How to Deal with Holiday Stress Even If Your Family Is Insane

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

This post is sponsored by Wiivv. All opinions are my own.

Let’s face it. The holidays can be tough. Not only is there more to take on during the holiday season, but family can make the holidays even more stressful. There are ways, however, to lighten that emotional load. Keep reading for my tips on how to deal with holiday stress. So maybe this year you can start enjoying the holidays again.

Tips on how to deal with holiday stress.

The day before Thanksgiving I actually broke out in hives. So I understand how stressful the holidays can be. Thus illustrating not just the emotional, but also the physical toll, that the holidays can have on our health. Because I have fibromyalgia, stress – especially the kind of stress that the holidays bring – also affects my pain level. So doing activities that I actually do enjoy – like our local star drop in market square – brings with it some challenges. Specifically when it comes to footwear.

I want to be like everyone else and wear my pretty holiday party dress with the super cute shoes to match. What I don’t want to have to worry about however, is my feet hurting a half hour in and not being able to walk the rest of the night. Luckily, I scored a pair of Wiivv’s 3/4 Length Custom Fit Insoles a few months ago. Their not only custom designed to fit my feet, they also fit into every single pair of shoes I own. Even those cute party shoes. And, while they may not help me to deal with the stress of the holiday season, there’s a good chance I’ll be doing a lot of dancing into the New Year.

I really love that my Wiivv insoles allow me to feel physically feel better, not just at holiday parties, but in my day to day activities. This in turn takes some of that extra stress off my mind, so I can enjoy doing things more. Let’s face it though. Dealing with the stress of family obligations and events throughout the holiday season isn’t tackled by great footwear alone. Sometimes you have to take the time out to consider what’s more important to you – your sense of duty or your emotional health?

To help you make the holidays season a little easier to deal with, I’ve been together a few tips on how to deal with holiday stress.

Tips on How to Deal with Holiday Stress

1. Say “no.”

There’s nothing saying that you MUST attend family events during the holiday season. Maybe you have an emotionally abusive mother or a racist uncle that puts you on edge. Or perhaps it’s just overwhelming trying to find the time to attend every event, clean your house and shop for gifts all on top of work, kids and personal relationships. If you need a break, for whatever reason, it’s okay to say “no.” Stay home instead and indulge in some self care. You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself. And believe me, I’ve skipped my own fair share of events.

“Sorry, I won’t be able to attend this year. Aunt Margaret will be there and if I have to even look at her face after the things she’s done… Well, I will not hold back. And no one wants that at a holiday party.”

2. Self medicate.

Yeah. I know. This sounds bad. But as someone who’s dealt with agoraphobia, I understand anxiety. And sometimes you just need a little help. I’m not suggesting drinking yourself into oblivion or anything. However, if there are events that will turn out worse for you if you don’t attend them, then go prepared. Cbd oil works wonders for anxiety when you can’t avoid those extra challenging family events. (It can also help with the inflammation from all those carbs!) However, if CBD oil isn’t an option for you, you can try other herbal remedies such as valerian and skullcap root to ease anxiety and reduce stress.

“Hey, Carla! Your dress is awesome. Hopefully your attitude will reflect your look this year. But if not, I’ll just be chillaxing over in the corner tonight with my phone on video… I can’t wait to replay your antics for all my friends! They all loved Don’t Trust The B- In Apartment 23!”

3. Avoid politics.

At all costs, do not discuss politics at family gatherings. If your family is like mine, then everyone has a different opinion on the state of our country. Don’t make a relatively agreeable holiday gathering into an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While your brother may act like a demon, it’s best not to call him out on it. Your therapist may refer to this as setting aside your differences. I also suggest making it very clear there are to be no political discussions during holiday events. Threaten to never attend an event again – I did! – and someone is guaranteed to have your back.

4. Take a breather.

Overwhelmed? Sneak outside and take a break. One of my best memories of Christmas was not only family free (I was going through a divorce) but it was spent with a friend skating on the ice in Market Square in our tennis shoes. Alternately, mediation is supposed to help as well. Unfortunately, my brain stays on overdrive and that is something I definitely struggle with.

5. Get some rest.

Staying up late to try to tackle your entire to do list will just make the next day more trying. You are not a Stepford wife. (Thank goodness.) You’re a grown ass woman. So if you want ice cream for breakfast and a midday nap, just go for it. If anyone is judging you, it’s simply to make up for their own shortcomings.

With that said, I hope everyone has a happy holiday season. Even if it means taking a pass. And, if you have tips for how to deal with holiday stress, I’d love for you to share your success stories in the comments. Also don’t forget that those custom Wiivv insoles in case you need to make a mad dash for the hills without breaking a leg. Your family likely won’t thank you, but your feet definitely will. However, learning how to deal with holiday stress can help you have a happier holiday. So if you’re up for it, then give it your best! (Or at least find a way to make it entertaining.)

