As the adage goes, "Home is where the heart is." Those of us who are spending a significant amount of time at home these days know that it's also a place for school, work, fitness, fine dining, and more. Our houses are playing multiple roles in our lives, and while it's nice to be able to stay in your sweatpants all day, many of us don't realize hanging at home 24/7 may have an impact on your well-being, including stress and immune health.
Here are a few helpful ways you can create a happy home environment that will not only boost your mood, but help you feel better overall.
1. Surround yourself with greenery. Plants don't just enliven your space and make you happy; they can also help purify the air in your home. House plants can help absorb toxins in the air so you and your family can breathe easier while bringing the outdoors inside – especially if you live in colder climates where winter is snowy and grey. Some of the best plants to purify air include snake plants, pothos, and ferns; they're purifying powerhouses that are also easy to care for, making them a great place to start cultivating your green thumb. Shop your local greenhouse for curbside pickup or use a service like thesill.com that delivers potted plants to your door.
2. Let the sunshine in. Vitamin D helps support your immune health as well as calcium absorption to help build healthy bones and teeth, but it's not easily acquired via food.* Regular exposure to sunshine is one of the best and easiest ways to get your recommended vitamin D, so make it your prerogative to "sunbathe" whenever you can. (Just remember to wear sunscreen, even when it's cloudy!) You may also consider taking a supplement, like Nature's Way Vitamin D3, to ensure you're getting an adequate amount of this beneficial vitamin.
If your region doesn't get a lot of light in the winter months, consider trying a light therapy lamp, which mimics the bright white light of the sun and can help lift your spirits when it's cold and dark.
3. Keep moving. Exercise is so important to your overall wellness in numerous ways. It helps you stay in shape, can boost your spirits, and is beneficial to your mental health, all of which contribute to your immune health. So carve out a little space in your home dedicated to physical activity. You don't need much; just some room for a mat and space to move your arms around you. You might have to get a little creative but know that any movement is better than no movement.
4. Clean it up. A clean house is a happy house – and a happy you. Give the place a good scrub down from top to bottom not only to eradicate any germs lurking on kitchen and bathroom surfaces, but to make everything feel fresh, almost like hitting the "reset"button. Try vacuuming often to help reduce dust and dirt lingering in your rugs and carpets. Even go so far as to open the windows for a bit to improve ventilation and bring in some fresh, clean air.
And don't forget to "pick up" regularly, even if it's just for five minutes! Cutting down on clutter and having things you need, where you need them are great ways to reduce stress and save time. Keep out items that bring you happiness and store the rest to create a greater sense of visual calm.
5. Turn up the playlist. Music can cheer you up and help you relax. Studies have shown that listening to music can impact the brain in a variety of ways; it may even support your immune health by encouraging a positive mood. You may not be enjoying your favorite songs during your commute right now, so make a playlist to listen to while you cook, at your desk, or on a long walk.
Though the world outside your door may feel uncertain, you can make your happy home a sanctuary of sorts – a place of comfort and calm that restores your spirits and makes you feel like your best self.