3 Ways To Declutter Your Life This Holiday Season

During this busy time of year, it’s easy to let things get in the way and clutter our lives  – for me that leads to stress and anxious feelings. If I let clutter happen without trying to make positive changes, it will completely alter my mood. It can escalate until I just don’t want to get anything done and have mountains of laundry, dishes, and undone to-do lists engulfing me. A friend asked me last week what I do get rid of the “winter blues.” One of the things I talked to her about was environment; managing my environment well is one of the biggest factors in keeping the blues from creeping in.

In this context, I’ll define “environment” as anything surrounding me, both physical and emotional, that can work to either help or hurt me. Here’s what I do:

1. Keep your environment light and cheerful.

I mean “light” both literally and figuratively. One of the things that helps me the most is to open the blinds and let in natural light – even just pulling back the curtains lets in enough light to brighten a room. I do usually keep a few lights on in the room or rooms I’ll be in the most, but something about natural light just makes me feel more connected to what’s going on around me. Plus, there’s nothing worse to me than sitting or working in a dim room for hours (it also helps to cut back on the light bill since I’m not turning on every light in the house). I try not to watch too many dark or heavy TV shows and movies, lighten up the mood with cheerful music while I get ready keep the decor fairly simple. I love pillows and blankets, so I like to have those ready next to me if I’m relaxing and need a couple of them. If I’m not using them, they warm up the space even just sitting folded and pretty. Right now I’m all about holiday-themed throw pillows and blankets! If there’s something  small that cheers you up and keeps you going, use it to your advantage – even just as a decoration.

2. Keep your space neat and fresh.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, having a tidy, clean home is important to me. I can’t focus well unless it’s clutter-free. Not only that, but I don’t like living every day in or around filthy rooms. When I don’t get my cleaning done, I feel like I’ve fallen down on my job. My home isn’t always clean – just like everyone, I have those days when I’m a little lazy or I just don’t get much done. But I know that when I do keep my home neat, clean, and fresh, it will help me physically and emotionally in the long run.

Usually, to help further freshen up, I’ll diffuse essential oils (lately I’ve been loving Young Living Christmas Spirit, Clove, and Tangerine – either a blend of all three or just a couple). Diffusing makes the room smell delicious, and it has great health benefits. I even do this while I’m cleaning to help motivate me to get it all done so I can relax and enjoy my clean house for a while. You could light a candle or spray a room-freshener (I have a homemade Tangerine spray I use on occasion) – anything that works to make you feel cozy and comfortable!

3. Keep your calendar open and breathable.

Don’t overdo it! I don’t like filling my schedule to the brim with places to go and people to see. I like to keep in touch with people I have relationships with, and seeing those people face-to-face is extremely important in order to properly maintain a relationship. But I get mentally and emotionally exhausted very quickly in social situations, to the point where I even get out of breath and can’t wait to go off by myself (this is an extreme example, but it has happened). So, in order to keep mental exhaustion from leading to worse or physical exhaustion, I have to make sure I’m not packing my schedule too full. In order to keep the groups from becoming so large and overwhelming that I can’t visit with everyone there, I like to spread out the days I see people – and I try not to make every encounter a big event. Sometimes the best thing you can do is slow down, have a cup of coffee or tea, and simply be with a friend or family member. This can be hard to do during the holiday season because we want to do as much and see as many people as possible!

I do understand that a lot of people can handle a fuller schedule than I. But I believe it would help everyone to find his or her limit and stop there to recuperate.


 

Of course, these are just three simple things that help me, especially when I’m needing a boost. Maybe there’s something you can add to my list! If you’ve got something, let me know in the comment box. 🙂

I hope the beginning of everyone’s holiday season is cheerful and stress-free!

 

7 Essential Oils I Love

I started using Young Living Essential Oils when my mom introduced them to me a few years ago. For my birthday, she gave me a 5 ml bottle of Valor essential oil that really made me a believer. They’ve helped alleviate stress, boost my confidence, get rid of headaches, and help me sleep like a baby (only to name a few)! I like that essential oils are natural remedies that can support my God-given body in a way that won’t be harmful to it. So, I want to share a little bit about how I use them and why I love them. Maybe you’ll want to try them yourself!

