Aug 13, 2020

Creating a Well-Rounded, Healthy Home for Your Family

Studies show we will spend the majority of our lives indoors. According to House Beautiful, the average household will spend 90% of their lives indoors -- and nearly 67% of that time in their own homes. These percentages are only likely to increase in the midst of global pandemic.

Learn how to put together a home that promotes physical and emotional wellness for all members of your family.

Get Some Rest

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), "Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity." Protect all members of your family by taking steps to ensure they get quality sleep. Here are a few tips and tricks to promote quality, restful sleep in your home.

  • Take advantage of natural lighting. Natural light works in sync with our circadian rhythms. Spending ample time outdoors or in rooms with plenty of natural lighting promotes restful, restorative sleep. Use blackout curtains, earplugs, and sleep masks to sleep without disturbance.

  • Optimize bedrooms for sleep. Create bedrooms that are conducive to a full night's sleep. Make your bed -- or encourage children to make their beds -- every day. Tidy up rooms, and keep rooms free of clutter. To optimize sleep, keep bedrooms at 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Slightly cooler temperatures help you drift off to sleep and stay that way. Paint bedrooms soothing greens or blues, and take advantage of sleep-promoting aromatherapy scents, like lavender and sandalwood.

  • Ban devices while you wind down. "Using electronics before bed tricks your body into thinking it’s still daytime and can make it harder for you to fall asleep," The Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) writes. Put away tablets and smartphones, and avoid watching television several hours before tucking in for the night.

Stay Tidy

An unsanitary home is an unhappy home, and a dirty home can get out of hand fast. Fungus, like mold, can grow and proliferate in 48 hours or less.

Cleaning up promotes physical health, productivity, and creativity. A tidy home reduces anxiety and depression and promotes emotional well-being. That holds true for all members of the family, young and old.

Pick up after yourself. Take out the trash every day, and wipe down surfaces daily to keep them sanitary and clean. To encourage young kids to clean, clean with them, make it into a game, and/or put together a list of chores. Keep the chores small and simple, and check them off and/or give children small rewards as you go.

Designate A Space For Movement

A gym, fitness room, or designated space for movement is essential -- particularly if you want your family to stay active and be physically fit. Unfortunately, at least one in six children are obese or become obese before adulthood, according to Denver Public Health (DPH). Among adults, U.S. obesity rates are nearing 40%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) writes.

When it comes to designated spaces for exercise or movement, there are several mistakes homeowners make -- or several things families tend to do wrong. One of them is converting the basement or basement room into a gym. If you never venture into the basement before converting it into a gym, chances are you and your family members will not make a habit of wandering into the basement after. For the best results, choose a guestroom or another prominent room in your home. Alternatively, consider installing climbing walls and ladders throughout your home. Rather than having a designated space, having little reminders to get moving -- like climbing walls -- will encourage you, your partner, and your children to incorporate exercise into your daily routines. Ideally, exercise and movement should be fun and something to look forward to, not a chore.

Declutter Your Home

Clutter can negatively impact your health and the health of your family. According to a study published in The New York Times (NYT), too much clutter can negatively impact overall life satisfaction and trigger symptoms of physical stress, like tensing up and the release of cortisol. For adults, getting in the habit of accruing too much clutter can mean losing important documents as well. Up to 15% of documents are temporarily displaced and another 7.5% are lost for good when adults have too much clutter in their homes, the Gartner Group reports.

Boost your family's productivity and moods by keeping your home as tidy as possible. If you find your house is a source of anxiety versus a healthy reprieve, start by getting rid of anything that is broken. Donate clothes you no longer wear and set up a schedule to declutter your house, room-by-room.

Time Away Is Essential, Even In The Coziest of Homes

U.S. families need time away no matter what and, yes, that includes time away from even the coziest of homes. A full 92% of American employees describe their vacation time as important. Make sure that time is truly restorative by getting away, even if it is just for a relatively short time.

Remember, vacations can be simple. A road trip or camping trip with the family can be low-cost, low-stress, and optimally restorative. Pack healthy snacks to munch on instead of eating all meals on-the-road, exercise regularly (plan hikes, swimming, or family bike rides to relieve stress), and make certain any documents and savings you may need for the trip is put together well beforehand, so you will not have to worry about it during the trip or at the last minute.

We know your family's health is your top priority. Carefully put together your home to optimize your family's physical and emotional well-being. A comfy, relaxing bedroom, clean, clutter-free home, and a home that promotes recreation, exercise, and movement is a great start.

A shocking 16.2 million U.S. adults suffer from symptoms of depression, and the number of children, teenagers, and young adults suffering from depression is increasing every year. Combat these grim statistics with a healthy and happy home using the tips and tricks above.

Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.

No comments: