Boosting your mood permanently can be as simple as getting rid of the right items.
Today I’m sharing how removing just three things from your home or your normal routine can improve how you feel day-to-day.
I've personally seen results from removing these items. In fact, I have a recurring calendar reminder every three months to remind me to check my home and routine because these things have a way of sneaking back in. These three things are quite common so it's easy to forget how harmful they can be and accidentally bring them back into your home.
DITCHING HORMONAL MOODINESS
If you're like me, your moods are directed in part by your hormones. I'm very sensitive to hormone shifts and when things are just a little off balance, I can feel depressed quite easily. Hormones in our body are regulated by the endocrine system. According to the Journal of Endocrinology, "The endocrine system consists of a number of central nervous system (CNS)-pituitary-target organ feedback pathways involved in the regulation of a multitude of bodily functions and the maintenance of homeostasis. As such, there are several target organ sites at which an environmental agent could disrupt endocrine function."
It's those "environmental agents" that want we to identify and declutter today. When it comes to disrupting endocrine function, there are three bad guys that pop up over and over in commonly-owned household products.
According to Alexandra Zissu writing for Natural Resources Defense Council, "The word fragrance on a label signifies a mix of potentially hundreds of ingredients, and the exact formulas of most companies claim are trade secrets. But we do know that phthalates, one class of chemicals typically found in fragrance, can disrupt hormones." Fragrances don't just turn up in grooming products. They're also common in house cleaning products. Switch to fragrance-free hygiene products and home products as much as you can and you'll be on your way to ditching phthalates.
For naturally cleaning my home, I mostly use soap, vinegar, and baking soda. You can find lots of recipes online for making your own cleaning products with safer chemicals.
2. Plastic for Food Storage
Plastic containers commonly contain BPA - a chemical that can easily pass into the human body where there is some evidence that effects the hormone system. It's hard to completely avoid plastic. Many grocery store items are sold in plastic containers. Where I live now, the tap water isn't suitable for drinking, so we get water delivered. It comes in large plastic containers. However, where it's possible, we use steel and glass to store food and drinks. I have a stainless steel reusable water bottle. We have glass containers for storing leftovers. And I try to avoid plastic wrap when possible, instead using a silicone topper over a glass bowl or simply a glass plate placed over a bowl to store leftovers.
I recommend: this glass container (affiliate link) for baking, freezing, and food storage.
I noticed a clear improvement in my hormone health when I switched to paraben-free products. These preservatives are common - even in expensive luxury skincare products. According to the EWG "The CDC has detected parabens in virtually all Americans. According to the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, certain parabens (propyl-, butyl-, isopropyl-, and isobutyl-), may disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorders."
Check your products ingredient listings for propyl-, butyl-, isopropyl-, and isobutyl- parabens. It's getting easier to find products without parabens as awareness increases about their effects.
I like to check the EWG's Skin Deep database for product recommendations when looking for a new personal care item.
I also like to use food-quality oils like grape seed, coconut, and olive oil in my skin and hair-care regimens. That way I know what I'm putting on my skin and hair.
For a healthy self-care treat, see my simple, DIY at home manicure post.
Go through your grooming, cleaning, and food storage products. Throw away items containing these three ingredients when you can. If you can't part with it because you need it, start looking for a safe replacement and make a plan to get what you need and then declutter the potential hormone disruptors.
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Finally, if you haven’t signed up yet for the free 3-Day Decluttering Challenge, you have a chance to do so below. You’ll get a three-day burst of inspiration and instruction, plus The Simple Sunday, my weekly note on how to edit your life for more joy.