Sep 17 2018
Create a Stress-Free Home With These Easy Cleaning Tips
Mental health is partly controlled by our genetics and partly by our environment. While counseling can help you manage stress and anxiety, you can also take measures at home to keep things cool and calm so you have a place of respite from whatever ails you.
Here are a few tips to help you keep a clean house and create a calming space.
Cut the clutter. If your decorating style can best be described as “junk drawer chic,” you might want to reconsider the amount of stuff you keep in your home. As the Huffington Post explains, clutter can actually ruin your life. Not only can it increase your stress levels, but having a cluttered house can wreck your diet and make your home anything but a safe haven. Spend an afternoon purging your countertops and cabinets of things you really don’t need, and only keep those items you can’t live without.
Simplify your cleaning routine. After the clutter is under control, keep things clean by streamlining chores. Dust, mop, and vacuum all rooms at the same time to avoid having to get your cleaning tools in and out of the utility closet. And don’t forget neglected areas, such as the walls and baseboards, behind the appliances, and inside the kitchen cabinets. Angie’s List also suggests dusting the ceiling fan and above the kitchen cabinets, which will reduce allergens in the air.
Insist on assistance. If you live in a home with more than one person, more than one person should handle the cooking, cleaning, and home maintenance. Assign specific chores to each member of your household. Even something as simple as having your kids put the dishes away or fold the laundry will help keep your home clean and free up valuable time for you to focus your attention on self-care. Your family—or roommates—will no doubt offer up excuses as to why they can’t help out. Be ready with a counter argument and available to offer instructions on how to get things done. And remember, teaching your children how to care for a household puts them in greater position to manage their own homes as young adults.
Learn to love lists. The human brain is hardwired to like lists. Not only do lists help you keep track of what you have—and haven’t—done, keeping a list of daily, weekly, and monthly household chores can help you remain focused. Creating lists helps bring order to the chaos, and that can lower your stress levels. Keep separate lists for each room in the home and make sure they are visible. Another benefit of listmaking is that it gives you a mental boost when you see tasks being marked off.
Don’t forget the outdoors. You don’t want to relax inside all year, so it’s a good idea to focus on the exterior of your home as well. There are a few simple tricks to make sure your outdoor spaces remain maintained season to season. Start by clearing debris out of the yard at least once a week. Once leaves begin to fall, rake them onto tarps for mulching or composting instead of allowing them to pile up and mold throughout the winter. Bob Vila offers more tips on simple outdoor maintenance tasks. Don’t forget to set up a cozy spot with a hammock or lounge chair where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Once you have your cleaning routine down, consider changing your spaces to best accommodate your interests. For instance, if you like to read, carve out a corner of a room where you can cozy up with a good book, or rearrange your kitchen to free up counter space for baking. Whatever you decide, make it something just for you, and keep it neat and tidy.
Jul 16 2018
Every day, millions of Americans try to cope with stress, anxiety, mood disorders such as depression, and the physical issues that can be brought on by those feelings. For some, the stress that comes with everyday life can lead to issues at work or in school, problems within a relationship, and feelings of guilt or inadequacy when it comes to parenting. These are very real problems that can lead to bigger issues if left untreated, which is why it’s so important to practice self-care and de-stress once in a while.
It’s different for everyone; what works for you may not work for someone else, so don’t be afraid to customize your routine. Whether you want to try a new workout regimen to burn off some of that negative energy or just carve time out of your busy schedule to sit down with a good book, make sure it’s something that makes you happy and relaxed.
Here are a few tips on how to get started.
Create Your Own Space
Everyone needs their own space to relax in, especially if they have a large family. Create a place where you can go to relax. A meditation room can work wonders for your mood on those long days when nothing seems to be going right; all you need is a yoga mat or comfy chair, some soft lighting, and perhaps a scented fragrance oil or some relaxing music. This should be a place you can go when you need a few quiet moments to yourself, so don’t put in too many distractions. For some great tips on creating such a space, read on here.