Most of the time you’ll find me diffusing an oil or a mixture of oils. I usually apply them topically just to combat pain or if I’m using them on-the-go for stress relief. Diffusing is a great way to distribute the scent around a room or couple of rooms and get maximum benefit aromatically. I have a diffuser that came directly from Young Living, but you can also buy them from Amazon.

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I love the light it gives off on top.

1. Valor/Valor II

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As I mentioned before, Valor was the very first oil I began to love. This one is a blend of oils that I use to combat anxiety and/or depression. When I first got it, I would wear it on my wrists every single day, and I started to see an improvement in my energy levels and a lessening in my anxiety. I eventually ran out, and used a sample bottle my mom filled up for me until I could get another one. I was finally able to purchase Valor II (Valor was out of stock for several months because of the demand!). While original Valor is still my favorite, Valor II works very similarly to keep me energized and confident.

2. Cedarwood

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Cedarwood was the second “real oil” I had that wasn’t in a sample bottle or something I borrowed from my mom. It’s exactly what the name says: oil from the wood of a cedar. I was told I should get it to help with anxiety-related symptoms, and that it would help me have more clarity and peace of mind. So, of course, I got it. I diffused it every night to help me wind down and sleep without my mind running in circles. I was amazed by how well it worked! It got to the point that I couldn’t sleep without it (until I found some other substitutes when I ran out). Plus, it’s got a great nature scent that’s not so strong that it’s overwhelming.

3. Purification

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Purification is a great blend of oils that I mostly use to get rid of bad smells. You know when you spray some kind of air freshener but eventually it wears off and you have to spray it again because it only covered up the smell? Purification doesn’t do that. Unless you add another, really bad smell to the room, you most likely won’t have to apply it again for a long time. What I do is put a two or three drops on a cotton ball and place it where I think it needs to go. Not very much longer, and the smell is gone! I’ve used it in stinky shoes, trash cans, and that awful mildew smell laundry gets when you leave it in the wash for too long. It’s also great to diffuse when someone in the house is sick – it helps to purify the air.

4. Lavender

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Lavender is absolutely wonderful for several reasons. I apply it topically for bug bites (to help that awful itching), rashes, skin redness, and acne. I diffuse for a calming effect, usually to help me sleep. It works wonders. When I don’t diffuse it at night, I can tell the next morning that I haven’t slept as well as usual. I’ve been using this one to help me sleep for over a year now, and I strongly recommend it if you have sleep issues.

5. Panaway

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Panaway is a blend that smells very minty. It’s another great one I like to use, but I don’t diffuse it. I like to apply this one for minor cramps or other muscular pains. It’s good for joint pain and headaches, as well.

6. EndoFlex 

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This is another blend I discovered when I started seeking oils to help with anxiety. I found out that I had some thyroid troubles and this was one of the suggested oils. I love to apply it during “that time of the month” as a hormone balancer, directly on my thyroid and adrenal glands (found across your lower back) for even more thyroid and hormone support. I often diffuse it at night with either Cedarwood or Lavender (or both!) to help me get a good night’s rest. I don’t often apply this one before I go somewhere because it does have a strong scent. But it’s a huge help!

7. Clove

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This is an oil I’ve been loving for the fall! My favorite thing to do is diffuse it with Cedarwood and a citrus oil to give off a great fall scent (that’s what’s in my diffuser right now). I’ve also enjoyed cooking with it – a drop or two in the dish you’re making is just right. It’s also a great immune system booster, and supports overall wellness, according to Young Living. My husband even likes this one! I’ve just recently begun to use it, but I definitely think it was worth getting.

I often mix a combination of two or three of these 7 oils in the diffuser together to get the maximum benefit from all of them at one time – not to mention, it smells wonderful.


As a disclaimer, I don’t claim any of these oils as cures for disorders or diseases, I simply use them as extra support for my body’s well-being. Not all of the oils work the same for everyone, so you’d have to try them for yourself to see what works best for your body or your family.

I have several more oils I might talk about later, but I’m loving these 7 oils right now! If you have questions, I’d love to try to answer them how I can! Do you use essential oils? What are your favorites?