NEW YEAR, NEW HOME, NEW YOU
The New Year always inspires well-meaning attempts at self-improvement and good intentions about adopting a healthier lifestyle. But being healthy isn’t all about taking out a gym membership or eating more fruit. There are small but significant changes you can make around the home, to feel better and live more comfortably.
Here are ten ways your house can contribute to a happy and healthy 2018…
- When weather permits, leave windows or air vents open. Fresh air removes odours, and a slight breeze can reduce the effect of dust or pet hair allergies. Leaving trickle vents open in a new house also prevents cracks, allowing plasterwork walls and ceilings to dry naturally.
- Fit full spectrum bulbs. Usually sold with the larger screw-in connector fitting, these bulbs emit white light that simulates sunshine and raises our serotonin levels. As well as reducing seasonal affective disorder, full spectrum bulbs make rooms look brighter.
- Avoid artificial ingredients. Always check the ingredients, even on items marketed as “pure” or “natural”. Foods without E numbers or chemicals will be better for us, and cleaning products made from plant sources are healthier than petroleum-based ones.
- Buy a high-quality vacuum cleaner in the January sales but don’t just look at the price tag – investigate the cleaner’s ability to filter out allergens. Can it reach under beds and sofas, where dust collects? Does it have strong suction, and is its filter easy to clean or replace?
- Assemble a medicine cabinet. Stock up on common medications like painkillers, plasters and flu remedies. Moving house and the New Year both represent good times to check expiry dates and replace any out-of-date medicines.
- Invest in an air purifier. Inexpensive HEPA purifiers trap airborne particles, which can be more prevalent indoors than outside. Don’t confuse purifiers with dehumidifiers, which aren’t recommended for use in new homes.
- Purchase a high-quality mattress. Old mattresses contribute to backache, allergies and interrupted sleep. A high-quality mattress should provide consistent support in any position, cushioning your movement while keeping dust mites at bay.
- Turn off appliances. As well as saving electricity, this prevents fans blowing dust around. It also ensures power packs aren’t constantly creating small electromagnetic fields. These can cause everything from disturbed sleep to headaches and rashes.
- Lift the spirits with nice smells. Pleasant odours improve our state of mind, so use scented candles or diffuser sticks in halls and bathrooms. Fresh coffee and baked bread are popular smells and ‘olfactory’ alarm clocks wake us up with scented cartridges.
- Have an annual spring clean. Once a year, empty every cupboard and drawer and clean its interior. Recapture that new-home feeling by dusting doorframes and ceiling lights, defrosting the fridge freezer, and repainting skirting boards and windowsills.