When I first starting researching how to making my home healthier, I was terribly overwhelmed.
There was so much that I should be doing to my house to make sure my family was healthy and safe. And there were plenty of moments where I thought...
"It's all too much! I can't do all this, so what's the point?!"
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But luckily, I didn't give up. After taking a step back from all the newfound information, I decided to focus on small changes at first. Whether the changes were to help improve air quality, sleep or stress, I tackled the issue a little at a time, and it eventually made a big difference.
I hear this concern a lot: "Trying to create a healthy home is too overwhelming. There is too much to do, and whatever I can do is so minor, it won't make a difference."
BUT IT WILL!
That's the beauty of creating a healthy home. It is not an all or nothing deal. Every little change you make is creating a healthier and safer environment for you and your family.
And now for some fun, simple ideas to easily create a calm home, and help you feel less stressed.
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1) Add a house plant
Humans thrive on a connection to nature. Nature has a wonderful way of making us feel calmer and happier. Bringing some plants into your home is an easy way to restore that connection.
If the idea of caring for plants makes you squirm, consider starting with something nearly impossible to kill like a snake plant or spider plant.
2) Buy a mail Organizer
Having a decluttered entry is an important way to start making your house less chaotic. A mail organizer is an easy and effective way to keep paper clutter off of furniture.
Opt for a mail organizer with at least two tiers, and place it right by your entry door. Bonus if you get a mail holder that can also hold your keys, like this one.
Want to make more improvements to your entryway? Find out how to easily transform your entire entryway in just 5 days by taking the Healthy Home Challenge.
3) Replace your bedroom light bulbs
An important way to help lower stress levels is to get better sleep. As odd as it may seem, the color of light that your body is exposed to plays a big role in how well you sleep at night.
To keep your internal clock running smoothly, your body wants soft, orange-colored light in the evening to start producing melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep.
Look for a light bulb that is made specifically for night time use, like the Bedtime Bulb.
4) Clean out the refrigerator
If you have a cluttered refrigerator, it might be causing you extra stress, especially at dinner time.
A cluttered fridge makes it hard to see what foods you have, (which ends up leading to food waste), makes it hard to find room to put anything away, and makes it hard to take things out without items being knocked over, spilled, or broken. All of this leads to frustration.
Take 30 minutes to empty your fridge, throw out foods that have gone bad, wipe down the shelves, and put items back in so you can easily see everything you have on hand. Here are some great tips on how to organize your refrigerator.
5) put nature on display
Another way to easily create a connection with nature is with bringing natural objects like twigs, rocks and flowers into your house.
Create a display with some items you can pick up outside (or from the store) like branches and fresh cut flowers. Tweak the display each season based on what's happening outdoors to add some variety throughout the year.
6) paint your rooms a calming color
This one requires a bit more work, but if you had plans for refreshing the paint on your walls, aim for colors that well help bring you calm. This is very personal decision since calming colors means something different for everyone.
If you find yourself being able to relax in a completely white room, go with that. If vibrant colors help soothe you, go that route. In general, colors that can be found in nature such as greens and blues are good options.
Remember to choose zero-VOC paint such as Benjamin Moore Natura or AFM Safecoat.
7) keep blue light out of the bedroom
I'm sure you've heard this one many times by now, but it is important! Keep blue light that comes from computer screens, smart phones and TVs out of your bedroom. This blue light is making your body more alert, which is the opposite of what you want your body to be doing at night.
The concept is simple, but I know it isn't easy. Work on getting into the habit of leaving your phone and computer outside of the bedroom.
Another stress-relieving benefit is that you will not be as tempted to check your work emails right before bed. I have found that checking work email at night almost never leads to a calmer mind ?
8) Add textures
Engage more of your senses by adding texture to your living room and bedroom. A fluffy pillow or soft throw blanket can help bring calm to your evenings.
9) Open the windows
When the weather is right, bring in the fresh outdoor air by opening your windows. The fresh air will improve the oxygen levels in your house. Plus the feeling of the breeze against your skin and the sounds of nature in your ears will help you unwind.
10) Calming Scents
Certain aromas can definitely help relax your mind. But don't reach for the candles just yet. Typical wax candles are a petroleum product and contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Opt for diffusing essential oils, simmering spices on your stove, or making your own herb sachets. Lavender is a great calming scent to add to your evening wind down time.
Remember to take it easy and enjoy the process of creating a healthier home. There is no need to overhaul your house overnight. Implement a few of these stress-reducing strategies and let me know how it goes!
And remember, if you ever get stuck and need some guidance for your healthy home journey, I am here to help.