Get Some Good Sleep
Adequate rest should leave you feeling like a million bucks when you wake up. Unfortunately, many of us face the day feeling groggy, achy, and wishing we could go back to bed. This could be due to a lack of good R.E.M. sleep, which can be caused by any number of things. For some, it’s the need to get up and use the bathroom in the middle of the night; for others, it’s a pet or partner who is restless in bed. Taking steps to get good sleep can help you feel more confident during the day and will keep you from feeling fatigued when you have a lot to get done, so cut off liquids an hour before you go to bed, turn off all electronics, and consider investing in a good mattress or pillows that will help you get restful sleep all night long.
Just say no
Being unable to say “no” to people when they ask for your time or attention can lead to quite a bit of stress. It’s important to learn how to deflect those situations when you’re feeling overwhelmed so you don’t take too much onto yourself. There’s no need to be rude; simply let the person know that you are currently at capacity where your time is concerned.
Do Things You Love
Spending your time doing things you enjoy is a great way to reduce stress, and the beauty is, you can change it up every day if you want. Sit down with a good book, go for a hike with your dog, start a garden, or play a game of basketball with your friends. Whatever it is you love to do, set aside some time to do it as often as you can.
Practicing self-care is one of the best tools we have when it comes to reducing stress and living a long, healthy life. Talk to your family members about how they can help — for instance, not bothering you when you’re in your meditation room — and take time every day for yourself.
About the Author
Dana Brown is the creator of HealthConditions.info, which aims to provide Internet users with helpful content and resources that will lead them to make healthier decisions.
Check out this article for more information on how create your own personal stress-free meditation space: https://morningchores.com/meditation-room-ideas/
Jun 04 2018
Adolescence and anxiety. The two seem to go hand in hand. From peer pressure to changing hormones, your kids have a lot to deal with as they grow into adults. To help your children through this tricky transition period, give them these helpful tools to keep anxiety from overcoming their life.
Encourage Clean, Healthy Eating
In adolescence, children begin to become more aware of their bodies. They perceive a real, although at times exaggerated, connection between the way their body looks and the way they and the world, perceive them. Instill a good sense of self-esteem early, but also help them choose healthy, wholesome foods at this critical point of growth and development. Many find peace in eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, which is full of health benefits. Help your children find their way to a strong, healthy body.
Find Peaceful Ways to Relieve Their Stress
Stress often becomes more prevalent in the lives of pre-teens and teenagers. Social pressures, school performance and internal stress can be overwhelming when left unchecked. As your children grow, teach them the skills they need to overcome daily stress. Deep breathingcan be a dependable way to relieve emotional strain. Having a healthy hobbycan help as well. Planting a garden, painting with oils or playing an instrument can have a positive impact on the way young people process stress. These creative hobbies can build self-esteem and mental acuity as well.
Provide Tools to Build Positive Relationships
As a parent, you set the tone for the relationships your children will form during their life. This is why it is essential to build a positive, calm bond between all members of your family. Encourage non-violent communicationwhen it comes to resolving sibling or parental arguments. Don’t yell or allow anger to influence the interactions your child experiences or sees. Teach your children the value of positive, loving relationships and be sure to observe the connections they make with friends and schoolmates. Studies show that negative or positive pressure from peerscan have a great impact on those of adolescent age.
Discuss Addiction Dangers
Too often, the pressures and anxiety that children feel leads to them coping in negative ways. Drugs and alcohol are a real threat to the health of teenagers and pre-teens, so it is vital that you begin discussing addiction dangersat an early age. Have conversations about what is healthy and unhealthy when it comes to these possible toxins. Calmly convey your feelings on addiction and the well wishes you have for your children’s future.
Maintain Spiritual Connections
In this busy world, it can be easy to deprive our souls of the nourishment needed. Adolescents who don’t have a spiritual connection to themselves, or the world, may feel more confused and anxious. Ground your family’s everyday life in peaceful forms of spiritual practice. Make a family meditation space at home, or build each person their own space. Set aside a few moments of each day for every member of your family to come to their center and be thankful for the gifts they have. Teach your children how to remain mindful and find peace in their lives.