How to Treat ADHD Naturally (Without Prescription Medications)

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

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Whether you or your child struggles with ADHD, or you find you lack concentration and focus as you age, the inability to focus and on stay on task can be daunting. However, you don’t need to resort to prescription medications with unwanted side effects to rectify this problem. Instead, there are a number of ways to treat ADHD naturally so you can be more productive, in addition to cognition and focus.

How to Treat ADHD Naturally (Without Prescription Medications) Using Natural Herbs & Supplements

Back to school can be a challenge for parents. Especially if you have a special needs child. ADHD, however, is one of those disorders that affects not only children, but adults as well. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD for short, affects an estimated 8.4 percent of children and 2.5% of adults. It interferes not only with our ability to focus. It also causes hyperactivity and impulsivity. Left untreated ADHD can affect our children’s performance in school as well as our own ability to focus on tasks at work.

As someone with fibromyalgia, I can readily relate with the inability to focus as a result of fibro fog. The times I’ve put off work because I couldn’t get my head into it are too numerous too count. And then, of course, when I finally do commit to a project, such as writing, I type a paragraph then get up and pace, on repeat, for hours on end.

It wasn’t until I started taking Gaia Herbs Mental Alertness that I was able to change my process. These days, with a little help from a natural herbal supplement, I can sit and write an entire blog post without ever leaving my chair. So I whole heartedly believe that, yes, there are effective ways to treat ADHD naturally. However, as with everything else in life, it may take some experimentation to find the right fit for you or your child’s ADHD.

Fortunately, we now know that there are natural alternatives for treating the symptoms of ADHD at the source, without resorting to pharmaceuticals with unwanted side effects. Where modern medicine has failed us, many of use have turned to alternative treatment options to take charge of our health and the health of our families. By being proactive, many of us have finally started on our journey to wellness through nutrition and herbal supplements rather than a prescription from a doctor.

Ready to learn more? Keep reading to discover how to treat ADHD naturally. In addition, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore an in depth herbal intensive learning course that ties nutrition, lifestyle and herbalism together for a holistic approach to ADHD support. Discover ways you can support your brain as you age, or as you journey through menopause, along with other practical applications that extend beyond simply treating ADHD with this educational herbal course.

How to treat ADHD naturally without prescription medication. Whether you or your child struggles with ADHD, or you find you lack concentration and focus as you age, the inability to focus and on stay on task can be daunting. However, you don't need to resort to prescription medications with unwanted side effects to rectify this problem. Instead, there are a number of ways to treat ADHD naturally so you can be more productive.

How to Treat ADHD Naturally

Treat ADHD Naturally Through Exercise & Lifestyle Changes

Spending more time outdoors in nature is an easy way to help calm ADHD symptoms. Evidence suggests that spending just 20 minutes on outdoor activities per day can improve concentration. Additionally, participating in yoga or tai chi classes can also offer similar benefits with regular participation.

Treat ADHD Naturally Through Clean Eating

Another one of the ways to treat ADHD naturally is through nutrition. It’s been shown that a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can exacerbate ADHD. Sugar, gluten and dairy all can trigger inflammation in the body which leads to lessened blood flow to the brain. By consuming lean protein and good-quality fats, your body can better stabilize blood sugar and support the pre-frontal cortex. This in turn often helps to reduce the impulsivity that accompanies ADHD.

Additionally, your should also avoid foods with excess sodium, MSG, HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein), yeast extract, caffeine and sugar. It’s also advised that you avoid artificial sweeteners with biochemical alterations as they can interfere with cognitive functions and emotions. In addition, whenever possible, foods with artificial coloring, preservatives and allergens should be removed from your diet as well.

Tips for Clean Eating

Following are easy guidelines for eating better. It’s simple for anyone to incorporate these clean eating tips into their daily diet to support better nutrition.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables, choosing organic options when available.
  • Eat more whole grains. In other words, grains that look similar to their harvested state. This includes farro, barley, quinoa, wild rice and oats. Not only will these offer more fiber, you’ll also benefit from the extra protein, antioxidants and inflammation-fighting phytonutrients.
  • Consume less meat. Not only is eating less meat healthier for you, it’s also better for the environment. When you do eat meat, opt for natural meats (sans the antibiotics and growth hormones) such as grass fed beef or wild caught salmon. You should also reduce your intake of processed meats such as sausage, bacon and cold cuts, if not omitting them all together.
  • Avoid processed foods made with hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial colors, refined grains and high amounts of sugar.
  • Limit your sugar intake. Not only does sugar cause harmful inflammation that can lead to illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, it’s filled with empty calories that leave you feeling hungry a short time later.
  • As with sugar, it’s also important to limit your salt intake. Many of us consume well above the recommended daily intake of salt. If using salt when cooking, use it sparingly. I personally like to substitute pink Himalayan salt for sea salt when I cook for the added vitamins and minerals.

Treat ADHD Naturally Through Natural Herbs & Supplements

There are a number nutrients that, when intake is increased either through the foods you eat or supplements, can help with ADHD symptoms. As deficiencies in vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin C, zinc and iron can contribute to ADHD symptoms, supplements or a change in diet are recommended in order to increase levels of these nutrients in your body.

