Clutter

Clutter

I recently watched a documentary on clutter.  First of all, I must admit that I was pleased that I don’t have the level of clutter in the houses that were shown.  These were typical American homes; however, these weren’t hoarders, just the usual clutter that we’ve probably all seen.  You know, where you can’t walk anywhere except in the ally-ways that have been made.  None of these houses looked like that.  So, they weren’t talking about the extreme clutter.  Just the mostly normal amount of clutter that most families live with on a daily basis.

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However, while I was watching the documentary I was wondering what the effect on people is from just having the “normal” amount of American clutter.  Some of the information that I found includes weight-gain, stress, sleeping problems and anxiety.  This I can believe, since even though I don’t have the amount of clutter I saw in some of those houses, I do have more than my fair share – and it drives me crazy.

While I have no ambition to become a minimalist, I do want to stream-line my life.  I know that I’ve got too much.  Who really needs thirty or so journals? Well, apparently, I do, since I keep buying them.  Or how about twenty or so plastic and stainless steel drinking bottles?  Yes, even though I’ve gone through them, gotten rid of a bunch, somehow, I’ve managed to end up with more of them.  Seriously people?  Do we really need more?

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So, my project for the next few months so going to be getting rid of the clutter.  Have you done this?  How did it work out for you?  And, if you accomplished this goal, have you seen any differences in how you feel?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

The Best Sleeping Position

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One of my goals this year was to get more sleep.  I’ve recently come across some information regarding the “best” position to sleep in.  It seems that some scientific evidence points to the fact that sleeping on your left side is the best for your body.  Apparently, the theory that sleeping on your left side is best for your health and sleep stems from the ancient mind/health/body belief called Ayurveda.  Ayurveda originated in India, and is the belief that the mind and body are connected, and the mind has the ability to heal and transform the body.  As I’m sure you know, this belief system has been scientifically studied, and is thought to be true.  All the different body systems are connected, including the mind.

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So, sleeping on our left sides seems to have a variety of benefits.  First of all, it benefits the lymphatic system by helping to filter out waste and fluid through the lymph nodes.  Also, this sleep position helps to drain waste material from the brain. Science has found that sleeping on your right-side can decrease the lymphatic system’s ability to filter waste and fluid.  Sleeping on your left side also helps with digestion by helping food waste move through the large intestine and into the colon more easily, keeping you from having bowel problems.

Some other benefits of sleeping on your left side include keeping your heart healthy by again helping the lymphatic system drain.  Pregnant women are encouraged to sleep on their left side in order to improve blood circulation to the heart, relieve pressure on their backs and increase blood flow to their livers, uterus, kidneys and fetus.  If you suffer from acid reflux, sleeping on your left side can reduce these symptoms because the stomach is on the left side.  This position keeps the acid in the stomach.

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I’ve been trying to sleep on my left side more often.  My husband snores exceedingly loudly, and since he sleeps to the left of me, often on his right side, this usually ends up with him snoring in my ear.  I’ve been trying to get him to sleep on his left side also.  What side do you sleep on?  Have you noticed any difference in quality of sleep when you sleep on your left side?  Let me know in the comments below.

http://www.lifehack.org/356391/this-why-you-should-sleep-your-left-side-backed-science

 

Finding Motivation to Create Personal Change

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Okay, so we’ve made goals and resolutions for the New Year.  Now comes the hard work to actually commit to change.  Change is hard.  It’s uncomfortable, it’s scary, and it can hurt.  I know that I’ve been doing things in the same way for years, and now when it comes time to change what has become comfortable, easy and normal, I don’t want to!  I know all the “bad” things that can happen if I don’t change.  My life, which I’m not happy with, won’t change, it will continue on the same safe path for the rest of my life.  That fact has finally become so upsetting to me, that I am now finding the motivation to begin my change.  I feel much more enthusiastic and looking forward to the changes that I want to make.

