02 April 2020, 16:46
If you are reading this, chances are you have a home – a place you live, maybe even with your family, roommate, significant other, or even your pet. And right about now, you might be spending a lot of time in your home. So, given our current home-bound condition due to COVID-19, it is now a vital time to learn how a healthy home can help fight the virus.
A healthy home is extremely important to physical health. With the current spread of COVID-19, clean home practices are vital to lessening germ spread. In addition, maintaining the cleanliness of your house can reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. Clean homes can also affect us mentally by reducing stress and fatigue. Less cluttered spaces help us stay more organized and focused while being at home.
Therefore, sharing the same space as an infected individual can expose you to the virus. However, touching objects that may have become contaminated also leaves us susceptible to contracting the virus and becoming ill. For this reason, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose while in public. Limiting outings to necessary trips only will also help to reduce the possibilities of contracting the virus.
Now let’s jump into the ways we can combat COVID-19 –
Keeping Your Home Healthy
Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash
Healthy practice in public
The germs you bring into your home are all picked up from outside sources, therefore keeping your home healthy begins outside.
Practice proper sidewalk etiquette during social distancing
- Leave the sidewalk available for pedestrians only – do not use scooters or bikes on the sidewalks.
- Stay on the right side and move out of the way for less agile people
- Keep your kids and your leashed dogs close by.
- Check out TreeHugger.com for more sidewalk etiquette tips.
- Limit touching your personal belongings such as your phone, clothes, etc. as best you can while in public – this will help to reduce possible bacteria spread.
- Lastly, avoid touching your face while in public, as this is the easiest way to prevent becoming sick.
Visit the CDC’s “How to Protect Yourself” webpage for more protection information.
Cleanliness when arriving home
Here is the next step in keeping your home clean – limit the bacteria you bring into your home.
- When arriving home, be sure to disinfect any groceries/goods/etc. you are bringing into your house before storing them in your cabinets.
- After stowing your goods, clean any surfaces that may have become insanitary during this process.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds.
- You can also change and wash your clothes if you feel they have become insanitary.
Make Cleaner for Your Home
1/3 cup (5tsp) of bleach per 1 gallon of water
4 tsp. per 1 quart of water.
Maintaining cleanliness in your home and safeguard against the Corona Virus:
If you are interested in reading the CDC’s thorough home instructions, check it out here.
Your Mental Health During Self-Isolation
Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash
By following the above procedures, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your household clean and hopefully Corona Virus free. However, keeping your mind healthy is just as important as keeping your home healthy. Our current situation is stressful for everyone, and self-isolating can be, well, isolating. Therefore, do not disregard your mental health during this pandemic.
Here are some tips on how to stay in a healthy state of mind while self-isolating:
Fuel your body well
Nutritious food and ample amounts of water help your mind and body to function well. A consistent and adequate amount of sleep also helps to regulate mental and emotional health, says the CDC.
Exercise is proven to improve your mood, as well as combat anxiety and depression according to the University of Michigan. Specifically, getting outside for daily exercise (while maintaining social distance) can make for a great change of scenery while self-isolating.
Connect with family and friends
As stated before, quarantine can be isolating, so be sure to stay in contact with family and friends during this time in order to stay connected mentally healthy. This is especially important, according to the CDC, in the event you become sick and may need to contact others for assistance. Consider using this extra time as an opportunity to reconnect with old friends or extended family.
Set realistic goals
Staying busy is a great way to keep your mind off the current COVID-19 situation while also marking things off your to-do list. But, if you are anything like me, it is easy to let time slip away without goals in place. So set small, achievable goals for your day. Goals may be exercising, picking up an old hobby, reading a book, or even finishing the Netflix series you’ve been binging. Goals will help to keep you engaged with your day. View more ideas to keep organized from the University of Michigan.
Create a tidy workspace
During this time of self-isolation, many professionals and students are working from home, but being away from a normal environment can be challenging and distracting. Psychological research shows that objects unrelated to your work tasks can easily be distracting. If you are having trouble staying focused in your at-home environment, tidying your workspace can improve your focus, while also improving your mood.
Learn to combat stress in the best way
Everyone processes change and struggles differently, so it’s important to find the stress management method that works best for you. For some people that is measured tension release and breathing exercises, and for others it is exercise, journaling, meditation, music, or anything that makes them feel relaxed and carefree. Don’t be afraid to experiment in order to find your perfect stress reliever.
Get help, if you feel you need it.
If you or a loved one are having difficulty in managing your stress or worry related to the Corona Virus or the life changes it has caused, do not hesitate to seek the help you need. The CDC recommends contacting your healthcare provider if your stress inhibits your daily activities for several days in a row.
If you are struggling to cope with the effects of the COVID-19, check out these mental health resources.
Additional Healthy Home Practices
In addition to Corona-Virus-specific precautions, there are plenty of ways that you can improve the overall health and safety of your home. Our homes are the setting of so many special moment and memories, and it is in our best interests to keep them a clean and inviting place.
According to RealtySage.com, a healthy home is one with good air quality. and improves the livability of the home. That means monitoring the air quality and using less toxic cleaning supplies.
While many people are cleaning their homes to protect themselves from the virus, it's important that they not also cause other issues by using harsh chemicals which can cause respiratory and skin problems.
Check out Realty Sage’s list of ways to keep a healthy home by monitoring the air quality and ventilation.
Celebrate Daily Successes
In conclusion, all the amazing benefits of keeping your home safe and germ-free are great motivations to maintain a healthy home. Any healthy habit, even a small one, can have a positive effect in fighting COVID-19. That being said, make realistic, achievable goals for improving your household health, and don’t forget to celebrate any and all success in establishing healthy home habits.
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