A Calm & Relaxing Bedroom Promotes Better Sleep
An often-overlooked aspect to creating more calm in your life is your physical health. When your body feels better, you're bound to have an improved mental outlook. A key component to better health is getting a good night's rest. It is amazing how different your mood is when you aren't getting adequate sleep. This can be difficult for many of us when our lives are jam-packed and our minds are constantly on overload. Follow these tips for creating a calm and relaxing bedroom, and you'll be getting better sleep in no time.
Get Your Best Mattress
First and foremost, the best mattress you can afford is recommended, if at all possible. Go to the store so that you can test out each mattress and find the one that feels best for you. It's a good idea to try to find a store that allows for a trial period to make sure you love it and that you'll sleep well night after night.
Keep it Cool
Temperature matters when it comes to getting a good night's rest. You want to sleep in a room that is cool in order to promote sleep. Cooler temperatures alert your body that it's time to sleep. I keep my thermostat at about 65 at night time. Brrrr!
Make it Dark
Waking up to see light filtering in through the curtains can truly disturb your rest and make it harder to fall back asleep. That's why it's smart to add light-blocking drapes to your bedroom. Keeping things nice and dark will add to your nighttime routine. In addition, avoid adding night lights if at all possible.
Add Soothing Colors
Calming, cool colors are best for the bedroom. A nice pastel will promote rest and relaxation far better than a brighter hue. Save the brights for more energetic spaces like the kitchen or living room. Color matters when it comes to getting a good night's sleep.
Make it Neat
This one goes without saying. Be sure to clear the physical clutter in your bedroom as much as possible. Seeing piles of laundry to be put away or the paperwork that's waiting for you in the morning will not put you in the right frame of mind for rest. Get rid of other types of distractions like television, computers, and excessive décor also.
Reconsider Your Alarm Clock
Not only do you want to sleep well through the night, how you wake up can also have an effect on how you feel. A harsh, high-pitched, buzzing alarm clock will jar you awake. This can cause you to feel agitated, rather than rested and rejuvenated. Look for one that wakes you gradually, with music that increases slowly in volume or that adds increments of light to help you to adjust to the waking hours. The hatch alarm clock is amazing for a nice gentle wake-up in the morning.
Add soothing scents
Adding aromatherapy into your nighttime routine can create a calm and soothing space. A good diffuser with some lavender and cedarwood helps promote peaceful sleep and a calm environment.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to create the bedroom of your dreams. Your surroundings make a difference in your sleep quality. Make your room as pleasant to all of your senses as possible in order to enhance your rest.
Simple Ways to Stay Calm When Chaos Erupts
Life has its ups and downs. There are periods that will be more hectic and crazy than others. During these times, it can really help you to learn some coping strategies. There are some simple ways to stay calm when chaos erupts in your life. Having a settled mind and looking at things from a less frazzled state can truly help you to make clear-headed decisions. Keep these in mind next time life gets turn upside down.
Count to Ten
It may sound too good to be true, but this strategy really works. Just count slowly from one to ten. Try to breathe deeply as you do, as this will enhance the effects. This little trick can help you to quickly gain control of your emotions and feel calmer in a pinch.
Close Your Eyes
Yep. Shutting your eyes for a moment blocks out a great deal of the stimuli that are currently vying for your attention. This brief period of visual stillness will allow you to gather your thoughts and calm yourself.
Move Your Body
Exercise is a fantastic way to get your blood flowing and your heartbeat racing. You'll also amp up the productions of endorphins in your body, providing you with extra energy to attack your issues. You don't have to do a full-blown exercise to benefit, though. Taking a leisurely stroll might actually be best during times when you need to chill out. This relaxing activity gets you moving, literally. It can remove you from a stressful environment and give you fresh perspective.
Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation
An effective strategy for releasing stress from your body without having to exercise, or even move out of your chair, is progressive muscle relaxation. This practice involves tensing and releasing the stress from every muscle group in your body. You can start with your head and work your way downward. Tense up the muscles in your face, hold for a few seconds and then release. This exercise can be completed in just a few minutes, and you'll feel tons better when it's over.
Listen to Some Music
A soothing tune can be relaxing. Uptempo beats add energy when you need a boost. Perhaps something with meaningful lyrics might improve your mood. Whatever you choose, music can have a profound effect on your feelings and is a good option to rely on when you want to calm down or feel better.
Take a Bath
Lying in a bath of warm water can be quite soothing to the soul for many. It's relaxing and can actually seem to transport you to another place. This is especially true when you add bubbles and a nice scent. Aromatherapy will add yet another layer to this calming routine.
These are just a handful of ways to stay calm when you're stressed out. Choose the ones that resonate with you, and give them a try the next time you feel overwhelmed or when life is chaotic.
10 ways we can support our friends and family when tragedy strikes.
When you have a loved one or friend who is grieving or has just had a tragedy it is hard knowing what to do to help. What do you say? What can you do? You feel so helpless when someone is suffering. Here are 10 things you can do to support them.
- Just be there and lend your ears. This is one of the most simple things you can do but has the biggest impact. Your loved one or friend may want to talk, cry, scream, vent and you can be the person to listen.
