile/wood floor, microfiber or moist towels on furniture, and your vacuum cleaner instead. This will help to absorb and remove the dust with minimal agitation.
2. Be a mindful consumer
Seeing that chemicals can accumulate in the dust from the products in our home, it’s important to try and reduce the accumulation of toxins in your home by paying attention to what you buy in the first place.
Plastics – such as for food containers, children’s toys, and vinyl shower curtains – are linked to health effects related to hormone disruption, behavioral changes, and even cancer.
Other materials such as carpets, paint, and furniture can release harmful gases, and synthetic materials in clothes can rub off and be absorbed into your skin.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely avoid all toxins, and the point, of course, is not to avoid all purchases or become consumed by paranoia, but to make more conscious choices and become a more conscious and responsible consumer.
Choose natural or organic fibers when you can, use glass or ceramic food containers, find BPA-free and non-PVC plastic, and make your own cleaning products without all the hazardous chemicals to keep you and your family safe.
3. Add some life into your life
Houseplants have been getting their just-do shine on in the last year as more people become new plant parents wanting to spruce up their home since being indoors more. I’ve been a plant parent for about four years now and I love all my plant babies – 12 and counting!
But did you know that houseplants are not just visually appealing and only good for decoration? They offer so many benefits to our – mind, body, and soul. They remove toxins from the air, lower the amount of dust that accumulates (back to tip #1), release oxygen and humidify the air, and even help lower our stress levels.
They also improve our moods, reduce pain and discomfort, and can apparently make us more productive by improving attention span. Research showed that “when foliage plants were in the room, people reported feeling more attentive than did people in the room without plants.” And who couldn’t use a little help staying focused?
Beyond all of those amazing benefits, they help remind us of nature, which creates a sense of tranquility and balance. So along with making our homes look welcoming, stay fresh, and clean; they supply us with so many internal and mental well-being benefits as well.
Here are a few House Plants to Consider bringing into your home:
- Spider Plant
- Snake Plant
- Aloe Vera
Side note: To reap the amazing benefits they have to be real…sorry fake plant lovers. The good news is the ones I recommend don’t require much attention so no green thumb necessary to improve the health of your home.
4. Create your special wellness/workout space
Working out from home took on a whole new meaning this year. Instead of it being something you did on occasion, it became one of the main and sometimes only option considering the circumstances of the past year.
And many of us share a home with others, so we can’t always control what happens in our overall surroundings, but you can create your own special pockets of peace and wellness in small spaces that are designated for workouts or simply make you feel more healthy, calm, and relaxed.
For example, your bedroom can have a meditation corner with some candles, crystals, and a singing bowl. Your kitchen could have a special cabinet or drawer just for your favorite superfoods, herbs, and tea.
Your living room can have a cozy cushion next to a small table with a plant on top and some essential oils that you like. Or space to rollout your Yoga mat for your exercise routine.
The point is to create your own wellness space and go there when you need to get grounded and balanced.
5. Set Your Kitchen Up for Success
If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it. I’m constantly reminding my clients of this and it goes along with becoming a more mindful consumer/shopper and making sure that the food you’re bringing into your home supports your health and wellness goals, not setting them back.
If your pantry is full of overly processed and packaged foods, loaded with a long list of harmful chemicals, preservatives and additives that have been linked to health issues like diabetes, obesity and childhood behavioral changes, it’s time for a kitchen/pantry overhaul!
Go through your pantry and look at the back labels for the list of the ingredients.
If it contains a long list of words you can’t pronounce, and includes harmful food coloring like Blue#1, Yellow#6, Red#40 etc., it’s time to toss it and replace it with healthier options like whole, real foods (that don’t need a label); and if it must be packaged, choose items that are minimally processed with a shorter ingredient list which = less chemicals.
It’s also good to shop local, organic and non-GMO when possible.
So as you can see, your health and well-being is impacted by more than what’s on your plate and how much you workout.
Your home environment is just as important, so take note and take heed.
If you’re already doing these 5 simple steps, kudos to you and keep it up! And welcome aboard if you’re just getting started!
Additional ideas to maintain a healthy home environment:
- Get an air purifier if you live in a city.
- Share your wellness intentions with whoever you share a space with.
- Don’t wear outdoor shoes inside.
- If you have pets, clean up after them diligently.
- Open the blinds & windows regularly to let in the light and fresh air (even in winter).
Here’s to a happier and healthier home!
If you need help with your pantry overhaul, don’t forget to Download a FREE copy of my Food & Pantry Essentials Checklist to make sure you successfully stock up on the items you need to prepare a quick, nutritious and delicious meal for those times you can’t make it to the grocery store!