In addition to common vitamins and minerals, there are also alternative herbal supplements that can help you treat ADHD naturally.

CBG Oil (A Natural Hemp Oil)

CBG oil, a hemp derived compound similar to CBD oil, has shown positive results in treating both ADHD and autism. There are a now a number of scientific trials that testify to the positive effects of using CBG oil to minimize side effects of these conditions. A natural hemp oil, cannabigerol (CBG oil), differs from CBD oil in several key ways. Where CBD oil is great at treating seizures, CBG oil is not. Instead, CBG oil offers the following benefits that CBD oil doesn’t:

  • Assists with memory and focus.
  • Helps with bladder disfunction including overactive bladder.
  • Assists with relief of IBS symptoms along with other bowel and intestinal issues.
  • Helps ease cravings and withdrawal from benzodiazepines, opiates, alcohol and cigarettes.
  • Relieves symptoms of ADD/ADHD
  • Stimulates appetite.

CBG oil offers additional support over CBD oil for the following:

  • Offers relief from pain.
  • Helps with depression.
  • Acts as a neuroprotectant to support neural/brain health.

CBD oil and CBG oil both share these health benefits:

  • Aids in relief of symptoms from anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Is naturally anti-inflammatory and therefore reduces and inhibits inflammation.
  • Slows bacterial growth.
  • Is a reliable sleep-aid that can help with insomnia.

I have personally found CBG oil helpful in treating fibromyalgia. It’s more effective at targeting pain, in my experience, than CBD oil. Additionally it has helped immensely with symptoms of overactive bladder that often coincides with the fibro.

If you’d like to try CBG oil, I purchase mine from Flower Child. They also offer sample packs of CBG and CBD oil as well as sample packs of CBG oil and CBG salve. You can save $10 off your first $30 purchase with coupon code: ref0716498 when you shop at Flower Child through using this link. Alternately, you can learn more about CBG oil in this article from Leafly.

How to Treat ADHD Naturally Without Prescription Medications. Learn how to treat ADHD naturally without prescription medications using a holistic approach that combines nutrition, exercise and natural herbs. Plus an educational course on herbs for ADHD, cognition and focus. #adhd #herbalism #education #remedies #naturalalternative

Other Natural Herbal Supplements

In addition to CBG oil, there are a number of herbal supplements that can help you treat ADHD naturally, as established through my experience with with Gaia Herbs Mental Alertness. (Which, incidentally, has also been shown to help with both ADD/ADHD symptoms.) In fact, many of the herbs considered to help with ADHD are found in Gaia Herbs Mental Alertness Herbal Supplement.

Following are the herbs recommended for naturally treating ADHD symptoms.

  • Gingko Bibola
  • Brahmi
  • Gotu Kola
  • Green Oats
  • Ginseng
  • Pine Bark (Pycnogenol)

Studies do suggest however, that these herbs work best when used in combination with one another.

How to Treat ADHD Naturally (Without Prescription Medications) Using Natural Herbs & Supplements

To further explore the herbs best suited to treat ADHD naturally, I turn you over to the wisdom and experience of The Herbal Academy. Now through Sunday, October 21st, The Herbal Academy is offering a Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive Course.

If you’re looking for experienced guidance with herbal and lifestyle options to help navigate your way down this holistic path, this is it! The Herbal Academy has teamed up with Maria Noël Groves to address ADHD, cognition and focus through a series of three helpful video and written lesson sessions. (Maria Noël Groves is author of the books, Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care and Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies: How to Create a Customized Herb Garden to Support Your Health and Well-Being.)

Here’s what you’ll learn from each of the sessions in this informative herbal course:

  1. In the first session, Maria provides a summary of ADHD including symptoms, causes, brain function, commonly prescribed medications, an overview of supportive, non-herbal lifestyle approaches, and an introduction to cognitive herbs.
  2. The second session reviews an herbal materia medica (including 8 kid-friendly herbs) to support cognitive wellbeing.
  3. In the third and final session, Maria provides an herb overview chart that summarizes the uses and actions of the herbs discussed in the intensive and reviews formulation tips, how to put together an individualized plan, and case studies.

What’s so great about this course is that it looks at the whole body – not just one cause of ADHD. Therefore, this course provides you with a better understanding of ADHD as well as how herbs, nutrition and lifestyle suggestions can affect ADHD. You can then incorporate what you’ve learned into your family’s holistic lifestyle to support family members with ADHD and other cognitive concerns.

Ready to learn more? The Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive is now open on the Herbal Academy website for registration through Sunday, October 21st (but you can start whenever)! With registration, gain access to this entire 3-session series for only $39!

Alternately, you can also get this full Intensive along with a library of Intensive Short Courses included in a membership to The Herbarium! The Herbarium currently boasts of three exclusive Intensive Workshops, with many more currently in development!

