Relieve Your Stress

Relieve Your Stress

In today’s society, stress is a normal feeling most individuals deal with on a weekly or even daily basis. Our American culture is never satisfied with what we have an is always wanting more immediately. Being stressed can be in the form of worry. This feeling can emit negative effects on our lives over time.

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Reasons for Stress

Anxiety emerges within our lives from several different areas:

  • Jobs
  • Relationships
  • Health
  • Money
  • Socially
  • Housing

We also feel stressed out because of our behaviors. Admittedly, this is where most of my stress comes from. Let’s take a quick peek at the list:

  • Always busy and on the go
  • Overcommitting yourself to activities
  • Not having enough alone time
  • Overthinking your words or actions

Negative Effects of Stress

Stress brings emotional and mental distress to a person’s well being, which can cause negative effects such as worry. It can effect our physical bodies as well. When a person is stressed, there are hormones that are emitted into the body. One of these hormones is cortisol, which at high rate of release can lead to negative health effects on the body. (Please read this article from The Huffington Post on stress hormones.)

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 How to Deal with Stress

Today people are more stressed out and we need a way to reduce the amount of tension our body endures. This can be difficult depending on your life stage or personality type.

For me, I’ve found there are a few different ways that help me keep my tension levels low or know that I need to start one of these activities more regularly if I’m feeling stressed out.

  1. Exercise–especially yoga
  2. Eat a well balanced diet
  3. Sleep well
  4. Relax on your own
  5. Write down thoughts
  6. Talk with a friend
  7. Take a bath
  8. Reduce caffeine intake
  9. Think about the present moment
  10. Be thankful

In our culture today, we are busier than ever, which brings more tension into our lives. Trying to get to the next level in our career, buy a new house or accelerate a relationship will have it’s challenges, but will be easier to handle as you continue to relieve stress in your own way. Inadvertently, you may realize that by releasing stress a little bit every day will help you live a more healthy, happy life.

 

Detox for Beginners

Detox for Beginners

Feeling more sluggish after eating junk food and drinking in excess over this 4th of July weekend? Well, let’s start an easy 7 day detox! This detox will help you rid yourself of those nasty toxins in your body that you so willingly placed in there over the holiday weekend. With wedding and swim suit season in full swing, it’s time to shed those pounds and exude the confidence that’s already inside of you!

What is Detoxification?

Detoxification is a process of cleansing organs that process toxins for elimination;  such as the liver, kidneys, intestines, lymph and skin.

Detox Preparation

If you’ve detoxed before or not, it’s important to prepare your mind and body before a detox to be more successful in the end.

  • Start by decreasing the amount of coffee you consume for two days prior to your detox.
  • Buy food and beverages you can include in your detox one day prior to your detox.
  • Set an intention in your mind of what you want to accomplish during your detox.

Foods to Include

  • Fruits (fresh or frozen of any kind)
  • Vegetables (dark leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, onions)
  • Grains (quinoa, rice, oats)
  • Beans and Legumes (black beens, chickpeas, kidney beans, lima beans)
  • Nuts and Seeds (unsalted almonds, cashews, pecan, flax seeds)
  • Beverages (coconut water, lemon water, green tea, white tea, herbal tea)

Foods to Exclude

  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream)
  • Wheat and Gluten foods (pasta, breads, crackers)
  • Sugar and Sweeteners (refined sugar, brown sugar, artificial sweeteners)
  • Beverages (alcohol, coffee, energy drinks, soft drinks)

Daily Dos

  • Drink at least 10 glasses of water
  • Eat 5 times a day
  • Be mindful of your stress
  • Do light exercise (walking, running, yoga)

Length of Detoxes 

  • 3 Day
  • 7 Day
  • 10 Day
  • 14 Day

My Detox

I’ve chosen the 7 day detox for myself because I feel it’s a long enough time for me to experience a difference in the way my body feels. It also will end the day before I leave for Grand Forks for one of my best friend’s wedding! No one wants to be on a detox during a wedding, let’s just be honest here.

For me, this detox also is a result of de-cluttering and rearranging my apartment. I created a new energy within my living space and I want to bring that same sort of process and experience into my physical body. I’m in a season where I’m getting rid of the old, bad and ugly to be able to welcome in the new, good and beautiful.

 

Led by the Lamp

Led by the Lamp

There are times when I desire to leave Minneapolis and venture out to another part of the country to start fresh. I’m sure there are several people who feel the same way, but will actually act on it. For me, I try to leave Minneapolis, but am always pulled back by one thing or another.