Allow Time for Meaningful Rest
We all need sleep to refresh our bodies and minds, but growing children may need more of it. Lack of sleep can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and stunted emotional growth. Ensure your children are getting the rest they need by setting a sleeping schedule early. Have your kids go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Make their bedroom an oasis of comfort to help soothe them to sleep. Block out harsh lighting and keep the temperature cool at night. Use cool, natural fabricssuch as bamboo, for bedding and blankets.
As a parent, your first instinct is to love and nurture your children. You can’t take all of their problems away but you can give them the tools they need to bring peace and calm back into their lives.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
About the Author:
Dana is the creator of HealthConditions.info, which aims to provide Internet users with helpful content and resources that will lead them to making healthier decisions. Dana has 15 years of caregiving experience, and after seeing some patterns of poor health she became determined to help inform people about healthy living.
May 08 2018
Oh, moms. We have such an immense amount of pressure resting so precariously on our shoulders, don’t we? Pressure from ourselves, our partner, our families, society. To be the perfect this, the perfect that, the mom carting her smiling kids off to class after class so that they’re well rounded, good members of society. We run ourselves ragged attending appointments, cleaning, ensuring all the bills are paid on time, stress over finances and budgets, stay up late making sure things are prepared for the following day, counting down the hours of sleep we might get if we fall asleep right NOW. I was on FaceTime with my mom complaining of my exhausting and lack of time to shower for the past 3 days when I realized how ridiculous I sounded. Mind you, I’m a mother of a newborn and a 2 year old, so most days I do feel pressed for time to pay attention to myself, but let me tell you, that is the LAST thing you want to forget about. I realized I hadn’t showered in 2 days, I was wearing the same clothes, that had spit up and various things wiped on it from my toddler, I could smell my BO every time I lifted up one of my babies, yet kept telling myself that I’d shower as soon as they were asleep, only to get caught up in clearing the sink of dirty dishes. Moms, and people everywhere really, STOP! Self care is so incredibly vital for you to continue doing what you do. As mothers, I’m very aware of the judgment that comes with pretty much every move we make. Go out one night, and you’re hearing the backlash saying all you do is party and you’re never with your kids. Go out, and enjoy yourself. Have that extra drink, eat that last mozzarella stick and laugh and joke about completely inappropriate topics, your kids will have a better ‘you’ tomorrow because of it. I let my 2 month old cry it out for 20 minutes while I showered and lathered on my nice lotion, something minor, but also something I usually skip to tend to one of them. And you know what? I’m more relaxed, I smell good, and that 20 min was enough to make me lovingly pick her up and soothe her quickly, whereas 30 min ago I was ready to tear my hair out and hurriedly rock her to stop the screaming. If you’re not taking time for yourself, you WILL burn out, you WILL yell at your kids out of frustration, and your relationships WILL start to deteriorate. For me, I had to humble myself immensely and understand that while I could ‘do it all’ it was leaving me exhausted and empty, and for my kids, myself, and my relationship, I had to accept help, and start pouring into myself again. For me, that first step was seeking professional help. At first, I was embarrassed. I was scared of the stigma that comes with “therapy”. I didn’t want to seem crazy, like I was incapable, or that I was having serious issues. I sought help at church, but felt like I was brushed off and dismissed, to “let god handle that” wasn’t a good enough answer for me. I researched a little more, and found a therapy group called Winter Solstice, that I was willing to try. After my first session with Dr. Renee Winters, I felt motivated, understood, and like I had a plan to move forward and get shit done in my life. I felt for the first time, that I wasn’t the only one going through the hectic ness of life and maybe not coping so well, but, through a few sessions, that began to turn around for me. While I personally, have been going to her for issues with my relationship, her guidance has leaked into all areas of my life. I know many of my mom friends, and family members can relate to things that I’m going through, nothing helped me more than hearing things from an objective, psychological point of view. Therapy isn’t just for crazies or anger management. I want to lift that stigma from seeking help, and talk openly about these things. No one should ever be looked down upon for wanting to better themselves, and hey, we can’t all do it alone. I truly believe that going to counseling, for whatever reason in your life, is the most beneficial thing that you can do for yourself. Finding the right therapist for you is half the battle, and I can’t recommend Dr. Winters enough. I was skeptical and frightened that I was going to be forking out money to sit on a couch and be asked “how I felt about that” over and over again, but was pleasantly surprised to realize that sessions with her were more likened to venting to an old friend, who instead of listened sympathetically and told you what you wanted to hear, offered constructive advice that produced tangible results. Mamas, daddy’s, family member, old coworkers. I implore you to take care of yourselves before all else. Yes, even before those sweet babies. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Feb 13 2018
Using Holistic Methods To Grow From A Major Life Change
Going through a major life change can have strong effects on your emotional, physical, and mental well-being, whether good or bad. It’s difficult to know how to move forward after such a change, especially if it involved the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a move to a new and unfamiliar town, because those events can alter us in unexpected ways. However, it’s important to learn how to cope and make those changes work for you, even if it seems like it’s in a limited way at first. Taking this opportunity to better yourself or your life can help you heal following such a major transition, and using holistic wellness techniques can have a major positive impact on your overall well-being.