For a $45 annual membership (only $6 more than paying for the single intensive), you will get:
  • This Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive
  • The Clinical Practice: Supporting Clients with Stress Intensive
  • Natural Approaches to the Management of PCOS: Finding Balance Intensive
  • Privy to future Intensive offerings
Along with access to:
  • The Herbarium’s exclusive Plant Monograph Database boasting over 130 herbal profiles
  • Herbal ebooks and media offerings valued up to $9.99 each
  • An ever-expanding collection of in-depth herbal resources including articles, presentations, videos, and podcasts from brilliant herbal minds from around the globe.

Sign up now to learn how to treat ADHD naturally through the use of herbs.

For an easy, non-committal registration, sign up for the Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive on the Herbal Academy now! There are 2 ways to sign up:

  1. Get the ADHD Intensive. Sign up for The Herbarium here!
  2. Or sign up for the ADHD Intensive as a solo workshop here!

Have you had success conquering ADHD without prescription medications? I’d love to hear your own success stories with how you treat ADHD naturally. So, please, share your personal story in the comments.

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.

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Get A Little Crazy With Pumpkin Spice This Fall!

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

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I am so ready for fall. It is, by far, my favorite season of the year. And not just because it’s pumpkin spice season. (Although that does add another reason to the yes column.) If you’re a fellow pumpkin spice fan, then keep reading to learn how to score a set of FREE warm and spicy pumpkin scented cleaning products. Plus check out some great tips on getting your home ready for fall along with twelve of my favorite pumpkin spice recipes that you can craft indoors on a chilly weekend.

Pumpkin spice beauty and skin care recipes for fall and autumn inspired homemaking tips and tricks. Discover my favorite cleaning solutions for fall plus great tips for making the transition into fall with homemaking ideas and 12 pumpkin spice recipes. #pumpkinspice #cleaning #tipsandtricks #homemaking #diy

For the love of pumpkin spice.

OMG. Summer has just dragged on forever this year. But basic or not, I’m so ready for pumpkin spice season! My boyfriend, on the other hand, is just psyched it’s finally football season again. While he’s cheering on the Jacksonville Jaguars, you can find me sneaking across the street for a pumpkin spice latte at our local Starbucks.

I just can’t resist the warm, spicy taste of pumpkin spice – or the fragrant scent! So when I found out that Grove Collaborative now has Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products in their new fall scents, I was instantly sold. Mrs. Meyer’s has three great scents for fall – mum, apple cider and pumpkin.

If you aren’t already a Grove customer, you can score a free trio of Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products in your scent of choice. You’ll also get a replaceable head dish brush, free shipping and a free VIP trial when you make your first $20 purchase. You have to hurry, though, as this is a super limited time offer.

Pumpkin spice beauty and skin care recipes for fall and autumn inspired homemaking tips and tricks. Discover my favorite cleaning solutions for fall plus great tips for making the transition into fall with homemaking ideas and 12 pumpkin spice recipes. #pumpkinspice #cleaning #tipsandtricks #homemaking #diy

I’m a VIP member at Grove and I love that I can get free shipping AND a free gift with every order (with a minimum purchase.) Last month I scored a FREE Grove Collaborative bamboo prep board.

I’ve also gotten completely hooked on their European dish cloth set. These durable and absorbent sponge cloths are perfect for messes – and they helped my boyfriend give up his paper towel habit. Because these sponges are reusable, you simply pop them into the dishwasher to easily disinfect and clean them. If you’ve been working toward a zero waste lifestyle that reduces your carbon footprint, these dish cloths are a must!

Now if I can just break Greg of his Keurig coffee and convert him over to my favorite, lower acidity cold brew.

Once you’ve scored your free cleaning kit from Grove, be sure to check out these great tips for preparing your home for fall. Plus be sure to try one or more of my favorite pumpkin spice skin care and beauty recipes at the end of this post.

Pumpkin spice beauty and skin care recipes for fall and autumn inspired homemaking tips and tricks. Discover my favorite cleaning solutions for fall plus great tips for making the transition into fall with homemaking ideas and 12 pumpkin spice recipes. #pumpkinspice #cleaning #tipsandtricks #homemaking #diy

Fall homemaking & cleaning tips.

1. I’m not usually a baker (that’s more of my roomie’s expertise) but something about pumpkin spice season always inspires me to whip up an apple pie or a batch of pumpkin muffins. When that happens, Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap and the Grove replaceable head dish brush are perfect for a quick cleanup! Plus, they make a pretty sink-side display.

2. A fresh towel is such an underrated way to add some seasonal vibes to your kitchen. Grove’s heirloom red kitchen towel adds a pop of fall color and can handle the toughest messes.

Whether we’re hosting a casual cookout or a football party, fall is my favorite time of year to entertain. My roommate and I always make sure the guest bathroom is stocked with fluffy hand towels, plenty of toilet paper, and of course a seasonal hand soap. I receive so many compliments on Mrs. Meyer’s fall fragrances (and guests always want to know where I got them since our local stores sell out so quickly!)

