Home should be the place that you can lay down and relax. Forget your woes of the day, eat some food, and sit like a queen on her throne, enjoying your small, but beautiful domain. You probably don’t realize that there are parts of your home that could be secretly killing you (or at least giving your some grief). Black mold, bugs, bad lighting, bum pipes, broken roofs, and a prickly stressful environment can make your haven into a hell-hole ready to spin your relaxation time into a wrecking ball for your body.
Some mold is okay, like cheese. But other mold is straight up hazardous for your health, like breathing in black mold. Now that the snows of winter are beginning to melt, it’s time to think about the warm, wet spots in your house that could be harboring the gunk.
The bathroom is a very common place to have black mold, there are a variety of ways to stop it, but the source needs to be dealt with first (water!). Some effects that toxic, common home-based mold have are asthma and an increased chance of respiratory illness. Mold affects children and adults with weak immune systems even more! Controlled breathing is one of the best ways to relax, remove the barriers to doing it with some mold prevention!
Bugs are gross, mice eat your food, the Black Plague was spread by rats. Pests should be dealt with. It’s a level of basic home hygiene that can be anything but basic to deal with. Everyone sees mice from time to time, or a heart-stopping spider that you ever so gingerly scoop outside so it can deal with mosquitoes. Live traps are a very effective way to keep out mice, but dealing with them afterwards is…. not pleasant? Using smelly plants is better if you want to prevent pests from the start. Plus, a tiny herb garden with peppermint and lavender can be used for a variety of non-pest control purposes, whether you want to relax by sniffing your lavender plant or put the peppermint leaves into chocolate cookies for minty chocolate cookies.
Pests are terrible. Traps are a mess. Try a garden for less spiders and mice.
If you’re extra, you know how crucial lighting is already. But if you’re not all sorts of extra, then you may not know that bad lighting can affect a lot more than your look. It can make you less productive and cause physical stress. Lighting can be a big stressor. While natural light is best, not every room has that option. Also, nighttime happens. White LEDs are a good option, or some soft lamps that can ease eye strain. There are a variety of lighting options, depending on what the room’s purpose is, like red light is better than blue for sleeping, or
If your city water sucks, you can’t really do too much about it (other than drink bottled, drive to your friend’s house in another water district and fill tubs, or complain a lot to your local and federal officials). There’s a ton of negative side effects from bad water, like lead poisoning, vomiting, lung irritation, and it can even kill your fish! One thing you may not realize is that even if your city water is great, the lead or corroded pipes in your own home can turn safe city water into a contaminated swill that has long term health side effects. If you’re really worried about the side effects, home test kits are easy to find and purchase, the EPA has a very handy guide on when you should test your water, and what sort of kit to use.
If you feel icky all the time and just can’t shake it, try testing your water. There are a variety of reasons it could be off.
You know what would really help you destress? A massive fluffy rug that you could lie on with a bunch of soft, sinkable pillows in front of a giant netflix machine with at least 3 cupholders for a big cup of something alcoholic. It’s different for every person, some people like yoga, some people like running or manual labor or gossiping about distant acquaintances that ruffle your feathers. Stress is killer. Making your home functional for you is a great way to destress. For example, if you need coffee ASAP in the morning, but can’t be bothered to go all the way downstair to make it, a small coffee station in your room that you can hit on your way to the shower might help you get much needed caffeine into your bloodstream a little bit quicker. Small changes can add up quickly, especially if it’s something that will save you time and ease your life. Your house is your hidey-hole, a reprieve from the day. Let it relax you. Some fun additions other people find relaxing are:
-rooms themed in your favorite colors
-activities readily available (like zoning out on a Ted Talk or keep a book by your bed)
-ease of movement (open spacious paths throughout the house)
Household toxins aren’t uncommon, whether they are physical issues like rats and rotten water, or a stress inducing environment. Helping yourself escape these issues will help you live a longer and happier life. And that’s kind of the whole point of living.
Guest Post: Mary Grace