California

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About a year ago, I was ready to leave Minneapolis and start a new chapter of my life in Los Angeles, CA. At that time, I was ready for a change in my life. A big change.

I was talking with my friend who had moved out there and she mentioned that I should come and visit. For me, it doesn’t take much convincing to go on a trip so I booked a flight within a day and was scheduled to visit in about two weeks.

Once I arrived, I felt like LA was instantly a place I could call home. Throughout the long weekend, my friend took me around the whole city and showed me what it would be like to live there. Needless to say, I fell in love with the city.

The night before I had to leave, I almost decided to stay in LA, quit my job and move there automatically. Because of my great flight rate for my round trip and  that it was close to Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday I decided to go back to Minneapolis.

Minneapolis

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When I arrived back in Minneapolis, I decided that I would let one week go by and then decide if I would be going back to LA the following week with a one-way ticket. During that week, I searched for signs or epiphanies whether to move to LA or stay in Minneapolis.

Many friends told me that they supported my decision either way, but saw me living in Minneapolis rather than LA. Of course, I thought they were all insane and I knew that if I wasn’t getting any job offers in Minneapolis it was time for me to look elsewhere. Again, I was searching for change in my life and at that point I didn’t care where the change manifested I just needed something different in my life.

The Sunday of my “week” came and I still felt like I didn’t have my answer. I was standing in my apartment yell praying at God. I’m not sure if anyone has been frustrated at your situation enough to yell at God while you’re praying, but I swear sometimes that helps. I mean isn’t it better that we talk to him rather than turn from him in times of frustration? Anyway, my prayer was more of an ultimatum. I said to God that if he didn’t show me a clear as day sign that I was supposed to stay in Minneapolis the upcoming week, I would be taking the next one-way flight to LA at the end of the week. Boy, I’ve just got to say people, be prepared if you ever pray those types of prayers because He definitely will show up.

The next week I had 8 interviews with 6 different companies in Minneapolis. I was incredibly exhausted from working a full time job and interviewing that much, but I had a sense of awe. Awe that God showed up and gave me the answer I was so desperately needing at that time. From that interview week, I ended up accepting one of the positions and have been therefore almost a year now. In this job, I’ve had the opportunity to travel more than I ever thought possible with a position, be a leader on projects I found intimidating and progress my career in a way that I couldn’t have imagined.

Led By the Lamp

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It’s been a year since I almost moved to LA and I’m happy to say that Minneapolis is my home and I believe it will be my home for quite some time. I sat on the patio of Asters Cafe on Saint Anthony Main today with one of my friends, getting a little burned on my face, I realized that have come to fully love Minneapolis as my city. It’s a place where I’ve lived all of my life and I used to view that as a negative quality, but am now accepting it as a positive.

I also learned through this experience from needing change and not finding it, that sometimes it’s okay to yell out to God for guidance and ask for those “clear as day” answers. Sometimes he will answer you in a way you never would have expected.

Do I know the reason I’m still in Minneapolis? No I don’t, but I do believe there is some sort of reason that every time I’ve tried to move away something always keeps me right where I am. Sometimes we just need to learn to let go and accept that we won’t see the whole picture in this moment. That we need to be okay with being led by the turn by turn directions of life.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” – Psalm 119: 105

Redecorate Your Home on a Budget

Redecorate Your Home on a Budget

Now that your place is fully clean and rearranged in a way that makes you feel better about your space, it’s time to redecorate! As I mentioned at the beginning of this series, I decided to stay in my current apartment and completely redo the layout and look rather than move to another apartment building. By making this decision, I was able to save money and buy new decorations to update my apartment.

Let’s Save Money

By choosing to stay in my current apartment, I was able to save money. How you may ask? Well, as most people know moving is not only a hassle, but also is very costly. If you choose to stay in your current apartment, you can save money on funds that would have gone toward a UHaul, safety deposit and  application fee. Not to mention, there seems to be hidden fees when signing a new lease that you never see before you decide that will be your new home.

I’ve also noticed that no matter how many items you bring with you from place to place, there always seems to be more furniture or artwork that you need to buy for the new place. Therefore, by staying in your current living space you will save money and that money you save can be reallocated to new decorations that reflect more of who you are as a person and the newly arranged apartment that you’ve created for yourself.

Not only will you save money from not having to spend it on moving expenses, but sometimes you end up finding money where you least expect it. In my experience during this project, I found that by de-cluttering my living space I ended up finding money that I wasn’t aware of in my apartment. Most people may find upwards of $50.00 laying around their place, but somehow I hit the jackpot and found over $1,000.00! I have to admit, that made me more aware that I need to actually go through my mail more thoroughly that I have in the past; but that’s beside the point.

