How many of you are stressed to the max? If you can’t get away, how nice would it be to come home every day to a home that feels like a wellness retreat? Calm. Mindful. Serene. Zen. Here are some great cost-effective strategies to turn your home into your very own wellness retreat.
Let’s be realistic. I know that the majority of you probably don’t have a yoga studio in your home and a healing garden outside (complete with a small waterfall of course). Most of us are normal people with normal lives. Our living spaces may be small or limited. It’s not about the size of your home or space, or the expense of creating something new.
We’re going to incorporate the elements of feng shui – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, along with our senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. I’ll teach you how to walk through each room and incorporate these elements to create a serene and happy home.
First and foremost, practice breathing. Practice conscious breathing. Close your eyes and feel the breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Take a few moments twice a day and count to 30 slow and steady breaths. Just the simple idea of learning to stop and breathe will help you to regain some of that focus and lose a little bit of the stress. PS – it’s free.
Fill Your Home with Love
Whether you live by yourself or are in a family of seven, be sure to fill your home with love. Love each other. And love what you have in your home. If there is an item that you don’t love, and it doesn’t serve a purpose, think about donating it or throwing it away. When you fill your home with love, whether it’s a feeling in your heart, how you treat others, and the items you fill your home with, you are filling your home with the vibe of love that can be felt. A home full of love is so much better than the alternative.
Your entryway is the first place that you, everyone in your family, and any visitors see when they walk into your home. It’s your first impression. How do you feel about your home when you walk in? What do you see?
Clear the clutter. Organize keys, shoes, and the other essentials. I had fun making this cute DIY to corral my husband’s keys and wallet. I also love keeping an Essential Oil diffuser right at the front door. You breathe in the good smells of the Essential Oils when you walk in and it creates a moment of welcome home.
Awhile back, one of Stepson’s friends came into our house and said, “Mrs. Bertone, your home always smells like… happiness.” He struggled to find the right word to describe it, and I’m not sure if happiness is what he actually meant, but it stuck with me.
The Pantry and Fridge
Nourish your body with healthy and wholesome food. Keep your pantry and fridge with food that is good for you like veggies, fruit, soups, beans, etc. Practice meal planning to help ease the stress during the week of prepping breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks during the week. And always have backup food on hand. You never know when you will need it!
All Things Green
Green represents life. You don’t need to live on a farm to enjoy succulents and plants in your home, or grow your own herbs or vegetables. You can grow almost anything in a small container on a window sill or sunny spot. Just make sure what you are growing isn’t invasive and won’t take over the other plants in your container. We carved out a little organic herb garden from a patch of mud and dirt in the backyard to grow parsley, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. I then like to dry the herbs and not only use them for our own cooking, but also give them away as gifts.
How do you know if your water is safe? What chemicals in your water should you be worried about? According to testing conducted by the Environmental Working Group, 250 chemicals were detected in American (tap) drinking water overall (160 of which are not regulated by the federal government). Even more worrying, 81 percent of systems tested had contaminants that have been linked to cancer. Some of the most notable offenders include Chloroform and Chromium-6, though more research still needs to be done on exactly how much of these we need to ingest to be at risk.
Many chemicals simply cannot be filtered out. Pesticides, drugs, radioactive particles and fluoride are all common water contaminants that are very difficult to effectively remove. As a general rule, activated carbon filters are the best, although they cannot remove fluoride. For that you need either a reverse osmosis system, a deionizer or an activated alumina filter, each of which can remove about 90 percent of the fluoride.
Water filters that are portable or attach to your sink are less costly, but not as effective. Also don’t forget, it’s not just about the water you drink, but also the water from your shower. Your skin is the largest organ in your body. We invested in a whole home water filtration system. With my autoimmune disease and also being a cancer survivor, I’m not taking any chances when it comes to my health. I’m stacking the cards in my favor as much as humanly possible.
Organize and Clean
First of all, get emotionally prepared. If you want to do organization right, you have to put in the sweat equity. It’s not for the faint of heart. It requires hard work and long hours and 100% commitment. But once you do it, and you make a commitment to stay with it, you are done. Forever.
I discuss in the article, How to Organize Your Life and Reclaim Your Zen, take a step back and identify your problem zones that aren’t working for your current lifestyle. Why are you doing it this way? What can you do to this zone to change how it works? As the wise saying goes, “you can’t do the same thing and expect different results.” Walk around your entire home like you would if you have never been in your home before. Forget about how your home currently functions, and focus on how you would make your home work for you. Keep an open mind, be creative, and imaginative.
