How I Keep My Zen
The winter months can be unforgiving, especially if you're in the north. I know, I used to live there. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression most notably in the winter months, I have found several ways to help cope. The below posts lists a few ways on how I keep my zen in winter by making my home more like a zen oasis. Admittedly I still have days where I struggle, but having a welcoming and relaxing surrounding definitely helps lift my mood!
Purge my Home
I take a weekend (now that I own a fairly large home I take a few! haha!) and I go through all of the stuff in each room, closet, drawer, cupboard, file, and folder; ALL of it. I get rid of the things I no longer need, want, use, or feel a connection to. I do all but rip the flooring up and tear down the walls; though my flooring could use a good revamp...
After I have finished going through all of my stuff I clean and organize the room. I either sell the things I no longer want on eBay or donate them to the local Goodwill. Usually, I end up with a truckload of trash as well.
Cleaning and throwing out old things is a great way to physically release stress. You’re not only letting go of the physical things that no longer serve you but also the mental and emotional sludge that tends to build up in our space and inner psyche. Clean your space with natural cleaners or make your own cleaner with essential oils. Your home will take on a whole new refreshing energy and you will feel completely invigorated.
Let go or be dragged - Zen Proverb
Bring in Plants
Living in a house full of plants is #goals, at least for me.
But if you don’t want to live in a jungle I understand. Even having just a few plants will benefit your space. Plants are great for purifying the air, reducing stress, and bringing in fresh positive energy. They’re also a great visual break from the lack of life outside over the cold months. Snake Plant, Peace Lily, Fern, and Jasmine are only a few of the beautiful air purifying plants.
If you’re not great with plants search for low maintenance plants like the Snake Plant, Money Tree, or succulents. These plants need water only about once a week, succulents can go even longer! On my Pinterest page, I have a whole board full of indoor plant ideas. There are also pins on my board for pet and child-friendly plant options. Hanging plants are also a great option if you have pets!
Aromatherapy diffuser and essential oils
I feel like I need an aromatherapy diffuser in every room of my house. I’ve kept a small stash of essential oils for years but it wasn’t until recently that I purchased an aromatherapy diffuser. What a world of difference it has made! I feel a million times more relaxed and rejuvenated while drifting off to sleep at night.
It’s the best natural way to boost your mood at the beginning of the day or wind down after a long stressful day. Essential oils promote the overall health and well-being of the mind, body, and soul. Different oils and blends help to prevent or reduce a wide variety of ailments while making your home smell and feel like a getaway oasis. Not to mention the complete ease of using a diffuser. Just fill it with water, drop in your favorite oils and let the diffuser work its stress-relieving magic.
It is important to choose pet-friendly essential oils even for the diffuser. Essential oils can be just as beneficial for our pets as they are for us. But there are some oils that may adversely affect pets. I found this article helpful “Using Essential Oils Around Your Pets” by Organic Aromas when determining which oils were safe for my cats, Stella and Charlie.
Candles & incense
Not as clean and purifying as an aromatherapy diffuser. However, I can never resist the beautiful glow of a flickering flame or the dancing swirls of smoke from incense. I have a plethora of candles both scented and unscented. I like to light unscented candles when using my diffuser or incense sticks. This way I'm not mixing them with different candle scents.
In the mornings I love working in my office with the soft golden candlelight and an intriguing incense stick. The twirling billows of smoke paired with the soft flickering flame help awaken creativity and set my intention for the day. At night I enjoy the calming effects of my aromatherapy diffuser with a romantic candlelit glow while I read, write, and wind down from my usual stress overloaded day.
I typically light scented candles around the house while I am cleaning or on the weekends when I am just hanging around. I love warm and cozy scented candles as well as earthy and refreshing ones. One of my favorite candles I buy is from Target, a Moss & Thyme scented soy candle made with essential oils. It is the perfect earthy, refreshing candle for those winter days when you’re missing spring. I found an Amber & Moss soy candle on Amazon that I am dying to try as well!
The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire. YOU ARE THE FIRE. - Mama Indigo
Out of this list of things that help me keep my zen, salt lamps and crystals are probably the most “spiritual woo-woo.” Personally, that is why I love them.
Salt lamps and salt tea lights when heated producing negative ions, the negative ions pair up with positive ions emitted by electronics which the help to purify and clean the air. Among several other benefits, they help to reduce allergens and asthma symptoms as well as reduce stress and improve your overall mood.
The pink color of the Himalayan salt emits a soft golden glow which I love in my bedroom at night and in my office in the mornings. In the mornings before I had the tea light holders in my office I would wake up and turn all of the lights on while working on my blog or video editing. But I was finding myself anxious and stressed before I had even left for my 8-5 job. Now in the mornings I light the tea lights in my Himalayan holders and turn on one dim lamp in the back corner of my office. When I leave for work I am in a much better state of mind; relaxed, accomplished, and ready to take on the rest of my day.
I could delve into crystals for hours but for the purpose of this post, this will serve as an introduction. And if crystals pique your interest I fully suggest researching them more yourself. I will provide a few links below this section to help get you started.
Crystals have been used for thousands of years to promote healing, enlightenment, and fulfillment, as well as used to enhance psychic abilities. They contain both silicon and oxygen elements making them good conductors of electricity. If you are familiar with the law of attraction then you are aware everything is energy and you attract the same vibrations you emit. Crystals work in a similar manner. Different crystals vibrate at different levels and can shift, absorb, focus, direct, and disperse energy within the body.
Crystals can help with a vast array of ailments and concerns in relation to the mind, body, and soul. To name only a few, crystals help to release stress, stimulate brain activity, rejuvenate the mind and body, magnify healing, and re-connect you to your higher self.
Crystals come in all different shapes and sizes. You can wear them as jewelry, carry them in your pocket or purse, set them around your home for good energy and decoration. Personally, I have a few jewelry pieces, I carry some tumble stones in my pockets, and have others placed around my home.
While I fully suggest picking out crystals in person if at all possible, if there isn’t a shop near you then you can purchase them online as well. HealingCrystals.com is a great online store. They have a lot of information about each stone on their site as well.
Get started with Crystals!
Book on Crystals: "Crystals for Healing"
A blog post from Energy Muse on crystals for beginners: "Crystal Crash Course: A Beginner's Guide to Healing Crystals"
Consciousness sleeps in minerals, dreams in plants, wakes up in animals, and becomes self-aware in humans. - Rumi