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.

 

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
American Obsession with Beauty

American Obsession with Beauty

Let’s face it, American’s are obsessed with their image. Anywhere we turn there is yet another photo of a tall, thin, beautiful woman to compare yourself to. Do we mean to do this? No. Although it can be extremely difficult to shut off the chatterbox of negativity in your own mind. These swirling thoughts may sound like:

  • “You need to lose 20 pounds to be attractive.”
  • “I better go look online for yet another make up tutorial to make my face look photoshopped.”
  • She’s so much prettier than me, I’m definitely not good enough.”
  • If only I looked like her I would have a boyfriend or more friends.”

There are several other comments that flood our minds, assaulting you without even realizing it. This self talk is only detrimental to your self esteem and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it’s hard to turn off the chatterbox.

If we are able to quite our minds for one second, I think we can learn to realize that, yes, beauty can be painted on in forms of make up or bodies can be photoshopped with professional cameras. Although, we need to remember who the girl who is beneath the layers of make up and designer clothes. The person who is bare, naked and vulnerable.

This world longs for authenticity. Even while wearing mascara and lipstick, don’t cover up who you are but instead be authentically you.

Today’s world is filled with too much fake and not enough real. As plastic surgery is at an all time high,”The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) today released its annual plastic surgery procedural statistics, reporting that 15.6 million cosmetic procedures, including both minimally-invasive and surgical, were performed in the United States in 2014, an increase of 3 percent since 2013. In addition, 5.8 million reconstructive surgery procedures were performed last year, up 1 percent.”

Being authentically you, even while staying fashionably relevant, can give more credibility to the person rather than succumbing to societies influences. True beauty comes from the soul, rather than the face.

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