In the article, How to Purge Like a Reformed Hoarder, I discuss the system we use in our home and even some great tips from my interview with Matt Paxton from the TV show Hoarders.
What about your cleaning products? Are you aware of all of the chemicals and toxins they have in them? This is what you and your family breathes in long after you clean. According to the Environmental Working Group, mainstream cleaning products contain fumes and ingredients which can lead to asthma, cancer, and other ailments. You can make many of your cleaning products yourself, and for much less than commercial brands. Or you can get a list of my favorite cleaners in The Ultimate Guide to Non-Toxic Spring Cleaning.
When you hear the phrase “bathroom spa,” what comes to mind? A soak in the tub with some lit candles and luxurious towels? Peace and quiet for a few minutes of your day? Then why isn’t your bathroom set up this way? Even if you don’t soak in the tub, make sure your bathroom is like an elegant hotel.
Whether you hang your towels on a hook or fold them, be sure to purchase organic towels. A soft, cozy organic robe is a plus too! I like to use a dry skin brush before I get into the shower or tub to stimulate the lymphatic system and exfoliate dead skin cells. I also drop a few Essential Oils in the bath or on the shower floor… orange or citrus to wake me up or lavender before bedtime. If you burn candles, always make sure they are non-toxic. You can make your own or purchase quality soy or beeswax candles. Be sure to use non-toxic bath and beauty products.
Installing or having a portable infrared sauna is also a great choice for your overall wellness.
It’s no longer about how many hours a night you should sleep, you should be concerned with how restorative your sleep is. Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you toss and turn? Wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep? Your bedroom should be your sanctuary. Some of the top tips include banning the TV, using blackout blinds, turning on a Himalayan Salt Lamp, and investing in an organic mattress. You can read more tips at Top 10 Ways to Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleeping Oasis.
Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) affect the human brain and our cells, and children are especially vulnerable. Called Electrosmog in Europe, these chaotic frequencies come from microwave ovens, cell phones, computers and other devices–and especially Wi-Fi. It’s every electronic device, some worse than others.
Many “energetically sensitive” people are reporting difficulties in completing tasks, headaches, loss of energy, and many other symptoms, due to high exposure to wi-fi, cell phone towers, and emitting electronics. But most people have never heard of EMF, and fewer still have taken measures to decrease it in their home and office. It’s easy to ignore, since you can’t “see” it!
We have more devices in our energy field than ever before, and safety studies can’t keep up with the increase in radiation. While the exposure from any one device may not be significant, the cumulative effect is a significant problem.
I don’t know about you, but I thrive on routine. The only constant in life is that every day is going to be different. By setting morning and evening routines, it helps to wake up balanced and emotionally prepared to face the stresses of the day, and then quiet your mind for a good night’s sleep.
I start every day with gratitudes, prayer, meditation, and Bible study. You can start your morning with a short routine to help you be centered and ready for the day.
At night, when you are getting ready for bed, use an all-natural nighttime moisturizer, drink a cup of sleepy time tea, and diffuse and spray your sheets with lavender. Say your prayers, gratitudes, or meditate. End the day giving thanks for all things good.
Carve Out Your Nook
Don’t worry about space for this one. Whether it’s in bed, on a chair or on the couch, or a special nook in your room, make this a dedicated space so that you know when you are here, this is your time. Use this space for your meditation, prayer, spiritual practice, mindfulness, journaling, reading, or overall quiet time. Keep it clutter free, and only with the items you need – water or tea, a blanket, book, journal, etc. Keep an Essential Oil diffuser in this spot and diffuse the same scent so that you begin to pair the scent with your intended activity. You can use lavender or chamomile if your quiet time is towards the evening. Sandalwood is a nice oil to diffuse for spiritual practice. Frankincense or Bergamot are good overall oils.
I know it’s difficult to set boundaries. I’m at the top of the list of guilty offenders. You don’t have to jump in with both feet if this isn’t something you practice on a daily basis, but at least make an effort to try and set them. If you are having your quiet time, whether it’s mindfulness, prayer, meditation, yoga, a bath, reading, or whatever. This is your uninterrupted time. Start small if you have to, especially if you have little ones at home. But be persistent. This is YOUR time. Enjoy it. Own it.
Are you Inspired?
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Love, hugs, and enjoying my zen.HERE.