Many people take pride in living a healthy life. They eat right, exercise regularly, and always seem to be in great shape. On the other hand, there are people who perpetually seem to be physically miserable, even when they seem to do all the right things to stay healthy. Their baseline just seems to be slightly sick, complete with stuffy noses, coughs, sore throats, depression, and various other symptoms.
If you feel this way most of the time, you might suspect that you have some kind of undiagnosed chronic illness. Actually though, the problem might just be your environment.
When Your Home Makes You Sick
If you find yourself feeling sick almost all of the time, it might be time to take a look at your own home. If you have an older home that hasn’t had a lot of maintenance or repairs in recent years, you could have problems with unseen mold, something that commonly causes allergic reactions and upper respiratory infections. If you have pets, you may have developed allergies to their dander.
A smaller living space could potentially cause more health problems than a larger one. It is important to keep a smaller home clean and to use a vacuum cleaner that is best for small apartments.
You might also have carpet that has collected mold, mildew, and other things that are hazardous to your health, even if you vacuum and shampoo it regularly. Over 30 million homes in the United States have significant health hazards, according to studies performed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These threats range from the aforementioned filthy carpet, which can cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions, to radon and carbon monoxide.
Fortunately, there are things that can be done to combat these health problems. In some cases, simply knowing that these threats exist can be enough. Few people are aware of the health hazards that may be present in their homes, so simply learning about these threats is a great first step towards living in a healthier home.
As for more proactive solutions, having your home inspected for things like mold — or anything else that could pose a health risk — can be beneficial. If you have the option of going with hardwood floors instead of carpet, you should do that as well, since hardwood won’t collect dust, mold, and pet dander. Finally, monitor how often you or your family gets sick or has allergic reactions. Do your best to isolate the causes of allergies whenever you can. It’s not always possible, but you should be able to figure out what some of your biggest problems are as long as you remain diligent about your home.
Mental Health and Your Environment
Your environment can have an impact on your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing. Many people don’t realize that having a tidy bedroom or open blinds can positively affect their mood. Conversely, a disorganized home can be stressful and distracting in ways that often don’t occur to people, and a lack of sunlight is said to be a direct cause of seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that often strikes during the winter months when people are less likely to be outside getting sunlight and fresh air.
If you find yourself feeling stressed out or depressed for no apparent reason, perhaps your dark and untidy home is to blame. Keep your home neat, and don’t be afraid to open up your curtains to let sunlight into your house. These seemingly insignificant changes in your environment can go a long way in keeping you mentally and physically healthy.