Our home environment has a huge impact on our overall health—it’s where we spend the majority of our time. From the products we use to the physical environment we create, we can make simple changes to transition to a healthier home environment for ourselves and our families. Here are four steps you can take to create a healthy home environment.
Replace toxic cleaning supplies.
Many chemicals found in everyday cleaning supplies are considered toxic. Such chemicals are not only toxic when ingested—they can also enter the body through the skin and lead to liver damage, kidney damage, immune system issues, and even cancer. Cleaning with chemicals exposes you and your family to these toxins, which can easily be absorbed through a cut or the bottoms of the feet. Many companies now offer natural, non-toxic cleaning supplies, or you could even use vinegar or essential oils in a spray bottle. It’s an easy switch that will have a big impact on your home environment. For more information on healthy cleaning, check out EWG’s safety rating on more than 2,500 household products.
Grow plants that purify.
Certain household plants have the added benefit of cleansing your home of indoor air contaminants, including formaldehyde. Plus, plants can boost healing by improving our psychological responses to our environment. Pretty cool. Before purchasing a houseplant, be sure to research whether it could be toxic to your pets or children when ingested. You may find that your chosen plant needs to be kept out of reach from your littlest critters. Here are a few popular purifying houseplants:
- Peace lily
- Gerbera daisies
- Palm trees
- Boston fern
- Snake plant
Create a tranquil space.
The overall feel of our home impacts us mentally as well as physically. That’s why it’s important to take the time to do simple tasks like cleaning and organizing to create an environment that promotes a peaceful mental state. Make the bed, put away the laundry, and keep things picked up. Store toys and books so they’re not strewn all over every surface. Notice how your mood improves when your home is clean and organized.
Diffuse essential oils.
Therapeutic-grade essential oils will make your home smell amazing and can help with improving your overall mood, warding off cold and flu, and supporting your immune system. The use of essential oils can affect us on a physical, emotional, and even spiritual level. In fact, Shawnee Mission Health uses essential oils as a form of complementary therapy in cancer care to relieve symptoms and improve overall wellbeing.
If you’re interested in improving your home environment as a result of a medical condition, Shawnee Mission Health can provide recommendations for natural therapies and additional lifestyle counseling. As part of Shawnee Mission’s approach to holistic care, our naturopathic doctor can help provide the “whys” for chronic health complaints for individuals of all ages. For more information, visit shawneemission.org.