Healthy Home Habits: Combating COVID-19 and Surviving Self-Isolation

Reader Contribution by Kari Klaus and Realty Sage
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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 may be spending a lot of time at home. So, given our current home-bound situation due to COVID-19, it is 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, reducing allergy and asthma symptoms can be done by maintaining the cleanliness of your house. Clean homes also affect us mentally by reducing stress and fatigue. Less cluttered spaces help us stay organized and focused while being at home.

Sharing the same space as an infected individual can expose you to the Corona Virus. In addition, touching objects that may have become contaminated also leaves you 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 catching the virus.

Now let’s look at the ways we can fight COVID-19:

Staying Safe and Healthy While at Home

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Healthy Practices for Time in Public

The germs you bring into your home are all picked up from outside sources, therefore keeping your home healthy begins outside.

  • Consolidate your necessary trips when planning your outings in order to limit germ contact.
  • Maintain social distance (recommended at least 6 feet) when in public.
  • Limit touching your personal belongings such as your phone, clothes, etc. while in public – this will help to reduce possible bacteria spread.
  • Make a face mask or use a scarf to protect yourself when in public spaces. This reduces exposure to and spread of the disease when around frequently tough objects and places, like the grocery store.
  • Lastly, avoid touching your face while in public, as this is the easiest way to prevent becoming sick.

Social Distancing Sidewalk Etiquette

  • 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.
  • I found this sidewalk etiquette from Treehugger useful.

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 of your purchases before storing them. You also have the option to leave them outside for a day or two to reduce the virus still being active on the packages. .
  • After stowing your purchases, clean the surfaces that have become unsanitary during this process.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds.
  • You can also change and wash your clothes if you feel they have becomein contact with objects or others. .

Safeguarding Against the Coronavirus

  • Clean frequently touch surfaces, such as door handles, tables/countertops, light switches, phones/keyboards, and bathroom fixtures.
  • Continue to wash your hands often, especially after sneezing or coughing.
  • Designate a room for sick members – In the event that a member of your household gets sick, this limits possible COVID-19 spread within the home.
  • If you or a member of your household contract COVID-19, follow the CDC’s healthcare instructions to further decrease the spread of your illness.

How to Make Household Cleaner

Follow this homemade version below by Center for Disease Control (CDC):

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

  • 1/3 cup (5 Tbsp.) bleach per
  • 1 gallon of water

or

  •  4 tsp. per 1 quart of water

For more household disinfectant solutions, take a look at the EPA’s list of “Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. And take a look at the EPA’s list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. The CDC has thorough home instructions, check them out here.

Prioritize Mental Health

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

You’ll be well on your way to keeping your household clean and hopefully Corona Virus free by following the above procedures.. But, keeping your mind healthy is just as important as keeping your home healthy. The Coronoa Virus is causing a stressful situation for everyone, and self-isolating can be, well, isolating. Therefore, do not disregard your mental health during this pandemic.

Fuel your body. 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.

Get some exercise. 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 friends and family. As stated before, quarantine can be isolating, so try and stay in contact with family and friends during this time in order to stay mentally healthy. This will be especially important, according to the CDC, in the event that you become sick and need to contact others for assistance. Also consider using this extra time as an opportunity to reconnect with old friends or extended family.

Set achievable 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 at-home work space. During this time of self-isolation, many professionals and students are working from home, but being away from a normal environment can be challenging. Psychological research shows that objects unrelated to your work can easily be distracting. If you are having trouble staying focused in your at-home environment, tidy your workspace to improve your focus, while also improving your mood.

Combat stress in the best way. Everyone processes change 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 needed. 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.

A Green Home is a Healthy Home

Photo by Huy Phan on Unsplash

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 memories and moments, and it is in our best interests to make them an inviting and clean place.

According to RealtySage.com, a healthy home is one with good air quality. That means monitoring the air quality and using less toxic cleaning supplies.

Celebrate All Successes, Even The Small Ones

In conclusion, all the awesome benefits of keeping your home safe and germ-free are great motivations to maintain a healthy home. Any healthy habits, even small ones, can have a positive effect on 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.

This blog postwas written By Maggie Hartman, Sustainability Content Writer Intern, RealtySage.com.

Kari Klaus is the founder of RealtySage.com, a data-driven real estate platform which overlays sustainability intelligence onto home listings.Take a look at healthy and eco-friendly homes on RealtySage.com. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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