Pumpkin spice beauty and skin care recipes for fall and autumn inspired homemaking tips and tricks. Discover my favorite cleaning solutions for fall plus great tips for making the transition into fall with homemaking ideas and 12 pumpkin spice recipes. #pumpkinspice #cleaning #tipsandtricks #homemaking #diy

3. Brisk fall days are perfect for tackling outdoor tasks and preparing your home for winter. Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface is the only cleaner you need for wiping down patio furniture, light fixtures, and metal railings. Plus, the bold scents give you a boost of energy while you’re cleaning!

4. As the nights get cooler, it’s time to pull out your cozy fall bedding. To make your favorite blanket even softer and cozier, add a few drops of Grove’s lavender essential oil to Grove’s wool dryer balls before you toss them in the dryer!

My roommate, Bambi, wasn’t really sure about the dryer balls when I first purchased them, but now she’s hooked. Not only does it make our laundry softer, it also reduces static and decreases drying time so we can save energy.

5. Switching over your closet? Before you store your summer clothes, give them a good wash with Method laundry detergent so they’re fresh for next season.

I love using Method’s 4x concentrated laundry detergent. I bought the ginger mango fragrance two months ago and still have a ton of detergent left. I love the scent. However I really love that it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. Not only is this detergent HE friendly – I use it at my boyfriend’s apartment too – the bottle is designed so the cap doesn’t get all gummy from measuring out the amount I need.

6. Just like I reach for different clothes once the weather gets cooler, I also reach for different skincare products. I can’t live without Grove’s nourishing coconut skin superfood — it can be used as a face and body moisturizer, cuticle cream, and even eye makeup remover!

7. The start of fall also means the start of cold and flu season! To keep the sniffles at bay, I always keep a Grove hydrating hand sanitizer spray in my purse or travel bag. (This stuff is AMAZING!)

8. Can you believe stores are already putting out Halloween decor? This year, I’m aiming for zero-waste with natural decor like pinecones, potted mums, and gourds. They look festive and don’t take up that much needed storage space!

9. Tip to save on your fall product needs: Once you’ve submitted your Grove order, you will be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. What are you waiting for? Order today!

Pumpkin spice beauty and skin care recipes for fall and autumn inspired homemaking tips and tricks. Discover my favorite cleaning solutions for fall plus great tips for making the transition into fall with homemaking ideas and 12 pumpkin spice recipes. #pumpkinspice #cleaning #tipsandtricks #homemaking #diy

Pumpkin Spice Skin Care & Beauty Recipes

Now that your home is in order, why not mess it up again? Try one of these fun pumpkin spice skin care & beauty recipes for you next weekend DIY. I mean, you do get to clean up the aftermath with more pumpkin spice. So why not?

Don’t forget to invite over a friend or two. I find that crafting is a ton more fun with friends as project cohorts. And a bottle of wine is always nice too!

Pumpkin spice beauty and skin care recipes for fall and autumn inspired homemaking tips and tricks. Discover my favorite cleaning solutions for fall plus great tips for making the transition into fall with homemaking ideas and 12 pumpkin spice recipes. #pumpkinspice #cleaning #tipsandtricks #homemaking #diy

For more pumpkin spice inspired bath & beauty recipes, be sure to follow my Pumpkin Spice Bath, Beauty & Skin Recipes board on Pinterest. I’d also love for you to share your favorite pumpkin spice products or recipes in the comments!

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

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Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Retirement to Indulge in Self Care

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

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You hear people talk about self care a lot. And with good reason. Self care isn’t just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Retirement to Indulge in Self Care. Self care isn't just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. #selfcare #healthandwellness #healthylifestyle

Are you still putting yourself last?

How many times have you heard your parents say, “When I retire, I’ll have the time to do the things I love.” Or, “When I retire, I’ll spend more time outdoors on the hiking trail.” Or perhaps you’re already at that age that you’ve promised these things to yourself. You’ll travel more. You’ll make time for brunch with friends.

The problem with this way of thinking is that you are always planning for a future you. So when you finally arrive at that point in time where you had planned to make changes, those changes never happen.

What generally occurs, instead, is one of two things. You either A) find that you’ve neglected self care (which includes a healthy diet and exercise, fresh air and healthy stress management) and your health won’t allow you to do all those things you planned over the years. Or B) you’ve trained yourself to put other people above you for so long, that when you finally do have the time to focus on yourself, you aren’t able to break a lifetime of behavior in which you were always doing for others.

Do you have trouble saying no?

My mother has always been the type of person who has trouble saying no. “We need someone to be treasurer for ABWA. Can you do it? We really need someone.” “Sure.” “We need someone to organize the PTA fundraiser. No one volunteered this year. Can you help?” “Of course.” “We’d really love to have a Cub Scout troop for our church. Can you run that?” “Absolutely.” “No one signed up to host a Princess House party? Would you mind hosting one?” “I can make that happen.”

Growing up I remember my mother being involved in everything. From work to church to school she did just about everything that anyone asked of her. And as a baby boomer, I feel like she was raised to be that homemaker, parent and activist. At the same time, however, roles were changing. So she also worked full time. She didn’t ask for help. And she eventually ran herself into exhaustion and a nervous breakdown.

