Spring Cleaning

As our homes and lifestyles have changed, so have our cleaning habits. Now that the spring season has officially started and the weather is getting warmer, some may look at it as a fresh start. Spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning your home in the spring time – it’s all about clearing out and getting rid of the items you no longer use. You can downsize your home and take on tasks that only need to be tackled once or twice a year.

Deep cleaning your home doesn’t necessarily have to take place in the spring months, but it’s a great time to celebrate the warmer weather. Spring cleaning may seem like a daunting task for some. However, thoroughly cleaning your home and all the nooks and crannies not only sets a healthy environment for your home’s inhabitants, but it also helps to keep your house well-maintained. Here are some ways that you can make spring cleaning as enjoyable as possible.

  • Plan ahead for time-consuming tasks. If you know that some areas of your house are more cluttered than others (garage and kitchen) clean those first.
  • Get mentally prepared to clean – avoid procrastinating. The longer you wait to clean, the harder it will be to actually get started.
  • Start slow – focus on one task at a time. Cleaning more than one section at a time may cause you to feel overwhelmed.
  • Be realistic and break it down – make a list. Utilize a detailed checklists for deep-cleaning the areas of your home that need extra attention. You can skip the items that have already been cleaned recently.
  • Store things based on how you use them.
  • Establish new cleaning habits. Simple 15 minute cleanup routines can be practiced at least once a week, if your schedule permits. This will reduce clutter so that the next time you need to deep-clean your home, you won’t feel as overwhelmed.
  • Clean room by room. Don’t feel pressured to have a specific day where you clean the whole entire house. For example, you can dedicate one Sunday to clean out your garage, and the next weekend you can work on the kitchen.
  • Spring cleaning may be more enjoyable if you have your favorite music playing in the background. Put on upbeat music to dance to and to keep your energy levels high.
  • Gather your supplies –broom, dustpan, sponges, vacuum cleaner, mop bucket and mop stick, paper towels, cleaning gloves, trash bags, etc.

Crossing things off of a to-do-list will feel make you feel good, no matter how small the task. Spring cleaning is a lot of work and can be challenging, but it’s feasible and easier when you have a schedule and a plan. De-cluttering your home will change your mindset and improve your overall productivity.

 

Written by Dami Falade

Effects of Stress on Your Health

Stress is the body’s reaction to unfamiliar situations. Stress is a normal part of everyday life, and so is our response to it. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to protect yourself. This reaction is known as “fight-or-flight”, or the stress response. During this process, your heart rate increases, your breathing quickens, your muscles start to tighten, and your blood pressure rises.

Some causes of internal and external stress include major life changes (pregnancy, getting married, or a new job), relationship problems, financial responsibilities, and academic pressure as well. Stress may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. Stress can affect your body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

The effects of stress on your emotional wellbeing are:

  • Constant worrying
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability (agitated behavior – twiddling your fingers, clenched jaw, grinding teeth)
  • Angry outbursts
  • Social withdrawal – decreased contact with family and friends
  • Overeating or undereating

The most common physical symptoms of chronic stress are:

  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Digestion issues – nausea or constipation
  • Muscle tension
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weight gain

Here are some coping mechanisms and ways you can manage your stress better.

  • Identify what’s causing your stress. Ask yourself about your feelings and the problems that you’re having. Is it something that you can control or is it always going to be an issue?
  • Exercise on a regular basis. It’s important to make time to exercise at least 3 times a week if your schedule permits.
  • Utilize techniques for physical relaxation. Activities such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation will make a huge difference in your overall outlook and help you to relax.
  • Socialize with family and friends. Talk to someone close to you about what’s on your mind. You’ll feel much better when your feelings are out in the open, instead of just bottling them up.
  • Find a hobby that you can enjoy. Read a book, draw, or listen to your favorite music.
  • Journal your thoughts. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone, writing down your feelings is a great way to get it out of your system.
  • Sleep! Getting enough sleep is key. Sleep deprivation can negatively affect your mood. Make sure you are sleeping at least 6 -7 hours per night.

Stress is inevitable. It’s always important to have a plan so that your stress levels aren’t getting too out of control. Finding stress-reducing routines that work well for you is the first and most important step of increasing side effects of stress, both emotional and physical. Learning how to manage your stress takes time and practice.

However, if you have tried all above steps and your stress becomes more difficult to manage, or if you start to develop more serious symptoms (chest pain, difficulty breathing, or irregular menstrual cycle) it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

 

Written by Dami Falade

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