At Project Pivot, we hope you stay well during this coronavirus pandemic. Not only do we consult sustainably on building projects, but we also practice wellness and wish to share some resources with you to keep you healthy during these times.
If you are sheltering in place at home or running out of cleaning supplies, below are some tools for you, including optimizing your indoor air quality at home, optimizing your health and immune system, and DIY hand sanitizer and household sanitizing cleaner.
FOR YOUR HOME’S INDOOR AIR QUALITY:
You can stay healthy by maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Being outdoors in diluted air is best, so long as you are in uncrowded spaces and six feet apart from others. However, when you must remain in your home, you can increase your indoor air quality by practicing the following:
• Run your kitchen hood vent continuously while cooking. Try using lids on your cookware when possible, to reduce moisture entering your home. It is even recommended to crack a window in or near your kitchen or cooking area to prevent extra moisture. Extra moisture can lead to mold or mildew buildup, decreasing the air quality of your home.
• Run your bathroom fan when you shower or bathe and/or crack a bathroom window as feasible while bathing, for proper ventilation. You can ensure your bathroom vent is properly exhausting by taking one sheet of tissue paper and place it against the vent, with the vent in the on position. If the tissue paper stays or gently tries to rest against the vent without falling, the vent is properly exhausting. If the tissue paper falls, the installation of the fan can be checked. This is more feasible if the bathroom vents through an accessible attic or ceiling opening.
• On warmer dryer days, try opening a window or two within your home, to open up some cross-ventilation and clean our your space.
• If you have access to your air filter, check it out or replace it. If the air filter is old or clogged, it may no longer be capable of filtering our fine particles from entering your indoor air. If you do not have access, you may be able to send a request to landlord.
FOR YOUR HEALTH:
While this pandemic can cause each of us to feel more anxious with unknowns, it may seem easier to rest and have comfort food. There is nothing wrong with doing so. This affects each of us in different ways. However, if you can build in some sort of daily routine, your health and your immune system can thrive.
• Sleep: Try sleeping a minimum of 7-8 hours per night, to increase your immune system. It may help to have a white noise machine or to download a white-noise application on your phone. (Although it is recommended to reduce screen time before bed for optimal sleep.) An eye mask or blackout shades can help block out unwanted light, inviting our bodies into a deeper sleep.
• Nutrition: Vitamin C and Zinc can boost your immune system as well. It is recommended to eat healthy broths, vegetables, and fruit. While many fruits contain a lot of vitamin C, be mindful that fruits, vegetables, and juices consumed cold require more of the body’s energy to digest. Eating slow roasted vegetables, meats, and broths is recommended and requires less of the body’s energy, boosting your immune system.
• Physical Exercise: Daily exercise, even if only ten minutes per day, is helpful. Do you have space to get out and walk, jump-rope, run, or cycle? Indoor exercise machines are helpful, or you can try a simple yoga routine, pushups, rockclimbers, or an online exercise class. It is helpful to establish a set time every day to complete this workout, and not to beat yourself up if you miss a day. (See erinlaueryoga.com for online yoga classes fit for all levels.)
• Proper Ergonomics: If you work from home, you can create a stand desk at your kitchen countertop, if not too disruptive, by stacking old textbooks or dictionaries under your screen and mouse to ensure the proper height. It is best for elbows to rest at your side and wrists to be in a downward angle from the elbows, with eyes straight ahead, so as not to strain the neck. It is recommended to lengthen the back and extend the side waists and spine. Movement from a seated position every 90 minutes can help mobilize the spine and reinvigorate activity in the brain.
• The Nervous System and Meditation: The environment surrounding us is unknown. We may not be able to see or hug those we love. The media feeds us information that changes daily. All of this can upset our nervous system, which can be calmed with daily meditation. Try 5 minutes a day of sitting still in comfortable position, even in a chair with feet firmly placed on the floor, or lying down, and focus on the abdomen expanding away from the spine as you inhale through the nose and returning towards the spine as you exhale through the nose. Feel the spine lengthen and be present. Meditations can be accessed online through many platforms. (Audible meditations will be added to erinlaueryoga.com soon.) Or try sitting or lying in a quiet place and setting a timer for 5-10 minutes. There is no right time or place. A break can be taken in the middle of the workday, between meetings, or while a child is napping. When we wake up first thing in the morning, our minds are a blank canvas, and this is the best time for a meditation practice, before checking the phone, emails, or news.
DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY) CLEANING PRODUCTS
DIY Hand Sanitizer:
2 parts organic cane alcohol 190 proof or rubbing alcohol
1 part aloe vera gel
Essential oil(s) for fragrance
1. Mix Aloe Vera Gel with Alcohol and add Essential Oils
2. Close up and shake well
3. Pour into easy-to-dispense bottles.
Household Cleaner for Disinfecting:
• 3 Tbsp White vinegar
• 3 Tbsp Dish soap
• Rubbing Alcohol
• Essential oils
• Dispenser Spray Bottle
1. Fill dispenser spray bottle 2/3 of the way with rubbing alcohol.
2. Add white vinegar and dish soap.
3. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water.
4. Add a drop of two of essential oils for the smell you like. Lemongrass smells clean and can also be used as a spray to detract fruit flies.
5. Spray onto surfaces or onto a clean rag to disinfect.