Fresh Air

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Have you ever noticed how stepping outside your door or opening a window can make all the difference in the world?

Sometimes all I want to do is sit outside and never come back indoors again. This feeling is at its strongest in two situations: when I am feeling totally at peace and just want to “be” and when I am fraught with emotion.

You see, whenever I find something weighing me down, that feeling of space and the ability to breathe freely really helps to calm me and if it wasn’t for the fact that I would be seriously cold and uncomfortable sleeping in our garden, I would have done so on several occasions over the past few years!

I try and remedy this by opening the window whenever I can, even if that means having to run a hot bath or making a hot water bottle and curling up in bed… I can stay warm while enjoying a bit of fresh air around me. It’s never quite as nice as being outside, but it means I can clearly hear the birds chirping, the wind blowing or the neighbours’ kids having a whale of a time without a care in the world.

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This lack of fresh air has often made me both ill and claustrophobic. In my previous workplace there was no natural light or air in our office and the artificiality of it all led to many of the workers ending each day with a stinking headache. And more recently the immense sickness that left me bedbound for several weeks meant I often felt devastated that I couldn’t just step outside and enjoy sitting in the garden or going for a walk.

I would sit and listen to the kids next door and think I couldn’t wait until the sickness passed and I could finally be out in the world enjoying myself again. I would walk to the doctors and feel the air on my face and wish for the sickness to pass so I could finally enjoy that walk for what it was and really notice the things I was passing and the changing of the seasons once more.

Nothing has boosted my mood more than being able to get back outdoors, even if only for little bits at a time, and I hope to never be stuck indoors for such a long time ever again.

Yet, I cannot help but think about how very long these past months have felt and how short they must be in comparison to others who truly are bed or housebound. There are so many people to who this might apply to, but one group of people in particular would be those who suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS.

For these people, contact with any number of everyday products we use without thinking could trigger a reaction, and avoiding these products themselves is often not enough. Just think how far that weedkiller or fence paint you’ve been using could travel in the “fresh air”. I became aware of this sometime last year, but since being pregnant and extra careful about the products I come into contact with it has become even clearer how hard it must be to avoid things for sufferers of MCS.

I hate to think there are people out there who are unable to go out and enjoy the fresh air like I do because of harsh chemicals being used by those around them. There is no easy answer as people are always using products without thinking and finding alternatives is not always so simple. But Tim and I have promised ourselves to do our best to limit the harmful products we use and try to find alternatives. This will not only help if anyone around us has sensitivities to certain chemicals, but it must surely be better for the environment and our beautiful planet as well.

I’ll keep you updated on any new ideas we come across for around the house and in the garden as we head through the summer. And until then, I do hope you are able to enjoy the fresh air wherever you are!

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1 COMMENT

  1. Amanda,
    I’m so glad you’re getting some fresh air!!
    Thank you for generating awareness about multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). This is MCS Awareness Month.
    While there is quite a spectrum (mild to severe) for MCS symptoms, my impairment is significant enough that it affects me every day.
    At the same time, I don’t pretend to know what it’s like for those who are housebound for years on end due to MCS… or those unable to find safe housing (who live in tents in the desert or are even homeless).
    It is scary and sad that so many people are unable to find safe housing due to MCS.
    Sadly, as our planet becomes ever more polluted and thousands of new, unregulated synthetic chemicals are introduced regularly, these problems are likely to only get worse before they get better.
    Thank you for spreading the word about MCS.
    I’m glad you are feeling better than you were. 🙂
    Jeanne

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