What are your New Year's resolutions? We're willing to bet that at least one resolution is related to your health, whether it be focused on diet, exercise or even fitting in more rest and relaxation. What's often overlooked though is the impact our environment can have on our overall health. There are simple changes we can make to our living space that can easily improve both long-term and immediate health and wellness. Take a look at our top 15 hacks for healthier apartment living, room by room:
- Good sleep is a cornerstone to good health. An easy way to ensure that you are having a more comfortable, restful sleep is to invest in high quality sheets and bedding. High quality sheets are known to help regulate body temperature better, repel dirt and have a much more pleasant feel - all of which make them a healthy choice for your apartment.
- Limit artificial light sources in your bedroom to promote rest and relaxation. Removing distractions such as your computer or TV from the bedroom can help you to fall asleep faster and clock more restful hours. Using a lower wattage bulb in your bedroom lamps can also help signal to your body that sleep is near. If artificial light is leaking in from outside (for instance, a lamp post outside your window), an eye mask can be a great, simple solution.
- Consider how natural light influences your sleeping patterns and select your window coverings accordingly. For instance, if you are a sensitive sleeper who is disturbed by early morning sunlight, you may want to use blackout curtains or blinds to ensure you are getting enough rest. If you're a heavy sleeper who tends to oversleep into the late morning or early afternoon, you may want to consider thinner fabric or adjust the blinds so that natural light will help to wake you in the morning and control your natural sleep cycle.
- Be mindful of air quality when trying to improve sleep quality. Depending on the time of year, you can help to regulate air flow and temperature by opening a window in your bedroom. In the colder winter months, sleeping with your bedroom door open can help. To take this a step further, consider an adding an air purifier to your room.
- Many household cleaners have toxic chemicals in them, including those that you use to clean the bathroom. Try switching over to all natural cleaners to reduce the number of harmful toxins you come into contact with in your apartment.
- Vent the warm, moist air outside when showering. Whether you turn on a ceiling vent, open a window or leave the bathroom door slightly ajar, by letting the steam escape you will prevent excess moisture from collecting inside.
- Have the necessary tools and foods needed to prepare healthy meals readily available. For instance, if you'd like to start making smoothies each morning, make sure that your blender isn't buried in a cupboard and that your fridge is stocked with fresh ingredients. Also make sure to keep your counter clear of clutter and sink free of dishes so that healthy food preparation can happen at any time.
- Display healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, somewhere that you can see them - such as a fruit bowl on your kitchen counter. Avoid purchasing junk food when you can or, at the very least, keep the unhealthy stuff stored away - out of sight, out of mind.
- Switch out plastic containers for glass containers to store and re-heat food. Plastic containers, especially when reheated, can release harmful toxins into your food. An added benefit of using glass food containers is that you can write down the date you placed it in the fridge or freezer with a marker. This in turn will make maintaining a clean fridge much more manageable.
- If you're not filtering your water already, now is the time to start. Luckily, it has never been easier. There are many different products available including filtration attachments for your kitchen faucet or a water jug with a filtration system built in. Still not sold? Think of it this way: if your water tastes better, you'll be much more inclined to drink it.
- Make room for at-home fitness. Set-up a small space in your living room where you can unroll your yoga mat. Clear a spot on your bookshelf for fitness accessories. If at-home fitness isn't for you, dedicate space for your gym bag or outdoor exercise equipment. The key is to make sure it's easily accessible and in plain sight to serve as a visual reminder and motivator.
- Ensuring good air quality isn't limited to your sleeping quarters. Another way to breathe easier at home is to have house plants in your apartment. While there are many plant varieties to choose from, common house plants that can improve air quality include English ivy, ferns, spider plants, peace lilies, and fichus.
- Try your hand at redecorating. The simple act of changing up your living space can help to boost your energy levels and keeps your apartment feeling fresh. You can incorporate different colours to set the tone. Colours found in nature, such a greens, blues and browns tend to have a calming effect, while colours like red, orange and yellow can add a sense of exhilaration and energy. Even adding pictures of friends, family or memories from vacations and other good times can brighten up a space significantly and do wonders for your mood.
- Declutter where you can. Having a cleaner space can help keep you calm and less stressed when you're home. With so many storage solutions available, decluttering can be a very easy, enjoyable and rewarding way to bring a sense of order and peace to your living room and entire apartment.
- Put down a doormat in front of the entrance way to your apartment. This is a very simple way to reduce the amount of dirt and mess that gets tracked into your clean home. You can take this a step further by establishing a no-shoes-inside policy and have slippers available by the front door for guests.