Create a More Comfortable Space for Yourself & Your Family
By Contributing Author, Jennifer Landis
On average, Americans spend about 90% of their lives inside. Naturally, you want that time indoors to be comfortable and safe. However, many aspects of your home could negatively impact your health without you even knowing. From the paint on your walls to the solution you use to clean your bathroom mirror, many little components can affect your mental and physical health. Whether it’s for the better or worse is up to you.
Luckily, many of the things that negatively impact your health are easy to fix. So, pay attention to the following aspects of your home and consider adding them to your spring cleaning to-do list.
Artificial light can disrupt your body’s internal clock if you’re exposed to it at the wrong time. For instance, keeping your lights on even after the sun goes down can keep you awake longer and disrupt sleep patterns. Blue light from smartphones and televisions is notorious for disrupting circadian rhythms as well. This artificial light suppresses melatonin secretion and increases alertness, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep quickly.
Therefore, it’s best to head to bed once the sky grows dark or make a habit of turning off all screens an hour or so before going to bed. You might also try to rely on natural light throughout the day instead of artificial light. Place a few mirrors around your home to help bounce the light around. Increasing natural light levels in your home can improve your sleep, ward off depression and boost your vitamin D levels.
The array of colors within your home can also impact your mood and your health. While feelings and perceptions about color are often deeply personal and shaped by culture, some color effects do have a universal meaning. For instance, reds, yellows and oranges are considered warm and can evoke anger or comfort. Meanwhile, blues and greens can elicit sad or calm emotions. In turn, these emotions can affect your health.
For example, if your bedroom walls are bright pink, you might not be able to relax which could affect your sleep. Moreover, if your living room is black or dark blue, you may either feel somber or closed-off in there. This could lead to depression or even anxiety. Of course, these colors might also have the opposite effect depending on the person. So, before painting your walls, consider how certain colors make you feel, then decide.
Spending time in the great outdoors surrounded by nature can dramatically boost your mood and your health. Therefore, it only makes sense that adding more living, breathing greenery to your home would do the same.
One way you can incorporate plants is by installing a green roof. These vegetative roofs can improve the air quality and lower the temperature around your home. Plus, they last two to three times longer than a conventional roof system, giving you the best bang for your buck. Companies such as Kautz Roofing offers everything you could ask for regarding green roof services. To see construction companies near you, simply Google – green roof contractors to get you started on this amazing service.
You might also consider bringing plants indoors for added health benefits. Ficus, English ivy, bamboo and many other plant varieties detoxify the air inside your home, making it more breathable and better for your health. Plus, many people find plants lovely to look at, which can induce feelings of calm and comfort.
4. Ventilate and Clean
Another way to reduce the contaminant levels in your home is to ventilate regularly. Aerosol products, candles, cigarettes and paint emit volatile organic compounds that can linger in your home. Without opening doors and windows and allowing fresh outdoor air in, VOCs can build up and cause a number of health complications, including cancer. Therefore, it’s important to ventilate regularly, especially when you’re using a product that may contain VOCs or emit smoke.
Dust mites, dirt and allergens can also build up within your home and negatively impact your air quality. This can result in asthma attacks, difficulty breathing and eye, skin and throat irritation. Thus, you should clean your home well and often. Moreover, it’s crucial you use natural cleaning products that don’t contain VOCs like ammonia and 2-butoxyethanol. If you must use harsh chemicals, remember to ventilate while you clean.
Whether you’d like to admit it or not, your stuff can take a huge toll on your health. Having excessive amounts of clutter and no empty space in your home can cause anxiety and make your house feel stifling. In fact, women who use words like cluttered and disorganized to describe rooms in their homes also tend to exhibit high levels of cortisol, signaling chronic stress.
If you would use the same words to describe your space, it may be time to declutter.
Simplify your home by ridding it of excesses like clothing, toys and cookware you never use. This will leave more empty space on shelves, nightstands, desks and kitchen counters, allowing you more room to breathe and relax. You’ll also feel less tied-down to your home and the things it contains, giving you more freedom and even less responsibility.
Make Your Home Comfortable
The healthiest home is one in which you feel comfortable. If you can’t unwind, relax and be yourself, your health may suffer. Take some time to focus on your home and make changes to create a more comfortable space for yourself and your family. You’ll quickly reap the benefits!