How to Create a Home Environment That Supports Your Health and Wellbeing
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average American spends about 87% of their time indoors, about 6% in vehicles, and only about 7% outside. Therefore, it makes sense that you’d want to create a welcoming interior space that helps you relax, process the day’s events, and reenergize mentally and physically.
Take a look at some of the most popular methods for creating a healthy home that supports your well-being.
Get Cozy and Comfortable
When it comes to maximizing your home’s comfort and coziness, here are some suggestions that you can implement immediately:
- Organize and get rid of clutter.
- Paint rooms a calming, soothing color.
- Hang pictures that you associate with good memories.
- Buy some fresh flowers and place them in small vases around your living spaces.
- Cook food, which always creates a welcoming environment.
- Light a fire in your fireplace.
- Buy some comfortable pillows for your couch and other seating areas.
Don’t be afraid to express your maximalist design here, as every new piece you add can create that much more comfort in your home.
Organize Your Belongings
Many people closely identify with their home environment. Given the time that people spend in indoor environments, it makes perfect sense that it’s almost a form of self-expression.
Therefore, clutter in the home and general disorganization can harm your mental health. It interrupts the flow when moving around physical spaces. It also interferes with the cognitive ability to think clearly, leading people to feel less pleasure than they would in an otherwise organized space. Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D. calls this the clutter effect.
There are thousands of products available to help you organize your unique space, including shelving, storage bins, cabinets, drawers, and caddy organizers for diapers or other newborn essentials, to name just a few.
Illuminate Your Space
Regardless of the furniture or other items you have in your home, proper lighting can have a meaningful impact on your well-being and anxiety levels, including about work.
This is because the body’s internal clock primarily operates on the perception of light’s intensity and color. Therefore, making conscious decisions about the lighting can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your indoor spaces.
Specifically, you might experience better sleep, an urge to exercise more, improved energy levels, quicker relaxation, and lifted emotions. For maximum impact, try different colored bulbs like blue, red, pink, and green.
Improve Air Quality
Comfort comes at a cost since living in an enclosed space can help trap pollutants from fuel-burning combustion appliances, building materials, and furnishings containing volatile organic compounds, excess moisture, and even pesticides.
There are a few actions you can take to improve your indoor air quality, including using an air purifier, changing your HVAC filters, opening windows, and keeping your home clean.
Use Natural Products
While a clean home can help improve air quality and your sense of well-being, many products contain ingredients that can damage your health, especially for any children in the household.
Instead, try cleaning alternatives like:
- Vinegar – A mixture of water and food-grade vinegar can work wonders for cleaning your baby’s furniture and other surfaces. You can also add baking soda for extra powerful results.
- Lemon – The acids in lemons deliver natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making them a great alternative to bleach.
- Essential oils – While organic essential oils won’t necessarily clean by themselves (you can add them to vinegar for a cleaning solution), they can help deodorize your indoor spaces.
Become a Plant Parent
Indoor plants may help you reduce stress levels, sharpen your attention, recover from illness faster, boost productivity, improve your work outlook, and maximize indoor air quality. Indoor plants have even been found to have therapeutic value. Just make sure to water your plants regularly!
Reduce Light and Noise Pollution
While they have many benefits, artificial lights can also disturb wake/sleep cycles (the circadian rhythm), making you tired during the day and wakeful at night. And light pollution is often the worst in cities, which have more than enough artificial light to go around.
Whether or not you live in the city, you can combat the effects of nighttime light pollution in your home by:
- Turning off lights when you leave the room;
- Place motion sensors on outdoor lamps, which will automatically turn off after a preset amount of time;
- Replace outdoor lights with low-glare fixtures;
- Replace traditional light bulbs with outdoor-specific LED bulbs.
Adopt a Pet
Pet ownership is associated with many positive health effects, including decreased stress, improved heart health, reduced loneliness, increased feelings of social support, and boosted mood. Pets may even help children with their emotional and social skills.
It’s all about finding a pet that will fit in with you and your family. For example, if you enjoy the outdoors, you might choose a dog. On the other hand, if you prefer a more sedate pet, a cat might be the right choice for you.
Designate a Wellness Area
A wellness area is a space that can help you calm down if you’re feeling unwell or stressed and is designed to help counteract the accompanying physical and mental emotions.
Small things can make a big difference in a wellness room, so you’ll want to create the space in an area that’s quiet and has comfortable seating or even includes a place for you to take a nap. You can also add a yoga mat or treadmill to help you healthily burn off some stress, along with tissues, hand sanitizer, water bottles, and snacks.
Make It Your Own
Several of the suggestions in this article converge when it comes to making a space your own since you’re creating an atmosphere that’s unique to you and your family and that helps support everyone’s health and wellbeing.
Suggestions include furniture, rugs, pillows, blankets, artwork, lighting (natural, if possible), indoor plants and other natural elements (e.g., rocks, wood, straw, sand), candles and other scented items, and goods made from natural fibers, patterns, and textures.