I know spring is official when my body tells me so! It's those darn allergies that so many of us deal with every year the sun decides to come out from hiding and the crisp bitter cold air seems to break into a cool breeze. And though I love the peaking of the sun after a long hard winter, my head and nose tell me otherwise. I am ever learning about my new-found responses to the air, mostly because I never had any allergies as a child....it came more when I was an adult. There are several things that I found over the past couple years that helped relieve me in a holistic way without the means of allergy medicine or anti-histamines. Before I share what has helped me (and my children) I thought I would link you up with a couple blogs from people that I thought had some awesome advice as well. Sometimes allergies are not from pollen at all, but just from being cooped up in the house all winter.
But what can you do in your house that won't cause more dust, more allergens and more harmful chemicals in the air?
I'm no expert, by any means, but I've been reading a blog titled Healthy Interior Design. I've grown to really respect this blog because its something not a whole lot of us think about. Sure, the green market is growing....and food is usually the focus. But there are so many other ways we can help our bodies (and our families) stay healthy and work the way they should be working, if we keep other areas of our life greener.
Also inspired by the Healthy Interior Design blog on "taking care of clean air" was Brooklyn Allergy Mom, Heidi Bayer with her blog post Allergy Free Spring. Both are great blogs since they focus in different areas of how to aid in the comfort of indoor and outdoor allergies.
Here are a couple things that have helped me and the girls:
1. We have wood floors. This has helped greatly for the main downstairs floor. Since the main entrance is where we track a lot of our dirt, I think its essential for us to have floors that are easy to clean and doesn't hold on to microbes of dirt and dust. We still have carpet upstairs, which occasionally does still mess with our noses, but we just can't make the switch right now up there. For now this works.
2. As much as I would love to install an air filtration system in our heating vents and ducts, the investment would be too high for a house that we know we are not going to permanently stay in. So we settled on something a little different but less expensive. We use an essential oil diffuser by Young Living. There are lots of different oils we diffuse, for many different reasons, so its best to diffuse according to the purpose you want to accomplish. For instance, if I want clean air I diffuse purification, which is a mixed oil that helps to purify and cleanse the air from environmental impurities including cigarette smoke and other disagreeable odors. (Not a smoker by the way). Other times if I just need something to help me breath a little easier I will diffuse eucalyptus. It all depends on what you want to do. But I love my diffuser and it has really helped shorten the duration of discomfort when allergies are at its worst. We get our oils from Young Living, which does a pretty thorough job of educating its people of what each one does (if interested).
3. We stopped using detergents, soaps and cleaning supplies that have sulfates, dyes, unnatural fragrances or harsh chemicals. This includes cleaning supplies, laundry detergent (which does get into the air!) and shampoos, soaps and lotions for the body. We haven't gone completely green and wild, but these are a couple areas that making the switch was painless and easy...and has really helped alleviate certain allergens. The steam mop has also been wonderful since it requires nothing but water to run. Unfortunately there is still lots in our house that contributes to pollutants in the air, but we work slow and one day at a time. This is what I recommend to everyone! You don't have to make the switch over-night! Take your time to switch things out gracefully and stress-free. And I am sure, that way, it feels no different, and is pain free for both your pocket book and your bodies :-)
It's quite amazing what our bodies put up with. Some of us never have one allergy symptom at all, but that doesn't mean you're not breathing toxic air. I encourage you that despite what your body tells you, that it would be beneficial for us all to aim toward a greener and cleaner way of living <3
I would love to hear what some of you do to aid in comfort and healing during the indoor/outdoor allergies! Finding what works for your body is quite the scavenger hunt sometimes. Any creative, yet clean and green, ideas would be great!
Also, for all you mommies out there who are going green you would LOVE this blog
(I sure do):