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So, now that I’m committed, my question is how do I stay on the path?  This time (yes, like many people I’ve been here before) is that this time I’ve been using affirmations like my life depends on it – and, in a way I believe that is true – that my actual life does depend on it.  Every year I get older, and every time I stop trying, it just gets harder and longer to make the physical changes that I want to make.  It also gets more difficult to make the emotional changes also.  My belief in myself was at an all-time low before I started with the affirmations.  I had been beaten down (not physically, but emotionally) by some of the people in my life.  They had me convinced that I was pretty worthless.  I still feel that way sometimes, but not as much as I did before.  I’m still fighting the battle, but it’s getting a little easier ever since I started with the affirmations.  Say it often enough, and you’ll begin to believe it.

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I hope that I’ve given some of you hope.  This was a difficult post to write…I like to pretend that my life is all sunshine and roses, and that if we believe it, we can achieve it.  Deep down, I really think that way, however, there is a huge bridge to cross between belief and achievement.  My hope is that you, too, are on that bridge fighting for your personal changes with me.

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2017 Goals

 

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Since I have been sick, this is a late post (I planned on this for the 1st of the year, but often things don’t work out the way I thought they would).  I’ve been thinking really hard about how to make goals for this year that aren’t completely unattainable. I think that may be the main reason that so many people give up on the goals they made.  So, with this in mind, and many hours of thought, here are my goals for 2017.

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Better organization and meal planning.  Meal planning is a huge thing.  When I do it right it actually makes my life so much better – I know what I’m serving for dinner every night, there is no stress involved at all, the grocery list is no longer hit or miss.  I actually know I’ve got all the ingredients.  Better organization in daily life makes life so much easier.  I’ve already started this process with “Tidy-up (or “tidy-oop” as Ulla from The Producers would say) Tuesday, and Watering Wednesday.  I have to work on what to call Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it’s a process, after all.

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Stress Management.  I’ve been listening to music for stress relief and concentration.  It helps, but I plan to work on affirmations more, and positive thinking.  I’ve realized that this is a necessity now, and not just something to “think” about.  My stress level has gone through the roof, and I really need to get a handle on it as soon as I can.

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Writing.  My Saturdays at the library have shown me how much writing I can get done when I allow myself the time and space to do it.  So, I’m going to make it a priority this year.  I have specific writing goals that I want to achieve this year.  The first one is the children’s book that I’m writing for a special little boy who really needs something good in his life.  My deadline for that is Valentine’s Day.  So, my first project already has a deadline, and that will help a lot with actually getting this done.

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Exercise and Health.  I’ve been planning exactly how I will do this, with a list of videos from FitnessBlender, Billy Blanks and Denise Austin along with a schedule to follow that I came up with.  I need to do this first thing in the morning, as I can talk myself out of just about anything given the chance.  Usually a written schedule and list of goals helps a lot.  I’m hoping it will help with this.  I’ve got to set up an appointment and go to the doctor, since I haven’t had a physical for at least 10 years.  Also, I need to tweak my eating habits so I’m eating fruit instead of snacks; and go to bed earlier.

Work.  By the end of February I want to have my first coaching certificate, and begin working on my second one.  Also, I have to set up a business, have a website and begin getting clients.  I’m really nervous about this.  Hence some of my stress.  I have no idea how to do this.  I’ve been looking up lots of information about it, so at least I won’t be starting from scratch.

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So, that’s it.  What are your goals for the New Year?  Let me know in the comments below.  And, good luck to you all!

Looking Back on my 2016 Goals

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I wanted to take a look back over 2016 and see how many of my goals I accomplished.  Here is my list, in my own words from last 2016:

I’m planning on following a schedule, which will include:  working out, writing, setting up websites, getting better at cooking vegan, and finishing all my coaching certificates.  Along with:  making curtains, quilts and other crafts; keeping up with my organization skills; and working on meditation for my own peace of mind.

