However much time you spend at home, your living environment plays a big part on your overall well-being. Both psychologically and physically, your home can have a big impact on your health, and there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure that impact is a positive one.
There is an awful lot to think about when it comes to wellness, from what you eat, to how much you exercise, and even how you think. It can be difficult to keep in control of everything all of the time, and your home environment might not be the first thing that springs to mind.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to ensure your home becomes a well-being boosting haven; read on for some advice on how to go about designing your home around your health.
Make The Most Of Natural Light
Natural light is vital for our well-being. It’s our primary source of vitamin D, and there’s currently lots of interest in how it helps us; research is being done by architectural glazing firms who are working closely with scientists, to discover how our circadian rhythms benefit from natural rhythms of light exposure.
There’s clearly a medical case for its importance, so its important to be aware of a few ways you can make sure your home interior gives you the best exposure possible:
Draw Curtains, and clean your windows:
It might seem obvious, but when possible, make sure curtains are drawn open, and there isn’t anything obscuring your windows.
Clean glass windows and doors regularly, and trim any plants or foliage that could be obscuring the path of sunlight into your home.
Think about furniture layout:
Making some small adjustments to furniture layout can also help a lot – move chairs and other seats close to windows, so that when you’re reading, watching TV or checking your phone, you can get a boost of natural light.
Buy a Light Box:
During winter, when there aren’t as many hours of sunlight to benefit from, it can be even trickier to get enough natural light at home.
To combat this, try investing in one of many readily available ‘light boxes’. These high-tech lamps emulate daylight authentically, and spending some time each day basking in the glow of one has been shown to improve well-being.
Design Your Home Around Your Mood
Physical wellness just one side to the coin; overall health and well-being are also greatly affected by mood, and psychological state. The design of your home can contribute to these significantly.
Philosophies like ‘hygge’ and ‘feng shui’ have become hugely popular – and for good reason. Both are examples of ways you can style the inside of your home to improve your psychological well-being.
Pronounced ‘hoo-gah’, this Danish concept of comfort and happiness in a space can be applied to any home – maximising your use of wooden and natural features, and making sure your home is cosy and warm are a couple of ways you can make your home hygge.
This Chinese philosophical system is about harmonising your space. Inviting the outside in with some plants, de-cluttering your rooms and using mirrors to enhance a sense of roominess are all ways to improve the feng shui of your property, and with it your well-being.
One popular way to make an indoor environment a healthier space is by adding a variety of plants and flowers.
This is no old wives’ tale: research at the University of Exeter found that in the workplace, allowing employees to add plants to their space boosted well-being, creativity and productivity.
These principles can be applied to any home as well; the addition of a few well-chosen houseplants can have all kinds of benefits:
Remove Airborne Toxins with specific plants:
There are more air-polluting toxins in our homes than many of us realise – and scientists at NASA have found that many houseplants can help to remove these effectively. Adding even one to your home could improve the quality of the air you breathe.
A few of these include:
- Rubber Plants
- Peace Lilies
- Bamboo Palms
- Aloe Vera (which has all kinds of other health benefits too)
Design Your Home With Cleanliness in Mind
When you’re designing or reorganising space in your home, one of the most important things to think about when it comes to well-being is cleanliness. It can be tricky to stay on top of cleaning, and dusty or dirty spaces – even small ones – can lead to all kinds of problems.
Dusty, hard-to-reach surfaces, damp corners or cornices, and difficult-to-clean cracks and crevices can all result in issues which can impact upon your health, but with a bit of careful planning, these can all be easily avoided.
Consider a minimalistic approach:
One of the easiest ways to design your home around cleanliness is to approach your interiors in a minimalistic way. This might seem like a ‘quick fix’ solution (and essentially it is) but minimalism can be an elegant and effective way to approach your living spaces.
By including only the essentials in each room, you can create a seamless and timeless environment. Dust build-up is minimised, and the lack of things like rugs or throws means that your home will be less tempting for moths. It will also take far less time to clean.
Eliminate hard-to-clean spaces:
If possible, design the layout of your rooms in a way that prevents tight spaces, like gaps between appliances and walls, from becoming a problem. These can become a trap for things like small bits of food waste or rubbish, which, if left unchecked, can lead to ant or mice issues.
Move appliances, cupboards and wardrobes flush to walls and corners, and ideally in a way that means they can be moved easily when the time for a deep-clean arises. You can also lower shelves so that they’re easier to dust.
There are plenty of other things you can do to gear your home towards your well-being, but the tips listed here are a good place to start.
By bearing a few of these in mind, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your living environment is doing its part to help you to feel good, both physically and psychologically.