How healthy is your home environment? Here’s how to optimise your space to support your mind and body.
We’ve never spent as much time at home as we do now. Many of us live, work, sleep and socialise in our homes. If home is where you spend the majority of your time, it makes sense to think about how the space is affecting your health and habits. Here are 7 proven ways to make your home environment healthier.
Give your kitchen a makeover
The state of your kitchen can make or break healthy eating habits. The consumer behaviourist and author of “Mindless Eating” Brian Wansink suggests we all organise our kitchens to make healthy eating easier.
Clear counter tops and work surfaces so “quick grab” foods are out of sight. Put any trigger foods (like crisps or biscuits) away, ideally on a high shelf or in an opaque container. Have healthy food readily available so you are less likely to snack.
Spending a lot of time in the same indoor environment can have detrimental effects on your breathing, especially if your home is made of synthetic building materials or has lots of modern furnishings.
Air purifying plants are an easy and attractive way to offset all that time indoors. Not only do they literally clear the air, but they look great and help bring a touch of nature indoors to boost your mental wellbeing.
Good options for pet-friendly air purifying houseplants include calathea, pothos, sansevieria (snake plant), spider plants, rubber plants, and most palms and ferns.
Install a water filter
Tap water is fine to drink, but can contain impurities and trace heavy metals which may build up over time. You probably drink more water than most, so why not install a water filter?
Depending on your budget, choose between a water jug filter that you have to refill, or a faucet or under-sink filter that will filter the water as it comes out of the tap.
Declutter and delineate your space
It’s true that a tidy space helps a tidy mind. Clutter can be stressful and annoying – a reminder of yet another job you don’t have time to do. Try to keep key areas of your home clutter free. Your entrance hall, dining table, living room and desk are good places to start.
If you work from home, it’s really important to keep work and relaxation areas separate. If you have an office, great. But if you need to work from the dining room table, make sure you can pack your work stuff away so it doesn’t loom over your evenings and weekends.
Create space to relax
It’s really important to have a calm and relaxing space to call your own, even if you live in the smallest of flats. Figure out what works for you – do you need a blanket and candles, a cosy corner, or a bright spot? Make sure everyone else in the home knows that’s your little sanctuary for unwinding, reading, journaling or whatever you need to do.
Use blackout blinds
Light and noise can make the home environment downright stressful. If you suffer with noisy neighbours, outside lights from streetlamps or flood lights, or any other disturbance then install barriers to protect your peace.
Blackout blinds are a brilliant way to block out unwanted light – crucial if your bedroom is subject to light from the outside.
Optimise your bedroom
Quality sleep is crucial to physical recovery and mental wellbeing. Do everything you can to make your bedroom a space where good sleep happens. Keep it clear from clutter (dedicate 5 minutes a day to clearing away any mess that’s built up). Make sure it’s as dark as possible, eliminating light from outside but also lights from electronics and switches in the room. Add soft furnishings and plats to absorb noise. And keep your phone out of the bedroom – it’s a tough habit to start, but one of the healthiest things you can do.
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