Want better air? Here are useful tips for improving your indoor air quality.
With many of us spending more time in our homes than ever, we may question if these safe havens are supporting us as best they can. Are we breathing air that’s inviting health into our bodies, or is the air asking our lungs to work harder than they should? What about the energy of our spaces? Can we help to raise its vibration?
1. Clean surfaces mean cleaner air. Set aside an afternoon to thoroughly remove dirt and dust from all surfaces in your home. Because gravity affects even the smallest of particles, start your cleaning at the top of your house and clean your way downward: Begin with ceilings, corners, ceiling fans, etc., and finish a room at the floor vents and baseboards. Use a dampened and frequently rinsed soapy cloth on door and window ledges, and quickly wet-wipe walls to lessen the amount of debris and allergens. Use a disinfectant on all frequently touched surfaces after cleaning. (Check out the CDC’s approved list of cleansers here.)
2. Refresh and protect your floors. After letting the dust settle from cleaning walls and surfaces (at least two-plus hours), clean your floors. Use a quality vacuum with an eco-friendly HEPA filter (make sure filters are freshly cleaned) on carpets and rugs, and clean flat surfaces with mild floor detergents or wood polish. Spritz a mixture of Thieves oil (DIY blend here) with water lightly on fabrics and into the air of a room to reduce airborne bacteria and, therefore, lengthen the time between cleaning.
3. Bring the outside in. Ventilating your home a small bit each day can support healthy moisture levels and remove various household and cooking pollutants. Always use exhaust fans in the kitchen, especially when cooking on a gas stove. A few well-chosen air-purifying plants in oft-used areas of your home can provide continual cleaning support (and uplift your mood!). Be conscious if allergens are high and adjust your methods accordingly.
4. Keep things moist. The EPA sets the ideal humidity level for homes between 30 and 50 percent. If a humidity indicator reveals the need to increase humidity, or if your skin and hair feel especially brittle, try a DIY method to up the moisture level if you don’t own a humidifier.
- Run a hot bath and allow the water to remain in the tub with the bathroom door open.
- Boil an open pot of water on the stove a few times per day.
- Prepare stews and slow-cooking dishes without a lid.
- Hang clothes inside to dry (instead of using a dryer).
- Place bowls of water in corners and low-traffic areas of your home.
5. Bless your space. Most traditional cultures make regular use of smoke for ritual or cleansing purposes. Burning select incense or medicinal herbs can rid a space of bacteria, neutralize positively charge ions, and protect the air among other benefits. Burn a natural incense stick in your kitchen (frankincense and myrrh are known to purify the air and deter insects; use near produce to dissuade fruit flies) or upon your altar. Native Americans have smudged with sweetgrass and sage for thousands of years. You can also smudge with sustainably harvested Palo Santo.
6. Remember the power of music and mantra. Very little can alter the energetics of space more than sound. Traditional sound healing instruments like singing bowls, gongs, and tuning forks have been proven to relax our nervous systems. Even simply listening to classical music can reduce stress and decrease reactivity. Creating a healing sound oneself, such as in chanting a mantra like ‘Om’ or softly playing a wooden flute, has even greater potency. By raising our own vibration, we affect the vibrations around us.
7. Fill your space with positivity. And, finally, a ritual performed each morning and evening (near sunrise and sunset is in alignment with countless traditions around the world) to honor your self, your ancestors, your space, and your collective community can do wonders for the health of your body and mind. Set an intention for health and healing and offer prayers to support the whole.
Share with us any additional practices you use to maintain a clean, supportive environment at home in the comments below.
Want to dig deeper? Read more on cleansing your environment.