Here are some wonderful holistic approaches to wellness after a significant life change.
Getting a divorce or making a big move can be extremely stressful; however, if you look at it as a chance to declutter and get organized, you’ll actually be helping to improve your mental state. Holding onto physical items from the past can keep you from moving forward, especially if there are strong memories attached to them. Go through your belongings and make a keep pile, a trash pile, and a donate pile, and think hard about what you want to keep. Letting go of some of those things — and perhaps finding a good home for them somewhere else — can help you move on after a major life change. Remember that you don’t have to get rid of everything; if there are several items that you don’t use much anymore but want to keep, consider boxing them up to go through at a later time when things have slowed down a bit and the task doesn’t feel as overwhelming.
Helping others can have a huge positive impact on your mental health and emotional well-being, and the time period following a big change in your life is one of the best times to get involved. You can use your own experiences to make a difference in the lives of others; for instance, if you lost a loved one to cancer, you might start a nonprofit that raises awareness about the disease, or sell your artwork and give the proceeds to a local hospice. Think about the best ways you can get involved in your community.
Treat your body and your spirit right
Many life changes bring stress and anxiety or even depression, so it’s important to focus on your health and use the time immediately following to get serious about the well-being of your body, mind, and soul. Daily exercise helps tremendously with stress and anxiety and can help you get into shape, if that’s what you’re after. Eating well-balanced meals with plenty of dark leafy greens is a good idea, too, as is getting enough rest. This can sometimes be easier said than done when you’re going through a rough time, so establish a bedtime routine that includes relaxation, such as taking a hot bath or lighting a lavender candle. Take a break from the screens — computer, phone, and television — before bed as well, as this can help you sleep better.
Eliminate toxic relationships
Going through a period of change in your life means you can really get to know who your real friends are. The people who are there for you and support you unconditionally are the ones you should maintain relationships with; anyone who only contributes toxicity to your life should be let go. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good and who you feel good being around.
Holistic health in addiction recovery
Perhaps one of the biggest life changes someone can experience is beginning a path to sobriety after struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction. Holistic therapies, especially when combined with the above tips, can be extremely beneficial to those in addiction recovery. Acupuncture and hypnosis are therapeutic and cathartic, and patients may see benefits as early as their first session. Activities like yoga and meditation can be performed alone or with a group, and can help establish a lifelong mindfulness practice that will be helpful on the journey to long-term sobriety.
Remember that you may need someone to talk to during this transition period, so consider seeking a counselor or therapist who can help you get through it. Reach out when you’re feeling low, especially if you think you might be suffering from depression.
Author: Dana Brown
Jan 11 2018
…With Goals You Will Actually Keep
The new year is upon us, and everyone is making New Year’s resolutions and setting goals. But according to Statistic Brain, only about 9 percent of people who set resolutions are successful at keeping them. So, what does that mean? Technically speaking, it means that New Year’s resolutions just don’t work. That’s why you need to create effective change in your life by creating sustainable goals that become habits and will lead to a healthy and positive 2018.
Create Your Own Environment
One of the things you can do right away is to create a relaxing and comforting home environment. In other words, set aside a room in your home without electronic distraction for your creative pursuits. Buy a comfortable chair, some paintings of nature, and other relaxing decor to inspire less stress. Also, consider adding an aromatherapy device, soothing fabrics, relaxing music, and greenery. Stress can lead to serious illness, and part of a healthy lifestyle is learning how to manage it effectively.
