5 family routines and habits for a healthier home.
Monday, March 23, 2020
When life starts to feel out of control, getting yourself and your family on a routine can go a long way toward maintaining your sanity. Here are five habits to build for a healthier home.
1. Wash your hands
We all know we should wash up after using the bathroom, but it’s also good to build some sudsy time into other activities. As soon as you walk in the door – from work, the store, school, the gym, wherever – wash your hands. You never know what you touched. Pet your dog, wash your hands. Put the laundry in the washer, wash your hands. Prepping dinner, even if just for yourself, wash your hands.
2. Wipe as you go
Crumbs around the toaster, water droplet stains on the faucet handles, splatters on the counter. They’re annoying in the best of times, but when the need for sanitation is at a high, like when family members are sick, this is not the time to just leave it until later. Build the habit of wiping up as you go, possibly using antibacterial cleaners, to keep everyone healthy. Be sure to pay attention to which cleaners are intended for which surfaces, though, so you don’t accidentally damage finishes and other materials with harsh chemicals.
3. Make your bed
Trust us when we say that making your bed every morning can help make you healthier. It has a psychological effect that will keep you moving and feeling good. Admiral William H. McRaven wrote in his book Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life … and Maybe the World that making your bed gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment first thing in the morning and sets you up for the rest of the day. A neatly made bed can also improve your mood by making the rest of the room feel tidy and less cluttered. And when you stick with it, you’re setting the stage for building other healthy habits.
4. Take time to recharge
This is important for any time, but it might be downright necessary when your stress levels are already on high alert. Recharging can mean something different to everyone. If you’re surrounded by family while working from home all day, you might need to carve out some alone time by meditating, escaping through a novel, listening to music or exercising. If you’ve been isolated, reach out to a friend with a phone call or video chat. Stay connected.
5. Create a smart Routine
“Isn’t that what this entire thing is about?” you ask. When you create a Routine – capital R – with your favorite voice assistant, a simple, “Alexa, wind down” will trigger a series of events to help you reclaim some peace. Some of our favorite actions include playing your favorite music or a boring podcast designed to make you drowsy, changing the lighting in the evening to help you wind down and adjusting the temperature on your smart thermostat.
Another option is to create a kid-friendly Routine. Many smart speakers will set a timer and alert you when it’s time for a certain activity. Parents might especially love this. Let Alexa or Google Assistant tell your kids when it’s time for breakfast, homework, play time and more.