Since now you are saving money on moving expenses and may even find more money than what you expected in your apartment, it’s time to go shopping!

Home Decor Guidelines

Since you spent all of this time deciding that you would be saving money by not moving to a new home, my suggestion is not to blow your budget on home decor items you don’t really need. Remember, you just de-cluttered your entire place. It’s not the time to get more “stuff” to clutter it back up. Here are a few guidelines that I used when redecorating my place.

  1. Rearrange decorations in different spaces for a new look.
  2. Spend less than half of your projected moving costs.
  3. Always, always, always use 3M hooks for wall decor.

Rearrange decorations in different spaces for a new look

You’ve already taken inventory of all of your decorations and items within your living space because of the de-cluttering process. More than likely, you’ve been able to find hidden gems that you forgot you once bought. These are great decorations you can put on display throughout your home to bring a new, brighter feel to the space.

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When you redecorate your furniture with existing pieces or even just candles in new places, the vibe of the space already becomes more positive. For example, in my bedroom I decided to put the tall green grass vase I had behind my white nightstand and put a vanilla coffee candle on the nightstand. 

Spend less than half of your projected moving costs

Since you decided to save money by not moving to another apartment, make sure to spend less than half of your money on new decorations. How to do that? Well, set a budget. Determine what it would have cost you to move and then set a limit on how much you can spend.

Once you have your budget, I would suggest visiting places that are relatively cost effective. I decided to shop Goodwill, TJ Maxx, Bed Bath and Beyond and Target for my decor. Goodwill was convenient because I was dropping off donations so to quickly run through the store was easy to do. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything that I was looking for, but it was good to check it out anyway.

Bonus tip: Do not buy things just to buy them. You must visualize a place for it in your home and know it would be a value add to your living space.

Before shopping, have a plan of what look you are going for in your home. For example, I had felt that my apartment had darker tones than what I had wanted and realized that I wanted to reflect a lighter or brighter home than what I currently had. I had an idea to spray paint my entertainment center white, but instead of taking the time to do that project, I found small pieces that I could place inside of the cubbies to brighten it up.

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Another decision I had already made was that I wanted more of a beach tone within my space. I already had some the travel and adventure photos hung up in my apartment, but I wanted to bring in more turquoise as it’s my favorite color. A great way to bring in that color are lighter beach house decorations. That way I can also feel like I’m on a vacation wherever I turn within my apartment. One section, I look like I’m in Cabo and in another section I’m in France or Italy.

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Beach decor

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One are of my apartment that I lacked in decor for three years was wall decor. I’ll admit, even now I think I need to add a few pieces of artwork or photos. That said, my main purchases were chic wall decor to bring more life into my apartment.

Always, always, always use 3M hooks for wall decor

Okay, so once you buy the wall decor, you obviously have to hang it. Yes, as a woman in my mid-20’s I should own a hammer and nails, but of course I don’t. Therefore, one Saturday morning I went to Ace Hardware to pick up my supplies. A young guy, it was probably his first job in high school, came up to help me. As we were looking and the nail wall he was asking what I was going to hang. Well, unfortunately for this young guy I don’t think he had much experience in hanging wall decor because he sells me a 10 pt 2 3/4″ set of nails.

I come home and decide to hang my cheap Target mirror in my bedroom first, you know, as practice. I start hammering the nail straight into the wall to hang my mirror from the top. Everything looked great, but the mirror started to jet out a bit from the wall on the bottom, so I decided to nail in the bottom part of the mirror to the wall to make it stay.

Feeling pretty good about myself, I decided to walk into my living room for a second. That’s when I saw it. A massive chunk of wall on the floor and a hole where my top nail was on the other side of the wall! I had completely not taken into account that my apartment walls are plaster and that would make a difference. Not to mention, the 2 3/4″ nails the guy sold me at Ace Hardware were too long for my wall.

Hole

From that moment, I decided I would hang the rest of my wall decor by 3M hooks. No mess, no fuss. Thankfully 3M carries an array of hook options for all your wall decor needs and therefore I was able to finish hanging all of my photos I had purchased, with the exception of a large mirror I bought, but that will need to be professionally hung. I do not want to take that project on myself.