My mother retired around two years or so ago. Guess what? She still hasn’t found the time to keep up with her flower gardens. She’s volunteering now more than she did when she was working. And why not? How else do you fill that void that work left open if all you’ve ever done is work?

More recently my grandmother has been unable to take care of herself. So my mother is only home one or two days a week. The rest of the time she’s helping my grandmother with everything she needs as the family prepares to move her into assisted living.

All of those things my mother said she’d do once she retired? Well, she hasn’t done them yet.

You shouldn’t wait until retirement to indulge in self care because self care is not an indulgence. Self care is a must for a happy, healthy life. Self care is a must for managing stress so you don’t get overwhelmed. Self care is healthcare. (Also, learning how to say “no” is pretty empowering too.)

Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Retirement to Indulge in Self Care. Self care isn't just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. #selfcare #healthandwellness #healthylifestyle

An introduction to Soulplant Apothecary.

Recently I had the opportunity to try, what I consider, self care products from a small company called Soulplant Apothecary. Based in Zagreb, Croatia, this little Etsy shop is owned by Kristijana. Kritijana not only works as a transformational life-coach, aromatherapist and herbalist, she also crafts personal care products that she believes can help people live more soulful lives.

The principles behind Soulplant Apothecary tie together plant love, skin care and soul healing. So it’s easy to use these handmade products to better connect with your inner self. A daily skin care routine not only helps to soothe your body, it can also help calm your mind. So take that extra few minutes each day to really focus on your skin care needs.

I love all of the products I tried from Soulplant Apothecary. My hope is that you will love them as much as I do. As well, be sure to utilize skin care as a daily reminder to take care of not just your physical health, but your emotional health as well.

Sacred Space Room & Body Mist from Soulplant Apothecary. This is a truly sacred blend of purifying essential oils and mindfully chosen floral waters. It helps dispense stagnant energy in your space and/or aura.

My favorite self care product from Soulplant Apothecary.

My favorite product from Soulplant Apothecary has to be Kristijana’s sacred space room + body mist. As a person who has struggled with anxiety throughout my life, I love that this essential oil mist helps to ground my energy and cleanse my space. Dubbed as a magic mist for soulful living, this mist been super helpful at helping me focus and concentrate on my writing and upcoming projects. Plus it smells amazing – something similar to sitting outdoors on a damp forest floor enveloped by woods and rich dirt.

In addition to the sacred space room + body mist, you can also shop for three other aromatherapeutic scents including happiness, divine feminine – and for him – divine masculine. Try your favorite scent to help you destress when you meditate. (Soulplant Apothecary’s sacred dust smudging blend is also lovely for this purpose.) Or cuddle up with that book you keep meaning to read. You deserve a break in your day to let the tension and stressors in your life go.

This hair love restore & heal hair serum from Soulplant Apothecary is a potent blend of more powerful plant oils, just to mention some of them: argan, macadamia and rare precious gem of nature - abyssinia oil. This composition is meant to protect hair from damage and to substitute commercial conditioners. Rich in fatty acids and vitamins, this elixir will add boost of glow and health to your hair.

My roommate’s favorite self care find.

Having survived an emotionally abusive marriage followed by breast cancer, my roommate Bambi springs for a haircut and color as a treat to herself when she has a little extra cash. She’s a fan of flat ironing her hair (when it’s not raining) to smooth out her naturally kinky, curly hair. Therefore it’s no surprise that her favorite product from Soul Apothecary is the hair love restore + heal hair serum.

Thoughtfully crafted with a blend of argan, macadamia and rare abyssinia oil, this plant based hair elixir protects hair from damage and gives hair a healthy shine. Out of the plethora of hair care products on the market today, Bambi rates this hair serum as THE absolute best hair care product she’s used for straightening her hair. For super damaged hair, consider Soul Apothecary’s strength + volume version of hair love.

FLOWER MANTRA | Exfoliating plant powder from Soulplant Apothecary. This is a gentle exfoliating powder, made of differently granulated plant powders, clays, and flowers. Include it in your daily skin care routine to help your skin glow and look fresh. It gently exfoliates skin, leaving it soft and clean.

In addition to these products, Soulplant Apothecary also carries a wonderful flower mantra exfoliating plant powder, nourishing face cream, ritual bath salts and yoni sacred feminine oil – to restore the connection with your feminine power center. (Which is a whole other kind of very special self care. *wink*) To learn more about Soulplant Apothecary or to browse all of the great products created by Kristijana, visit her Etsy shop here.

More self care rituals that are easy to adopt.

• Spend a few minutes, either at the beginning or the end of the day, to write in a journal. This will help you visualize the achievement of your goals and be more mindful.

• Take a mid-day walk at lunchtime to boost your energy levels.

• Turn off your ringer and take a break from your phone. No one should be tethered to a phone 24/7. Choose a time frame out of everyday to disconnect from all your digital devices and just sit outdoors, watch the clouds and take in the view.

