I love the fall season! The crisp air is such a relief from the Texas summers and I feel like I could stay outside all day walking and working in my yard. I also try to fall clean my house. You should do difficult areas you might not normally clean such as under and behind the refrigerator, the washer and dryer and any other areas that are not in your normal cleaning pattern.
We also need to remember that our home harbors a surprising number of sneaky allergy-causing culprits. The list below shows where they are hiding and how to get rid of them!
- 1. Clutter: A messy home = nice places for dust mites, bugs, mold, and mice to live. So, remove clutter daily by recycling old newspapers, magazines, cans, and grocery bags and keeping stuff in their places and up, off the floor.
2. Carpet: Dust mites and pet dander love carpeting and rugs, so bust out your vac weekly. If you can, trade in your old vacuum for one with a high-efficiency particulate air filter to trap tiny particles. The other type’s just re-circulates them. If you have really bad allergies, leave your floors bare.
3. Bedding: Banish mites and mold by washing bedding (sheets and blankets) in very hot (130-degree) water weekly. And, you really should keep pets out of the bedroom if you have allergy problems.
4. Bathroom: Moist bathroom or basement walls love to breed mold. Wipe them down with a chlorine-bleach solution (1 ounce bleach to 1 quart water) to keep fungus controlled. In the fall, mold also moves indoors through wet leaves on shoes and damp firewood. Store wood in a separate dry space, as a garage, and your yard leaf-free.
5. Crumbs: Crumbs on the floor and on counters along with overflowing garbage lure mice and roaches and their droppings can aggravate allergies. Keep your spaces as clean as possible. Sinks and countertops should be wiped down after every meal and use a Swifter or broom on your floors daily.
6. Open Windows: I love to have my bedroom open but it will bring in ragweed pollen indoors so keep windows closed especially during 10 am to 3 pm which is the highest pollen count. If it’s warm, keep the air conditioner running; it filters out pollen inside your home. Also remember to change your AC/heater filters monthly. And if your family doesn’t mind you being too picky, remove shoes outside to avoid tracking in pollen particles.
7. Basement: Fight mold with a dehumidifier set between 35 and 45 percent humidity. Before you buy one, first get a humidity gauge to assess how much de-moisturizing you will need.
8. Houseplants: Your potted plants can harbor sneeze-producing mold on their leaves. (I didn’t know this!) Remove any moldy leaves immediately, and don’t let water pool in the pot’s tray.
9. Pets: Pet dander and saliva spell trouble for 30 percent of allergy sufferers. Washing or brushing your pet weekly (do it outside) can lower your home’s dander level. And as mentioned above, if you have allergy problems, don’t let your pets sleep with you.
10. Fabric furnishings: Dust weekly. Wash throw rugs in hot water. And vacuum your upholstery. Also, keep your air temp cool: mites as well as fungus and roaches, dislike cool temperatures.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
Our attitude and how we act towards others deeply affects our health and well being along with the fact that we are either ministering or hurting others.
When I have a long to-do list, I catch myself beginning to feel over-whelmed and that affects my mood. But a good mood is just a smile away! Scientists have found smiles – whether received or given – are able to change our moods. When we smile, our brains believe we are happy and release chemicals consistent with happiness. At the same time, seeing someone smile can change our mood, especially with parents. A 2008 study revealed that a mother’s mood can improve by just seeing her baby smile. So turn that frown upside down and…smile!
As we enter fall, winter and the cold and flu season isn’t far away. With a few simple changes now, you can prime your immune system to fight off microbial invaders this fall. Here are some tips:
1. Take a vitamin D supplement. Kids given 1,200 IU of vitamin D3 daily were nearly 60 percent less likely to come down with the flu than those who took a dummy pill.
2. Turn down a second helping. A new study from Tufts University found that when 46 overweight men and women ate fewer calories for six months, their immune systems functioned better. Cutting calories by just 10 percent did the trick. Other recent research saw similar improvement after people lost an average of 13 pounds.
3. Pick high-fiber foods. Mice that were fed plenty of soluble fiber – the kind in oats and apples – showed fewer signs of illness when they were given a substance that tricks the body into acting as if it’s infected with bacteria. Although animal studies are less reliable than human ones, there’s little downside to eating high-fiber foods.
As you enjoy this fall season, I hope you also become healthier. Feel free to comment!