Thursday, October 20, 2011

7 Easy Steps to a Healthier Home

In our fast-paced society where schedules are ever-filling and stuff is ever-increasing, sometimes we feel like having a healthy home and living at a more natural pace of life is unachievable.  It's easy to feel as if our surroundings are controlling us.

However, it doesn't have to be this way.  It is absolutely possible, and simpler than you may imagine, to begin to attain a healthier home environment.  All it requires of you is putting some teeth to your intentions.

Here is a list of 7 easy steps you can take today on your path toward a healthier home:

My youngest son, Isaac, whose name means "laughter".
1.  Smile.  That's right.  Smile.  There's an old song that says, "You're never fully dressed without a smile."  Smile up to God, smile to yourself, smile to your family and smile at strangers.

Can't think of anything to smile about?  Do you have a roof over your head?  What about running water?  Clothes to wear?  Food to eat?  What about any form of transportation (even access to public)?  According to the book "Radical" by David Platt, if you have these things, you are in the top 15 per cent of the world's weathiest people.  So what do you do with that?  Start by thanking God and smiling.  Stop thinking about what you don't have, and start being grateful for what He has blessed you with.  And then, open your heart and hands and share!  By the way, that's another easy step to healthy living.

The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 that, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."  So let's wipe those frowns upside down and get on to the process of establishing a healthier home!  

2.  Go for a walk.  Need to clear your brain and get a fresh perspective?  I always find that a walk does it for me.  Preferably somewhere with plenty of green in it.  To listen to the wind blowing, see the changing leaves, possibly even feel a raindrop or two on my upturned face; these are cleansing gifts from God.

3.  Clean up.  Set your timer for 15 minutes at a time in a specific area to clean, and you will be amazed at how much you will accomplish.  Cleaning an area not only provides you and your family with a healthier environment physically, but it also grants your eye and your mind clear space in which to rest.

4.  Add some green.  Bring in the plants!  Acquiring just one or two non-finicky houseplants goes a long way in bringing life to your home.  Plants also work hard to clean the air that you are breathing.  We have all known for quite some time that plants clean the air of carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into it.  New scientific research also shows that many common houseplants also absorb benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene as well.


In a recent two-year NASA study on the benefits of houseplants for air quality, they recommended that it is best to use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six-inch to eight-inch diameter containers to improve air quality in an average 1,800 square foot house.   Read more here.

5.  Eat real food.  Real food nourishes your body.  Processed food doesn't.  It's that simple.  If you can't pronounce the ingredients, chances are you shouldn't be putting it in your body.  Make it a goal to eat food that has as few ingredients as possible.  For example, an apple has one ingredient only:  apple.

6.  Garden.  Start small if you haven't been gardening before now.  Possibly a raised bed, or a small kitchen garden.  Enjoy the daily maintenance of your plot and what it can add to your family dinner table.  It's heading into winter now, so it's a good season to spend some time looking at seed catalogs planning for the spring.
 Fall is also the time to spread some aged manure or fallen leaves onto your beds.  This will allow the nutrients to work their way into your soil all winter long.

Start a small compost bin or pile.  Anything and everything you can put in there, do!  Your kitchen scraps and yard trimmings will be put to good use to feed your soil and thus, feed your family; instead of going out to the weekly trash truck and filling our landfills with needless waste.  All those free vitamins  and nutrients are great nourishment for your garden.

My daughter, Tannah, enjoying a strawberry in our springtime raised beds.
7.  Get a pet.  (or love your pet).   If I could, I would have pet chickens.  Who laid eggs.  Which would be hens.  Unfortunately, it's against my zoning code according to my city ordinances at this I have chicken rain boots.  A girl can dream, can't she?

Animals are just good for the heart and soul.  They are a wonderful good gift of God, and a joy to love and care for.  If you already have animals, show them some love!  Spend time with your children giving that doggy a bath, playing with the hermit crab (don't ask how many we have now...), or playing with the kitten.  And enjoy the natural endorphins God will send your way when you do.
Enjoy today,

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