Cut Down on TV Time
Binging on your favorite Netflix show may seem like a relaxing activity, but studies actually show that this leads to increased depression and feelings of loneliness. According to CBS News, “binge-watching involves obsessed, intense, and dedicated behavior, characteristics indicative of addictive behaviors.” It also leads to other negative activities such as overeating, which can cause obesity, and a whole slew of other mental and physical health issues.
Get Some Sleep
Sleep is the time in which your body regenerates cells, and tissue recovers. That’s why sleep deprivation has been shown to be directly linked to a vast amount of health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Make it a goal to get at least eight hours of sleep most nights of the week. If not getting enough sleep is a problem for you, try creating an environment solely for this purpose. In other words, banish things from your bedroom like TVs and laptops and add things like soothing colors and soft fabrics.
Drink More Water
Drinking more water is a fairly sustainable goal since most of us are drinking something throughout the day anyway. Just make the simple change of keeping a full bottle of water on your desk, and drink half your body weight in ounces every day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, make sure to drink 80 ounces of water. Not only will this replenish cells and keep your organs healthy, it will also keep your stomach full and reduce cravings.
It may be hard to believe that the simple act of being thankful could have such a positive impact on your well-being, but according to Psychology Today, people who practice gratitude have more positive moods than those who don’t. They suggest doing things every day like writing in a gratitude journal, reflecting on people who have helped you, and taking walks in nature. Make this a daily habit, and you will be surprised at how much more optimistic you start to feel.
Yoga is a more sustainable form of exercise than running or cycling, simply because of the more relaxed nature of it. But it’s one of those activities that will affect every part of your being positively, including body, mind, and spirit. In addition to the numerous health benefits of yoga, it also increases serotonin levels, leading to a happier and healthier state of mind.
It’s important to think holistically when setting goals and creating healthy habits. If you can incorporate activities that benefit both your mind and body, you will be more likely to stick with them because of the incredible way they make you feel afterward. Most importantly, never try to change everything all at once. Avoiding burnout is one of the main keys in setting and sticking to goals.
Author: Dana Brown
Oct 17 2017
Check out this awesome video recap of all the fun we had at our latest event, “Me, Myself & I.” There were raffles, live music, guest speakers and even a food truck! We learned all about how to obtain a better, more healthy version of ourselves while enjoying the great weather, food and drink!
Stay tuned for our next event, it’s going to be a good one!!
Also, check out how much fun we had at our last event.
Apr 27 2017
In today’s society, it’s difficult for a woman to feel empowered. We recently held an all women’s event where we discussed the struggles women have in feeling empowered and finding their voice in not only relationships, but in life. We discussed the importance of boundaries, self care/love and just plainly being nice to other women. In the video, I go into detail on the importance of each of these topics.
Boundaries and self-identity
Boundaries are really important. To have a healthy relationship, both partners should know each other’s wants, fears and limits. You should feel comfortable communicating your needs with your partner without worrying about how they will react. Boundaries are important because they make sure that each person’s needs are being met. In relationships it’s important not forget who you are. It’s very easy to morph into your partner and women are notorious for this. This is where boundaries come into play. Boundaries are put in place in order to protect you and your identity. Don’t let anyone get away with crossing one of your boundaries. Know who you are and don’t let anyone change you.
You do you. To be the best version of yourself, you need to be able to take a step back and take care of yourself. Take the time to treat yourself to that new top you’ve been eyeing, that new lipstick shade that came out or those new running shoes. Go get a mani/pedi or a massage or go for that workout you’ve been putting off. The hour or two that you take to yourself when you need it will recharge your batteries in a way you never thought. As women, I know that it is sometimes difficult to be able to justify spending time on yourself, especially if you are a mother. There is always something that needs to get done. However, not taking care of yourself can put you in a worse situation. Your attitude towards things may change and you may find yourself to be less happy. It’s ok to be selfish when you need to be. Showing yourself some love can have everlasting effects and will benefit you and those around you.