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Okay, this is enough to make me jump into bed and hide under the covers.  Did I achieve any of these goals?  Well, I have been learning new vegan recipes; bills have been paid within two or three days after receiving them, so my organization skills have gotten much better in that aspect.  I can now find all my paperwork in the filing cabinet, filed in the right folder, so whoopee for me!  See, that did get done.  I still haven’t finished my certificates, nor have I been putting my quilts together.  I’ve completed quite a few squares, but not set up the sewing machine to start putting the quilts together.  No curtains, either.   I have been working on my writing, and won NaNoWriMo this year!  Okay, I’ve fallen off my exercise routines lately, but have been walking almost every day for a year.  Both good and bad as far as exercise.  No website yet, nor actual meditation either.  I do repeat affirmations in bed while I’m waiting to fall asleep.  So, I think that’s a type of meditation.

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Okay, so, both bad and good this year.  A lot of room for improvement.  How did you do with your 2016 goals?  I hope that you achieved more of them than I did.  Let me know in the comments below.

 

Breaking my Schedule

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I’ve been going to the library every Saturday for a while now.  It’s been great.  I get there at 10 and leave at 5 when they tell me I have to.  I’ve been thrilled with the amount of writing that has been going on during these highly productive Saturdays.

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So pretty, that snow!

But then, along came the snow, sleet and rain this past Saturday, and my productivity went completely down the drain, since my precious library was closed.  I only wrote two posts, and didn’t get any other writing done.  I had to deal with my family, my dogs and everything else that doesn’t fit into the library equation.  It sucked, and so did I.  My mood plummeted from mere annoyance into downright grumpiness.  It didn’t help that my husband was watching Netflix at top volume in the living room, which is right under my bedroom where I write, either.  Even with my earbuds in, and listening to music for writing and concentration, I could still hear every word said.  Since he gets angry if someone says anything to him about the volume, I had to just suck it up and deal with it.

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I hadn’t realized how essential these Saturdays were to my mental health, writing and overall well-being until I was unable to go.  I look forward to them every week.  I love to have a quiet day to myself, and I really rely on the productivity of the day.  This coming Saturday I’ll be home, baking a pie and getting ready for all the festivities of the season.  I’m looking forward to going back to my Saturdays at the library once 2017 is here!

Why Not Getting Enough Sleep is Seriously Bad for You

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I’ve posted about skipping sleep before.  I have a hard time forcing myself to go to bed, and I seldom get more than four to five hours of sleep a night.  I’ve always been a bit of a night owl, however over the years, I’ve gotten much worse.  At first it was babies being up all hours of the night, then came the night terrors.  But, for many, too many years, my sleep habits have been terrible.

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When I do get jaw-crackingly tired, I still try to stay up!  The culprit is often a book, although I’ve been known to stay up playing Destiny, also.  In my defense, even though I may be exceedingly tired, there have been times when no matter how much I want to go to sleep, I haven’t been able to fall asleep.  However, the vast majority of time, I just don’t want to go to sleep, apparently, I’d much rather read than sleep.

However, as usual, there is scientific evidence that I should be getting more sleep.   Researchers have found that skipping sleep can cause inflammation in our organs, which can lead to immune system problems.  Since I suffer from Fibromyalgia, this skipping sleep is really a dumb idea, since I could be making my problems much worse.  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/11/why-late-nights-are-bad-your-immune-system

Another scientific finding is that loss of sleep may lead to permanent loss of brain cells.  So, no!, I really need all the brain cells that I have.  There is also a process that removes toxins and waste from our brains while we sleep, and this in itself is extremely important for our brain cells.  So, yah, I think I really do need to get more sleep.  http://www.duqsm.com/sleep-is-not-for-the-weak-why-staying-up-late-is-bad-for-the-brain-and-body/

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Here’s another fact for you.  Not getting enough sleep can lead to a slowing down of the metabolic system, and lead to weight gain.  So, that explains it.  Another benefit is that when we sleep we produce HGH, which is the human growth hormone.  As we age, we produce more cortisol, which helps to age us.  So, if we sleep more, we’ll produce more HGH, which in turn will keep us from aging too fast.  http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain#1

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=54286

And, finally, lack of sleep can make us more stressed.  Not getting enough sleep can affect up to 700 genes in our bodies, alter our hormones and lead to our inability to deal with stress.  http://www.pnas.org/content/110/12/E1132.abstract

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So, who’s for a really good 8 to 10 hours of sleep?  I know I am!