Cleaning house for your health

Did you know that the air quality inside your house is very likely much worse than the air quality outside?  There are definitely exceptions to the rule…which is why you will rarely see me say anything in absolutes…but, in general, we would all likely benefit from opening the windows wide periodically. 

In my clinic I see a lot of folks who have a really hard time with allergies and we try to address the issue from the inside of that person – biochemistry, genetics, supplements, healing inflammation and healing the gut.  The other significant impact on allergies or sensitivities is where you live – everything from your actual home to the lot on which you live and, certainly, the plants and animals which share your space.

There are a lot of things to consider!  In an effort to improve the air quality in your home and to improve allergies, even barely-there allergies, here are a few ideas:

  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA-filter and use it throughout your home at least weekly, including on any fabric surfaces like a sofa or fabric headboard;
  • Dust using green products, e.g. those without significant chemicals or scents;
  • Keep those areas that have a tendency to experience higher moisture levels, like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms or mud rooms, clean and dry;

One of these days we’ll talk more about building biology.  But for today, can we take this one step further? 

Instead of air quality and allergens, let’s talk memories and emotions.  Yes…I’m going there.  That stuff that threatens your health in your other home – your body.

Just like we clean our home to decrease allergies and environmental sensitivities, we need to pay attention to our thoughts and feelings, how we foster them and how we use them. 

Consider that your thoughts and emotions frequently drive choices and behaviors, and not always the healthy kind.  We make emotional decisions about food and drink.  We don’t believe we are worth much to any one so we don’t take care of ourselves. 

The fascinating thing here is that negative thoughts and emotions can also drive inflammation.  Yes, through those choices that we make…but also independently.

Instead of getting way too wordy and making this whole thing too hard and too scary, let’s do another list!  Here are a few practical ideas to improve that internal voice and the emotions that come with it.

  • Start a gratitude practice – journal or simply verbalize every day things for which you are grateful
  • Journaling is a great way to externalize emotions and thoughts that just keep spinning in your mind.
  • Practice identifying your emotions instead of stuffing them.  Simply name them, e.g. I’m sad right now or I’m really pissed.  Ideally, you work through what you’re feeling to why you’re feeling that emotion, but start with the first step! 
  • Find a spiritual practice that serves you well.  As an example, prayer can be very supportive for those times when nothing seems right. 
  • Spend some time considering how many people you interact with every day.  You have no idea the impact you have on those individuals and who might be in a better place because of their time with you.
  • Remember – don’t let perfect get in the way of good.  None of us and nothing we do will ever be perfect.  Perfection does not determine your value. 
  • Find a confidante with whom you can share what you’re feeling, especially, if you find that it’s really hard to get out of a dark place.  This could be a friend, a spouse, a counselor.  It doesn’t matter whom – just remember you don’t have to do it all alone.   

Keeping your home clean is important to your health – both physical and mental.  We tend to focus on the physical because it’s just that – physical and tangible and right in front of our noses.  It’s hard to hide and it’s hard to ignore.

Let’s not ignore what seems like the small stuff because we can’t see it. 

Sixty-Second Self-Care Tip

Pick any one of those bulleted items above and give it a try!  Interestingly, if you really want to keep it to sixty seconds, the emotional stuff is quicker to start.  It’s not just 60-seconds and you’re done…but it is 60-seconds and you’re already improving your overall health!!


Frequently the big complaint for folks with dirty homes - physical or emotional - is fatigue.  If you need a little support with fatigue right now, here is the resource I wrote with just you in mind.  And I'll send it straight to your inbox!


Tags

60-second self-care, building biology, gratitude, mental health, resilience


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