Apr 03 2017
On March 25th, rain or shine (luckily intermittent sunshine), Winter Solstice Psychotherapy Group held its first networking mixer, “Lets Wine About It.” The practice’s parking lot was transformed into different shades of purple and gray to set the mood for the festivities. Our event leader, Dr. Renee Winters, CEO and President of Winter Solstice Psychotherapy Group, provided a variety of wines, cheeses, desserts, and music (my personal favorite, “Everlong” by Foo Fighters) as well as raffle prizes for our guests. Throughout the event, women spoke about their journey toward self-discovery and empowerment. We also had the opportunity to hear from some of our men about the do’s and don’ts when searching for that perfect relationship. The event allowed women an opportunity to network with other women in the area, whether it was for work or simply, camaraderie. But more importantly, the event also brought a sense of escape for many of us. We were all able to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life to either share what we knew or share a laugh. Next up, it’s the men’s turn, Golfing and Beer! See you there!
Mar 28 2017
If you have ever found yourself stuck in the cycle of an unhealthy, destructive, codependent or abusive relationship, and the heartbreak that eventually occurs either as the cycle continues or when the relationship ends, it is likely that someone well-meaning in your life has told you that “love in itself is not enough”. If we’ve been through enough of these painful relationship experiences, sometimes we become so accustomed to hearing this phrase that we start to dismiss it as nothing more than an overused cliché. However, despite the often-irritating nature of clichés, they continue to exist because there is usually truth to them. The problem with the above phrase is that it is often stated as a platitude by well-meaning friends or family members- without any real explanation following it. When we are hurting from a damaging relationship or the aftermath of it, hearing this can feel dismissive. Therefore, it is easy for us to dismiss the idea in turn. Here, I will deconstruct what it really means for love in itself to not be enough.
In our society, we have been conditioned to believe from Hollywood, Disney movies and endless love songs that “love is all you need” (think, Beatles). But in the real world, compatibility of values, healthy compromise and mutual respect for one another’s personality, beliefs and perspectives (even if you don’t share them) matter more. While some of these key healthy relationship qualities will look different for each unique couple, I have listed some examples below.
Mutual respect sounds like this:
“I will accept and appreciate my partner for all the traits that make up the person that he is; just as I want to be accepted and appreciated for the person that I am.”
“It is important to me to share my beliefs with my partner. My partner may not share all of my beliefs, but I want him to listen (respectfully) without dismissing me.”
“I am intelligent and I value intelligence in a partner. I want my partner to remember to respect my intelligence just as I will respect his. I want us to both consider that there are various measures of intelligence rather than attempt to compare ourselves to one another in this respect”.
Healthy compromise sounds like this:
“I have great respect for education and will support and be proud of my partner as he pursues his. However, it is important that my partner be serious about investing time and attention into our relationship and not allow for it to be neglected during his schooling.”
“It is important that my partner and I each have friends of our own and that we encourage one another to spend time with them. I am sure there will be times when we will prefer to spend time with our friends rather than with one another. I will support this as long as our priority remains on our relationship.”
“I am a ‘cheesy romantic’. I am aware that Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark Holiday” but I still want to celebrate it. I also want to kiss my partner on New Year’s Eve. Although I know these holidays are less important to my partner, I want him to adopt an ‘It is important to me because it is important to you’ attitude regarding holidays such as these”.
Compatibility of values sounds like this:
“I know that my partner and I have the same beliefs regarding marriage, children, and/or spiritual practices.”
“My partner and I do not share the same beliefs regarding marriage, children and/or spiritual practices. However, we accept and respect these differences and have come to a compromise about what this means for our future. We feel secure that there are many other important values that we share. We both believe in long-term commitment, the importance of maintaining a relationship with one another’s family members, agree on how to manage finances and share the same passion for charity work.”
When I reflect back on my first real relationship, I wish I had listened to my friends when they told me that love alone was not enough. However, I believe that no unsuccessful relationship is “a waste of time” because it teaches us more about what we truly need in a relationship. Lacking these key healthy qualities in my own relationship taught me just how important they truly are. If you find that your current relationship or history of relationships lack these qualities and would like some support in breaking this cycle and finding a healthy, fulfilling relationship, please feel free contact me!