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How to stay healthy during building work

When you’re having work done on your home, life is unbelievably chaotic. With incessant noise from building tools, erratic temperature changes and excess dust, it’s impossible not to experience an increase in your stress levels.

It’s vitally important to focus on your wellbeing throughout the disruption. Here are five ways to look after your physical and mental health during home improvements.

Get organised

Try to reduce stress from the offset by getting all renovation plans in writing and ensuring that you’re complying with all building regulations. Additionally, you should always inform your insurance company before commencing with any renovation work. A study by Go Compare found 41% of homeowners carried out home improvements without alerting their insurer, potentially invalidating their policy. For peace of mind, always check first.

Sleep well

When we don’t get enough sleep we function worse the next day. Just one night of poor sleep can affect your mood, concentration and judgement, as well as reducing your ability to fight off minor ailments. Try to maintain a healthy sleep routine by keeping your bedroom dark, clearing clutter (including getting rid of gadgets) and making sure the temperature isn’t too hot or too cold.

Eliminate dust

During building work, dust has a tendency to spread everywhere and this can have an immediate impact on children and adults with asthma, eczema or allergic rhinitis. Guard against dust by sealing off doorways and stairs, and cover soft furnishings. Try to keep the air as clean as possible – products such as air purifiers or vacuums with a high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filter can help, as well as keeping windows open when possible.

Find alternative spaces

Prepare for the inconvenience by finding other spaces in your home to cook, clean, work and have some time out. For example, set up a temporary cooking area in the garage if the kitchen is out of bounds, do the washing-up in the bath or try hot-desking if working from home is not possible. Make sure little ones and pets are kept safe by ensuring they cannot access rooms that are off limits. Lastly, create an out-of-bounds safe haven for yourself – somewhere you can escape for a little peace and quiet when it all gets too much.

Take action

If your kitchen is out of action, it doesn’t have to mean takeaways or meals out every night. You can still eat healthily during this time with a little forward planning. Cook some simple but nutritious meals before the work starts, pop them in the freezer and voila. It’s also important to take time out to do something you enjoy. Whether that’s a gentle swim, a frenetic spinning session or a much-needed massage – get out of the house and give your wellbeing a boost.

Invest in a gym membership

Particularly useful if your bathroom is out of bounds, you can make use of the showers, plugs and lockers to get ready for work in a clean environment. Many gyms are open early in the morning and late into the evening, perfect to work around your schedule. Swimming pools and spas can make a great place to escape the chaos at home - so you relax and get fit at the same time. Some gyms also have a café with tea, coffee and healthy food options if your kitchen isn’t in full working order.