Lessons Learned

 My apartment is finally done with the renovations. I have de-cluttered, rearranged and redecorated my apartment to make it feel new without having to move to a new home. This journey has taught me a few practical lessons:

  • Live like a minimalist
  • Check your mail–you may have $1,000.00 waiting for you
  • Use 3M stripes for wall decor
Rearranging Your Space

Rearranging Your Space

Once the decluttering is complete and all the piled bags are either thrown away or donated, it’s time to roll up your sleeves to move furniture. In the clean space, your living area is a blank canvas for your mind to think differently about your furniture layout. This is when I thought again about the definition of feng shui.

Feng Shui: a Chinese system for positioning a building and the objects within a building in a way that is thought to agree with spiritual forces and to bring health and happiness.

The entire project, for me, was to recreate a living space that felt new and reflected more of who I am as a person without having to move into a new apartment. Therefore, I started working in confined areas like I had learned in the decluttering process.

Bedroom

I started with my bedroom. In the bedroom, the most important piece of furniture is the bed. That’s not difficult to figure out, so I decided to move my bed to it’s new place first and then the other pieces would naturally fit. All of my life I’ve had my bed positioned very similarly, so I thought this is the time to change it. Yes, I moved my queen-sized bed all by myself. As long as you have motivation for something, I believe you can make it a reality. 

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The night stand and lamps were simple to determine where they would be placed along with the other decorations. The difficult part of my room was the half closest to the door because I couldn’t determine how I wanted to fill the space. Later, I decided to put one of the grey chairs that once lived in my living room into my bedroom to make a little reading nook.

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This change made the bedroom space appear larger than before by rounding out the room with a grouping a small furniture grouping. Please note that If you’re going to put furniture in front of closet doors, ensure you can easily open them. If not, it will make getting ready in the morning extremely difficult.

My next challenge was to determine a jewelry solution so I didn’t have so many bracelets, necklaces and earrings cluttered on top of my tiny dresser. To fix the issue, I went to TJ Maxx and Target to purchase a few cute jewelry organizers that look chic enough to be on a dresser and display your jewelry as decoration.

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The white panel with clear crystal knobs is actually a 3M strip holder. Whenever possible, use 3M hooks or other products to hang photos or wall art when in apartments because it will leave less of a mess to worry about when you move out.

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When rearranging your space think about your functionality within the space. For example, in my bedroom I can now accessorize in one spot then turn around and be able to see myself in the mirror to determine if I want to wear the piece of jewelry or scarf.

Once I climbed into my newly arranged bed that night, my body ached from all of the heavily lifting, but I already was starting to feel that my space was taking on a new energy.

Living Room

The next day, I decided to work on rearranging my living room since I had already felt like by the layout change in my bedroom had such an impact on the space, I couldn’t wait to see what it would be like once I rearranged my living room.

Living rooms have more versatility on furniture layout arrangements, which can make projects like these exciting. That said, I have a large piece of artwork on one of my walls that I need to work around, which gave me less to work with although I knew I could still make my apartment feel new by rearranging most of the items. Let’s take a look.

First I decided to move my desk across to the other side of the room near my grouping of Italy photos from a few years ago. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have my desk on the other side of the apartment, so I decided that now is the time to make the change.

Before

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After

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After rearranging my desk area, I played around with a few different couch and chair layouts, but found that my favorite placement for my couch and one accent chair was my original layout. Sometimes when you are changing your living space, you find that part of the original layout can stay the same. Remember, you do not need to rearrange everything to get the Feng Shui feel.

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Now, the only area of the living room that needed work was a small space where my desk once lived. I needed a solution to put my scarves I knit into a place where kitty hair won’t get to them, but also looks cute. At TJ Maxx, I found a bamboo storage container for an affordable price. The best part is by putting the container in my living room, I’m able to pull in the bamboo from my bamboo tree and wicker baskets within the entertainment center.

I then remembered that I had two large white cubes I’ve not been able to get rid of since freshman year of college because of their versatility. Some pieces you’ve had for years and can continue to be utilized within your living space, but in new ways. 

I decided to put the pieces together with a few new decorations to brighten up the small nook to fill out the space. This may be one of my favorite little places within my apartment now because of how much brightness it brings into my place. Later I will hang a mirror I bought to fill out the section and bring more depth to the apartment.

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Once all the furniture was arranged the way I felt brought a new energy into the room. I plopped myself on my couch to enjoy my work product. Turning to the clock, I realized it was past 12:00 a.m. and had been working for about 6 hours. Again, my body ached from the physical activity, but I could feel the newness in my apartment from the layout change and I felt extremely happy for what I accomplished in the past 72 hours.

 

 

 

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