By Danielle Pastula
From our children’s success at school, to how we perform at work, to how happy we are in our relationships with family and friends, many things can be linked back to our home environments.
One way to adjust how we look at our home is to break down our activities and improvements into the main three categories of health: physical, mental and emotional.
Creating a Healthy Physical Environment
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the piles of junk stacking up in the garage or the mountain of clothes that seems to magically reappear the day after you’ve finished laundry?
Oftentimes the physical clutter of our lives can act as manifestations of stress we carry with us. To minimize the stress that clutter creates, take a weekend with the family to purge your home of things that are beyond repair or won’t be used, and create systems of organization to simplify your physical environment.
Another aspect of physical health includes keeping your home safe in regards to chemicals and other substances that occur in everyday products. For example, using greener cleaning products can cut back on harmful chemicals that irritate our skin and respiratory systems. Ditching plastics such as food containers and water bottles in favor of ceramic or stainless steel containers also helps safeguard from chemicals such as BPA and phthalates, which are known hormone disrupters.
Of course, physical health also includes our eating habits, so it’s important to take an in-depth look at what ingredients are in our food and switch to organic fruits, vegetables and meats whenever possible. By choosing whole foods and organic offerings as often as possible, we can avoid pesticide residues and non-beneficial ingredients used to prolong shelf life.
Fostering a Healthy Mental Environment
We’ve all heard the “no TV in the bedroom” rule, and it exists for a reason. We are constantly bombarded with outside distractions. Whether it’s TVs, phones or social media, something is always vying for our attention. Create space for quiet time and activities that don’t involve a screen so that your family can develop and ignite that natural desire for creativity, learning and play that often gets reduced due to mental distractions.
Building a Healthy Emotional Environment
Lastly, don’t let schedules or the previously mentioned distractions interfere with time you allow for healthy emotional connections to be strengthened.
Make time for family togetherness, whether it’s during a weekly family date, or just during dinner. Be sure there are ample opportunities for emotions to be addressed and cared for.
Now it’s time for some homework. Take pen to paper and make three columns for each area of health within your home. List out ideas for improving that area, list things you think you’re doing right, and get your kids involved.
Through this process you’ll see that even small changes can create a big impact!