You know what’s cool? Self-care. Seriously. I mean, partying, staying out, traveling the world, hanging in hot springs, surfing with stars… all that stuff is absolutely my jam. But when the road runs out and it’s time to head home, a little self-care is absolutely where’s it’s at.
That’s why you’ll always hear long-term vagabonds talking about burrowing under their own sheets, binging Netflix on rainy days, and generally being homebodies. It’s the between times, the slower/ calmer/ quieter times, that add balance to the adventurous life. Every time I come back from a trip — whether I’m rappelling from towering cliffs in Australia or chasing down the nation’s best Peking duck — I arrive craving a very specific brand of relaxation. I usually find it by watching TV in the bath, eating mac & cheese, and watering my herb garden. Those are my traditional “it’s so nice to be home” perks. But over the past year, there’s been a new entry added to my creature comfort list: The joy of having “good air.”
I’m serious. Lately, I’ve gotten super interested in the air I breathe. I love feeling refreshed at home and simply trusting my air has added a lot to that. This passion is a new-ish part of my self-care routine, but now that I’ve started it’s something I can’t believe I lived without. Why? Because you’ll never sleep better, eat better, or feel calmer than when your air is pure. It’s been humidified so your skin feels soft. It’s been cleaned so you’re not picking up any residual cleaning smells. And it’s been reconditioned. Seriously, I’m all about it.
This may all sound dorky as hell but let me drop these bombs on you: 1) Household air quality is such a crucial part of staying healthy that the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the WHO (World Health Organization), and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have all issued statements on its importance; and 2) You. will. never. sleep. better. in your LIFE than when you are sleeping in clean, pure, moist air. It’s seriously lit. No joke.
With that said, here is my recipe for getting your air game on point.
YOU NEED PLANTS
Plants are a pretty easy fix for most of what ails us. When someone says, “eat better,” what they’re telling you is “eat more plants.” When they say, “exercise more” they really mean, “go hang where the plants grow.” And, if you told me you wanted to breathe better, I would tell you to get your plant game on point.
All plants aren’t equal when it comes to air cleaning either. English Ivy, bamboo palm, and spider plants are all aces at getting toxins out of thin air. They’re also nice, leafy plants that require a fair bit of watering and later release moisture into your home. Get a few of these, stick them in pots, water them on occasion (no chemicals), and you’ll be on the right track.
YOU NEED TO CLEAN YOUR HOUSE
It’s pretty crazy how much easier a cordless vacuum can make cleaning. I used to hate dragging my massive vacuum (which felt like it was made of pure cast-iron) out of the closet. It would smack my shins every time and then I had to find a plug, plug it in, empty the bag… it was a whole thing. There’s a case to be made for doing things the slow and ancient way, but not with vacuuming. I want that task done as quick as possible.
A few months ago, I picked up the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute and it changed my whole cleaning situation dramatically. Two or three times a week I turn on some music, vacuum for eight or so minutes, and hang it back up in the garage to charge. It’s insanely easy and, therefore, I do it way more. I even vacuum under my bed, weekly — compared to my previous record of vacuuming under my bed… bi-annually? Yikes. (Plus the thing looks so cool that house guests always want to see and try it. Which is a nice perk.)
The result? Well, my place is cleaner. That’s pretty simple. My vacuum goes after the fine particles that I’m allergic to and less dust means more comfort for me.
When it comes to cleaning hard surfaces, I now avoid heavy chemicals. Part of keeping clean air is prevention. I use lemon oil and vinegar dissolved in water and that’s plenty for even the toughest smears of food. I know this sounds pretty hippie-ish, but once you start caring about your air, you notice when its chemical-ridden.
YOU NEED TO CLEAN YOUR AIR
Plants are great, but their processes require time. If you want really clean air, it’s a solid call to trust a little engineering. Another Dyson product — the Pure Cool Purifying Tower — helps me with that. Literally, this one device, which seems like it’s straight out of a movie, has upgraded my whole apartment. The Pure Cool Purifying Tower is one part fan and one part air purifier. It’s also smart as hell.
When toxins are in my air, it knows. It sucks them up and filters them out. It communicates all of this via a digital display and an app. Never have I known so much about the air I breathe as I do now. Whenever someone lights a chemically-scented candle or sprays an aerosol, the Pure Cool Tower goes to work. When the air is clean, it lets me know again. Seriously, the peace of mind/clean air combo is pure bliss.
Look, I know I’m taking this whole project into the obsession range, but it’s worth obsessing over.
YOU NEED TO AVOID A FEW THINGS
When you get a chemical-laden candle, regift it. If you want to scent your home, opt for essential oil diffusers over fake-smelling plug-ins. Start taking your shoes off outside and never, never smoke indoors. These things are easy. There’s just no reason to make extra work for yourself. I’m a person who loves to party, hates rules, and generally scorns order. But your air is your refuge. You’ve got to keep that stuff perfect.
As for pets, that’s up to you. I’ve had dogs before but don’t right now. Obviously, they take a little extra work — but the payoff is awesome. I’m not telling you to give up a dog just for clean air. But definitely give up those chemical-scented candles.
Listen. I’m going to get real with you: I sleep with my mouth open. It’s not pretty. And waking up with my whole system dry both tastes and feels miserable. Two years ago, I bought a cheap humidifier online and it changed everything. After literally one day I was addicted.
Then I got the Dyson Humidifier. It fit about ten times the water, it was clean (not collecting any bacteria in the water reservoir, unlike my cheap version and filtering bacteria out of the water), and I could adjust the humidity. Ever since buying it, I’ve turned it on every. single. night. I add a little orange oil into the water, get the humidity up as high as it will go, and sleep like a damn baby. I wake up with my skin and eyes feeling moist. It’s like an overnight in a spa.
If you’re really ready to get into the home air game, this is the final key element.
So there it is. And I’ll tell you, it might sound like hype. But I sleep better. I feel more comfortable. I relax easier. Yes, I’m a person who loves being on the road, but I also love balance. When I’m home I’m home and now I’m more comfortable than ever there.
It’s cozy as hell and I like that. But best of all, my impeccable air leaves me recharged for my next big adventure.