Tag Archives: clutter

CHASE AWAY THE WINTER BLUES

To many people this time of year brings an all-time low. It gets colder and darker and our energy plummets. This is believed to occur because the hormone serotonin decreases when there is less light.

There are plenty of ways how to bring energy and joy back into life as the nights get longer (and actually start creeping into daytime…).

  • Enjoy the season; This is a time to go indoors; light candles, buy flowers, make your home cozy; this is your space of retreat. Experience the bliss of sitting in the warmth of your home with lit candles, watching the cold darkness outside.
  • Pamper yourself: Take warm baths, create a home-spa; rub, buff, peel and moisturize! Go for a massage.
  • Un-clutter: Go through ”all that stuff”; pictures, books, papers, clothes. Use this indoor-time to clear your living-space and allow yourself the joy of uncluttered living. Believe it or not, but this is a great boost for serotonine-levels in the brain. Clutter creates stress.
  • Meditation: Take time out each day for yourself, 10 minutes is enough. Light some candles, put on relaxing music, lie or sit comfortably, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Really bring the breath all the way down into your belly. Set a timer so you don’t have to worry about the timing. These minutes will feel longer than they are… Great energizer!
  • Get outside EVERY day: Even for only a little while. Your system needs day-light and exercise in order to function. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like. Just get out there and walk or jump around for a while. It will boost your energy-levels and you will feel great! (then you can crawl onto your sofa with a steaming cup of tea and a good book, or movie…BLISS!)
  • Herbal teas & natural remedies: St Johns wort, Lemonbalm, lavender… Stay clear of too much stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and sugars.
  • Aromatherapy: Of course. Essential oils are a great help to help with emotions and stress. They also work directly with the hormonal system. Use uplifting oils in a burner or on a tissue to inhale. Great scents for winter are: Citrus-oils (orange, mandarin, lemon, grape…), Lavender, Ylang-ylang, Geranium and/or whatever you prefer. Remember; essential oils are strongly concentrated and only a few drops are needed to have an effect.
  • Thought-patterns: When you feel yourself thinking negatively, change your thoughts, think of uplifting things.

 

Remember: This doesn’t just happen by itself. You are responsible for your well-being. No matter how difficult or un-attractive it might seem to exercise, for example. Just do it and you will notice what an incredible change it makes!

In the times when people still lived in harmony with nature and seasonal changes, this was a time for togetherness and preparation for the hectic spring/summer season. Bedtime came earlier because of the dark.When we remember the rhythm of the seasons and allow ourselves to fit into this rhythm, we handle seasonal changes better. Once spring comes again there will be an explosion of action and energy…then we need to be rested.

For ideas on how to use essential oils, see earlier posts under the “aromatherapy” category.

 

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CREATING SPACE

clutter-main_FullIf you had to chose only a few items of all that you own – what items would that be? Chances are that you can’t answer this, or need masses of time to figure it out.

Our lives are cluttered; with things, ideas, papers, emails…anything. And this clutter grows as we daily add to it; another book in the book-shelf, another t-shirt in the closet, another paper in the pile. How much do we take away, throw away, give away? Not as much as we collect,  I am sure. We save things forever; letters and photos to boost our memories, the things that “might come in handy one day” (and never do), books that we will never read again, papers because we didn’t have the energy to get rid of them…on and on.  All this clutter takes space and energy; physically because it needs to be managed, mentally/emotionally because it means we are not letting go.

The Mongolians can carry all of their belongings with the help of their ponies. They live in large tents that are built in layers on a wooden core and they have actual furniture made out of wood. All this takes space, still they can fold and pack it onto a couple of wagons. I like the idea of owning only what you can carry.

How do we clear our spaces? How do we get rid of clutter and will it liberate us?  Remember last time you moved? How it bugged you that you owned so much? All the stuff you suddenly felt prepared to get rid of? This is the point; when you suddenly need to carry all your belongings, a lot of it becomes redundant.                                                                                                                                                                                                    I started with my books; I love books and I had plenty, too many actually, lots of them were in boxes in the attic. I can not re-read books, I have too good a memory, so I just collected them. One day I told all my friends to come and get what they wanted, I gave away almost all my books, and those that were not taken I gave to a 2nd hand bookstore. This was not easy,  suddenly every book was a treasure, but I let them go and once it was done I felt liberated and free which gave me the incentive needed to clear more space. I now don’t own anything I don’t use, and no matter how hard it is sometimes to let things go, I know how it liberates me and that makes it easier. And all that which I give away creates pleasure for somebody else.

Look at every thing you own; do you really need it? Does it give you pleasure? Is it worth carrying around if you have to? Memories are lodged in your head; much more vivid and beautiful than any picture or letter. Start in one end; your books or clothes or papers or letters or kitchen cupboard or the attic or or or…

If you want new things to come into your life, you need to make space for it, and this is true on all levels. So are you clinging to what is old and out-dated or are you opening space for new and exciting opportunities?