• Pick a day to say no to social media each week. Instead, invite a friend or neighbor over for a cup of tea and engage in a real conversation about something other than the news.

• Reduce stress with simple activities such as spending time with a pet, painting a picture, making soap, planting a flower or even dancing – like no one is watching, of course!

What are some of your favorite ways to practice self care? I’d love to hear your tips for reducing stress, practicing mindfulness or simply how you take time out for yourself each day. Alternately, if you are currently struggling with where you are in life, I recommend reading my article titled, You Are Not a Failure (Tips to Change Your Perspective & Get Your Mojo Back.)

To receive updates from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find and follow me on PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’ and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

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Tips for Staying Healthy As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall

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Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Following is my collection of tips for staying healthy (and organized!) as the kids head back to school this fall. So you, and your kids, can stay on top of your game.

Tips for Staying Healthy (And Organized!) As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Discover my collection of tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. So you and your kids can stay on top of your game. #backtoschool

Last week I mentioned that my son is starting his senior year of college. So back to school is extra exciting for me this year. Even more exciting is that Cody (my son) is going to the first person on my side of the family to ever go to grad school. However, if your son or daughter isn’t quite there yet, I still wanted to share some great back to school ideas for you as well.

I remember when my son was in elementary school. Every single viral infection or stomach bug that made rounds at school, made its way back into our home. And it never failed, the sound of him puking would wake me up from a dead sleep every single time.

Even after Cody graduated high school there were still back to school germs to contend with. My coworkers at the time had school aged kids. And from time to time they would find their way into the office – especially during summer or sick days. I like to think they contributed to the mighty immune system I seem have now.

Of course, if you’re working full time and you have kids in school, you can’t really afford to get sick. So I’ve pulled together a few tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. After all, you have enough to worry about when school starts. With all the after school activities, packing lunches, and helping with homework, the last thing you need to worry about is the next virus squirming its way into your home.

Tips for Staying Healthy this Fall

Tips for Staying Healthy (And Organized!) As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Discover my collection of tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. So you and your kids can stay on top of your game. #backtoschool

This amazing hand sanitizer is Queen.

Because back to school means lots of germs, hand sanitizer is a great way to keep dirty hands germ free. I know as well as you do that kids hate to wash their hands. Which is one of the reasons I love the Grove Collaborative hydrating hand sanitizer spray.

This hand sanitizing spray makes disinfecting hands seem like less work. It also won’t dry out your kids hands with excess use like drugstore brand gel hand sanitizers. This awesome spray has coconut oil (for those of you who are a fan!) for extra hydration. And it’s scented with natural essential oils, not a synthetic fragrance. (Keep reading to learn how you can get Grove’s hand sanitizing spray free!)

Simply toss a bottle of hand sanitizing spray into your kids’ backpacks so they can clean up before lunch or snack time. And be sure to keep one in the car, too. It’s a great way to disinfect their hands after school or after sports practice. If time is of the essence, you can worry about one less thing by setting up disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer to autoship monthly from Grove Collaborative. That way you never run out and you save a trip to the store.

Encourage hand washing with this simple idea.

Of course, sometimes, kids HAVE to wash their hands. With younger kids especially, this can be a struggle. The solution? Let them pick their favorite scent to keep by the sink! Kids especially love Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap in lavender and lemon. And, they can make their soap even more special by decorating the bottle with their favorite stickers.

Tips for Staying Healthy (And Organized!) As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Discover my collection of tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. So you and your kids can stay on top of your game. #backtoschool

Don’t forget the teachers!

Teachers spend a lot of money out-of-pocket on classroom supplies. So donations of disinfecting wipes and tissues are always appreciated. You can help give back to your child’s teacher for all their hard work by gifting a few containers of Seventh Generation disinfecting multi-surface wipes. They’ll also appreciate receiving several boxes of Grove’s new paperless Seedling tissues for your kid’s classroom. These products are great at preventing kids from passing around the same germs over and over.

If you haven’t heard of Seedling by Grove, it’s a fantastic new brand of tree-free products that includes tissues, paper towels, toilet paper and napkins. Unlike other green brands of toilet paper and paper towels, Seeding products aren’t rough or scratchy. Rather than using recycled paper, Seedling products are made from a renewable proprietary blend of bamboo and sugarcane that creates a soft, luxurious product.

Tips for Staying Healthy As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall

Feed your kids healthy snacks.

One of the first questions kids ask when they get home from school is, “Hey mom, what’s for snack?” While you may be tempted to treat them to sugary snacks or potato chips, try giving them healthier options instead. Healthy snacks aren’t just a better food choice. Natural foods like veggies and fruits contain extra vitamins and minerals that also help to boost those budding immune systems.

So instead of buying those cookie or cracker snack packs when you’re at the grocery store, opt for grab-and-go snacks like cut up fruit, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks, and veggies & hummus instead. Grove’s reusable storage bags are a great way to store individual snack-sized portions. Not only are they durable and easy to clean, they also won’t leak in your refrigerator.

