I live in California, and it feels like the whole state is on fire right now. I'm based in Southern California, splitting time between Palms Springs and Santa Barbara, and no matter where I am the skies are covered in thick gray smoke. And Northern California is even worse! My heart hurts for all of the people and animals affected.
In years past it was always recommended to wear a mask when the air quality got bad, but now that wearing masks is the norm for daily life I haven't heard anything about it. While it is very important to avoid breathing in ash, the mask does nothing to prevent smoke inhalation.
Inhaling smoke can cause a sore throat, chest pain, trouble breathing, headaches, irritated sinuses, runny nose, and more. While there isn't mush to be done about the air outside, here is what I do to help the air inside and some other tips that I use to help us get through fire season:
Diffuse constantly! Oils that are good for air purification are mint (your preference), Tea Tree, Lime, Ravenstara, and Cardamom. Tree oils are always good; think Cedarwood, Douglas fir, White or Siberian Fir. I prefer diffusers with longer running times, so I'll set them on an 8 hour run first thing in the morning, again midday, and at bedtime. We have a diffuser in the living room and one in each bedroom.
Indoor plants are a huge help, there are many that are beautiful to look at that also have air purifying benefits. I Iive in the desert, so I have snake plants scattered throughout my home for that reason. "The Snake plant purifies air by absorbing toxins through the leaves and producing pure oxygen. In fact, the Sansevieria is an ideal bedroom plant. Whereas most other plants release carbon dioxide at night (in the absence of photosynthesis), the Sansevieria continues to produce oxygen." - [source]
Stay hydrated. It is extra important to give your body the support it need in working hard for you! It can be easy to forget that even under the best circumstance our bodies are working to filter all of the bad things out, so when there are specific threats that we know we are exposed to, the least we can do it take proper care and give it the tools it need to function properly.
When exposed to smoke/bad air quality I always make sure to add Chlorophyll to my supplement routine. I use either liquid or capsules, they help to give my body a gentle cleanse and detox effect. Dark leafy greens are a must, whether you have a spinach salad that you like or you decide to throw an extra handful into your smoothie. I also add antioxidants in wherever I can. I have a capsule that I like to take, but dark berries and pomegranates are great nutritional sources as well. I make extra sure I am using my mushroom supports as well. Chaga has huge anti-aging, antioxidant, and cellular supportive properties, as well as being adapotogenic so that it's a more customized approach for your body's specific needs. Reishi is similar and will add some calming to your nervous system to support proper rest, which is so needed because that's when our bodies do all their best filtering! I had Chaga to my morning coffee and Reishi to my evening tea, but feel free to do what works for you!