Tips for a healthier home, workspace and car
Wellness is about more than smart food choices and exercise. It’s equally important to focus on the places where we spend the most time: at home, at work and in our cars.
Most of us spend:
- At least half of our lives inside our homes
- Over 1,700 hours per year at work
- Almost an hour per day commuting to and from work
When living spaces are messy, the disorder distracts us and restricts our ability to concentrate. This can lead to anxiety and stress. Keeping these spaces clean and organized can dramatically improve our mood, productivity, creativity and overall well-being.
Use these tips to feel good about the space you’re in!
Eliminate stress by decluttering your home:
- Tidying up takes time. Make small, maintainable changes by organizing spaces like rooms, closets and drawers one at a time.
- Gather little-used items in a box. After six months, sell or donate anything from the box that you still haven’t used.
- Keep surfaces like counters and tables clutter-free to help clear your mind.
Keep the ‘three Ds’ (dust, dirt and dander) at bay:
- Sweep, vacuum and dust at least once a week to eliminate dander, dust mites or pollen that contribute to allergies and make you physically unwell.
- It may seem obvious, but always take off your shoes to avoid spreading dirt and bacteria indoors.
Improve your air quality:
- Grow houseplants to help purify the air.
- Keep indoor humidity below 50% to prevent mold. You can monitor your home’s humidity with a hygrometer.
- Use fans that vent appliances outside, like your range hood and clothes dryer fan.
- Set a recurring calendar reminder to change your furnace/AC filter as needed.
- Check that your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working and not expired, and consider testing for radon gas.
Treat your workspace like you would your home:
- Personalize your space with mood-boosters like framed family photos, art or favourite quotes.
- Clear clutter off your worksurface at the end of each day.
- Keep your computer monitor at eye level.
- Use a keyboard with adjustable angles.
- Replace your chair with an exercise ball or try working at a standing desk for part of the day, if available. If not, get up and stretch your legs every hour.
Keep your space bright and fresh:
- Set up a light therapy lamp if you don’t sit near a window.
- Add a plant to help clean the air and improve your mood.
- Put an air purifier on your desk.
In your car
- Avoid air fresheners or deodorizers that may cause headaches.
- Set the air conditioner to use recirculated air.
- If you bought a new vehicle in the last six months, occasionally crack the windows, as this is when VOC† levels are highest.
Keep your car clean:
- Have a small garbage bag accessible for trash.
- Use a damp cloth rather than chemical cleaners to wipe down the interior.
- Vacuum seasonally to minimize allergies.
†Volatile organic compounds