Natural ways to fight back to school colds or flu.

Let’s face it. Even if you do take all of the preventative measures to prevent an illness, your kids are still bound to catch a cold at some point. However, with the overuse of antibiotics (especially in cases of viral illnesses in which they have no effect on) sometimes it’s better to try a natural remedy first. Natural remedies not only help to relieve cold symptoms, they can also aid in strengthening your child’s immune system. From soothing medicinal teas to immune boosting syrups, you can find my favorite ways to naturally fight off colds here.

Tips for Staying Healthy (And Organized!) As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Discover my collection of tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. So you and your kids can stay on top of your game. #backtoschool

Manage stress better as a mom with natural supplements.

It’s not just the kids dealing with a lot of anxiety and stress as they head back to school. We moms can get overwhelmed too. It can be a real challenge fighting with your kids to get them out of bed in the morning. (I was a holy terror in the mornings growing up.) Or trying to figure out how to drop off and pick multiple kids up from sports or dance practice – when they all have to be there at the same time!

Unfortunately, not only is stress mentally exhausting, it can take a toll on your physical health as well. This in turn makes you more vulnerable to getting sick. So I help my body better manage stress with herbal supplements like ashwaghanda root. I also take a daily probiotic which helps to improve my overall health. Probiotics also naturally help to boost immunity. Therefore, by adding probiotics to your daily routine, your body is better able to fight off nasty germs you may come into contact with throughout the school year.

Grove sells my favorite brand of probiotics from Lovebug at 10% off. While I take Lovebug’s Here’s the Skinny daily probiotic, they also offer an immunity probiotic for little ones and a daily immunity probiotic for adults.

Another great way to reduce stress is by staying organized. So you’ll find some great tips to help you stay organized for back to school and keep up with household chores below!

Homemaking & Organizing Tips for Back to School

Homemaking & Organizing Tips for Back to School. #BacktoSchool can be a challenge for families. So when someone gets sick, it makes sticking to routine even harder. Discover my tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall so you & your kids can stay on top of your game.

Clean your kid-friendly spaces with non-toxic all-in-one products.

When things get hectic, multi-tasking cleaning supplies are a must. I love Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface spray because I can walk around the entire house and clean everything. It’s perfect for cleaning countertops, floors, toys, and even sticky lunchboxes with just one bottle.

If you’ve never tried Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products before, back to school is the perfect time to give these cleaning products a test run! First time Grove customers will receive a free Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning kit with an order of just $20 or more. This amazing cleaning kit contains one each of Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, dish soap and multi-surface spray PLUS a Grove hand sanitizing spray and my favorite Grove walnut scrubber sponges.

If you’re ready to get ALL of the shopping for your household down in one fell swoop, you’ll also get a free Grove cleaning caddy IN ADDITION TO your free Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning kit when you spend just $39. Sign up here.

Create a homework station.

Getting kids to sit down and focus on homework is hard enough without having to rummage through the junk drawer for a pencil sharpener. To streamline homework time, create a “homework station” by filling a caddy with supplies like pencils, sharpeners, tape, glue, crayons, colored pencils, and a stapler.

Homemaking & Organizing Tips for Back to School. #BacktoSchool can be a challenge for families. So when someone gets sick, it makes sticking to routine even harder. Discover my tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall so you & your kids can stay on top of your game.

Keep kids busy while you make dinner.

One of the biggest challenges as a mom is keeping the kids busy while you cook dinner. So how do you this without plopping them in front of a screen? Lately, I’ve discovered that kids LOVE dry erase markers and whiteboards. So have your kids write a pretend shopping list, draw, or practice spelling words or math facts while you’re in the kitchen. When they’re done, they can clean the boards with Grove all-purpose concentrate and a microfiber!

Choose the right tools for cleaning your dirty dinner dishes.

Kids or not, if your house is like mine, dishes seem to multiply when you’re not looking. Fortunately, Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap and Grove walnut scrubber sponges make quick work of greasy pans, crockpots, and lunch containers.

Save money on healthy & eco-friendly everyday products for your home.

School supplies can take a big chunk out of your budget. Grove Collaborative is a great way to save on back-to-school household and personal care products like tissues, hand sanitizer, and vitamins. I find that items are less expensive than our local grocery store, and you can often score free products with a minimum purchase. Plus, once you’ve submitted your first order, you’ll be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you’ll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. Join Grove now and start saving.

Discover more back to school tips and ideas.

For more great tips for staying healthy and organized for back to school, be sure to follow my Back to School, Back to Work Pinterest board It’s filled with fun back to school supplies and office candy for the young and young at heart! Plus back to school DIY’s, teacher gifts ideas and printables.

Do you have great tips for staying healthy or keeping organized for back to school? I’d love to hear how you manage kids, housework and your day job without going nutty. So be sure to share your experiences and what’s worked for you in the comments! After all, coordinating with other moms and sharing ideas is another great way to not only save your sanity, but keep your household running smoothly as well.

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

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