Most of us spend a huge portion of the day away from home. At an office, in front of a computer, on the phone, or on our feet, and at the end of the day all we want is to come home and relax. Our homes should be sanctuaries for us, our families, and our pets. The most relaxing spaces are those which feel healthy, safe, and comfortable. And, there are simple ways to achieve that optimal home environment without breaking the bank.
Keep A Clean Home
First and foremost, and perhaps most obviously, is making sure your space is healthy. A healthy home goes beyond dusting and vacuuming. Our homes typically contain a variety of pollutants, many of which we’re not aware of. Carpets and furniture are treated with chemicals. Pesticides are brought inside on the bottoms of our shoes and pets’ feet. Speaking of cleaning, most of our common household cleaners contain chemical ingredients that can lead to both short and long-term health problems for humans and pets alike.
While minimizing dust, dander, and clutter has been proven to increase relaxation, switching to plant-based, non-toxic cleaning and personal hygiene products (or, if you’re particularly ambitious, making your own) will enhance the quality of the air you and your family breathe and, in turn, enhance your quality of life.
Fresh Air and Natural Light
While we’re on the topic of clean air, we often underestimate the positive effects fresh, circulating air has on our bodies and minds. Ventilation is integral to healthy air. The easiest and cheapest way to move the air around at home is to open some windows, especially when cleaning and cooking. An open window during the day also lets some sunlight in which has been proven to positively affect mental health.
Your HVAC system can also serve as a full-home air filtration service, cleaning the air while keeping your home as comfortable as possible. Running it for a few minutes on a regular basis, even during off-seasons, will vastly improve the quality of air in your home. Of course, this is only effective when your AC unit is well-maintained. A neglected system can actually cause more harm than good, adding airborne pollutants to the environment.
Bring More Nature In
Most of us have heard that spending time outdoors works wonders on our mood. In fact, numerous studies have shown that humans and animals are less stressed, and more relaxed when plants are around. Those same mental health benefits can be experienced with indoor plants.
Plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, many of them also work as natural air filters. It’s common knowledge that plants take carbon dioxide from the air and give us oxygen. Beyond that, studies conducted by NASA have shown the ability of plants to filter out some harsh pollutants (including heavy metals and volatile organic compounds) such as formaldehyde. Removing those has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression.
Whether you work from home, or only come home to sleep, it should be a place you look forward to. These seemingly small home investments add up to a huge investment into your quality of life.