- What do you say? "I don't have the right words for you other than I am so very sorry." That is it. The truth is that there are no right words. Your words are powerful!
- Be their house assistant and housekeeper. Yes, be their hands and feet. They will most likely be receiving lots of food. Be there to answer the door, heat the meals for them, clean up after they eat, do a few loads of laundry, tidy up.
- Be their record keeper. During this time they will have to make decisions that they are not wanting to make. Funeral arrangements, death certificates, and more. Take copious notes. At this time their brains are most likely on overload. Write those small details down for them.
- Talk about their lost loved one. Sometimes we feel like we don't want to bring it up or talk about their loved one that has passed. We think that bringing it up will make it harder for them. This is not the case. Share a memory that you have with their loved one. If you feel that talking about it is not the right time, then write it down for them.
- Use their name. This goes hand in hand with number 5. A big fear that grieving loved ones fear is that the memory of their lost loved ones will be forgotten. Their life matters. "Do you want to talk about <their name>?
- Remember them. Christmas, birthdays, heaven day, Thanksgiving. Just about any holiday where you will be gathering with loved ones, remember them. Send them a card, a text, or an email. "Hey, a friend I was just thinking of you and <their lost loved one's name>.
- Research. Offer to connect them with someone that may be in a similar situation. Whether is it a sudden tragic death like a suicide or something else, it is comforting to talk to someone that has been there.
- Just do it. Don't tell them "Hey reach out if you need anything." "Let me know how I can help." Chances are they don't even know what day it is. If they have kids tell them "Hey I am picking up Sally at school today and will be dropping her off after we have a happy meal." Or mow their lawn. Pick up their dry cleaning. Don't ask, just do!
- Lastly, acknowledge of painfully shitty the situation is. Don't ever, I repeat ever say things like "oh he/she is in a better place." This will sting so badly because to someone that just lost their loved one "a better place" would be here on this earth with us. Instead, something like "This sucks and is so shitty and I am so very sorry."
Tragedy happens inevitably. Wouldn't it be miraculous if we could wipe tragic events off the earth? Unfortunately, this is not possible. I hope that if you have a loved one struggling with something tragic these 10 tips will help you not feel so helpless.
What even is mindfulness and why do I need it?!Read more...
The best strategy for anxious kids, a toolbox!
Worrying is a normal feeling that we all have. It is a natural response to stress. However when your anxiety takes over your daily thoughts and impacts your everyday life then it could be something more than just worrying.
When my oldest was 4-5 yrs old I remember her complaining a lot of stomachaches. All. the. time. We did countless numbers of tests and every test result came back normal. Finally, a doctor suggested to me that she could have anxiety. At 3-5 yrs old, it is difficult for a young toddler to articulate how they are feeling. Often anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms.
- Stomach pain
- Biting nails
- Picking at skin
- Sleep disturbances
Now I know that some of these "symptoms" are common for this age group, however if you have more of these symptoms on a regular basis it's a good idea to chat with your doctor.
After 15 years of helping my daughter manage her anxiety, I have learned a few tips and tricks.
A toolbox for coping with anxiety.
A few things you need in your toolbox are feathers, bubbles, a pinwheel, a weighted blanket, and a teddy bear. One of the best things you can teach your anxious child is how to breathe. Deep belly breaths are the best thing to slow down your racing heartbeat which will help calm your mind.
Teddy Bear: I always suggest starting with a teddy bear or their favorite stuffed animal. Have them lay down on the floor on their back. Place the teddy bear on their belly. Take a big belly breath and make the bear move up while your breathing in. As you exhale watch the bear go down. This is a perfect way for kids to learn big belly breaths.
Bubbles: Practice taking a big belly breath and slowly blowing bubbles. If you blow too hard or fast the bubbles pop, so big slow belly breaths are perfect.
Feather: Practice taking a big belly breath and try to blow the feather up in the air.
Pinwheel: Practice taking a big belly breath and slowly blow the pinwheel and watch it spin. While it is spinning talk about the colors and what else can you name with those same colors. "I see orange and blue. What else is orange and blue?"
Coloring: Print out their favorite coloring page and color. coloring is very therapeutic.
Learning breathing techniques is so incredibly helpful for kids that are feeling overwhelmed. The key is to practice them daily. Don't wait until they are already very worried. It is much harder to calm down.
My last tip to help manage anxiety is a distraction. I would have to say that breathing techniques and distractions are my daughter's best coping skills. Her favorite distraction tip is the 5,4,3,2,1 technique. It is very simple but has a huge impact. It serves to somewhat "snap" their mind out of what is worrying them. This is how it works.
If after going through the 5,4,3,2,1 and they are still feeling anxious repeat it but have them go a little slower. Ask them to elaborate.
These are a few of our tried and true coping skills for when anxiety gets to be overwhelming. Give them a try and let me know which is your favorite. Anxiety does not have to take over your little ones' days.
I am not a doctor. This blog was created to share what I have learned as a mother to 4 kids. 2 of which suffer from generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks and major depressive disorder. This was created for informational purposes only and should not be used in exchange for medical advice.