Every breath we take……….
Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. – Thich Nhat Hanh
When we think of a relaxation technique we think of our breathing, when we think about Mindfulness we think about our breathing, when we have exerted ourselves, we become aware of our breathing. When a baby is born the first thing it does is……. breathe. Our breathing is core to our well-being, the air that we breathe is the foodstuff of life.
Depending on where we live, work, and play we may experience different air qualities. Depending on what conditions we have in our homes we may experience different air qualities.
While our bodies do their best to clean out toxins, given the choice between drinking a cool refreshing glass of water or a muddy warm glass of water what would you choose? So, too with our air quality, we would probably prefer clean fresh air to breathe through smog. Sometimes when we live in large groups with less green space it's harder to breathe in the fresh air we would find at the top of a mountain, but how do we find ways to bring cleaner air into our lives indoors and out regardless of where we live?
This link Action for clean air offers a range of helpful resources to inspire you, your family, your community, workplace on steps we can all take to help improve the air that we breathe. Here are some ideas to think about.
- Plant a tree BUT seek advice, especially if living in an urban area about those which work best to help cut air pollution. This link may be of interest to Trees for Cities. This link to Trees for Life also offers insights into work being done to rewild the highlands. In the countryside it matters too we think about diversity when planting trees. The woodland trust also has great ideas www.woodlandtrust.org.uk Perhaps visit their site for more information.
- Stop smoking, easier said than done, but it's expensive and releases all sorts of pollutants, especially if you smoke cigarettes at home. If you are thinking of stopping smoking this site may be of interest. Quit smoking
- Be mindful of other pollutants in the home such as mould and dampness which can impact our respiratory system. This piece from Shelter may be of interest Dealing with damp and mould if you rent your property and need to discuss this with the person/group you rent from.
- Try and keep the air clean in the home, and be mindful that scented candles may smell nice but that doesn't mean the ingredients in the candles are best for our air quality This article may be of interest. Are scented candles and air fresheners harming your child? While it focuses on children this can also apply to other members of the household.
- Open the windows when it's safe to do so and when cooking use an extractor or open a window to help reduce condensation.
- If you drive a car, consider whether short journeys are necessary, if where you are going is within walking distance. If waiting don't let your engine idle. Not everyone can afford to buy a new electric car, or where they live you need a car to get around as it's pretty remote with no or little public transport. It's just thinking through which journeys maybe don't need to be made, which can be kinder to the environment and our pocket.
These are just some simple ideas. You may think about creating a scented area in your home or garden that supports your well-being and the natural world. This link takes you to a booklet that offers ideas on how to do this Creating your own sensory space. You may also be interested in how essential oils can be used to create your scented diffusers as well as other ways essential oils can be used. This booklet is not a replacement for professional advice on Essential Oils.
Sometimes we just need to find a green space near us, be it in a park, the countryside or our garden, or visit the seaside. This wee video offers some ideas on how connecting with nature is good for our wellbeing whatever the season. The Coorie.
The wee promise card below offers some other ideas on actions we can take which is kind to ourselves, each other, and the planet.
I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.Helen Keller