Natural Uppers

I think I need to write a wee apology for my last blog post – not a real “I am really sorry for being honest” apology but an “I am sorry I was such a Debbie Downer” sort of apology. Full acknowledgment happening here.  When I sat down to write my last blog post Winter Battles, I wrote it thinking that sometimes seeing that other people are also struggling with different aspects of their lives at that exact moment helps to give me perspective, so maybe I should do it too. Reaching out can be a way to get something that I have been internalizing outta my own head… I absolutely did not intend to spread the depressive cheer – although after speaking with a few different people, seems to be what I did. Sorry.

At my day job I help others to remove emphasis from the past and to shift focus/attention away from what can’t really be changed or altered since it has already occurred. I like to spend our time on the “next steps” or what can we do NOW to change the future… So boom! I am bringing that idea to the blog. Let’s move forward with intention and purpose and dig ourselves out of this rotten winter rut. We can’t change the weather so let’s focus our energy on positive strategies to compensate for certain ‘deficits.’ What can we change? What are small things that make you happy? Think about the last 6 months. What was something or a time that you felt content? Try to focus on things that don’t cost money or that are inexpensive. Here are some things that have helped me or ARE helping me.

1. Rearranging furniture. I like my apartment but everything felt so ‘stuck’ in here. So two days ago, I spent hours cleaning it (like crazy insane, top to bottom) and then moved around my furniture. One of the outcomes was having my small two seater sofa swap locations with my desk. The outcome: I feel like my apartment has a whole new look and it didn’t cost me anything.

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2. Plants! In the dead of winter I became obsessed with making my apartment into my very own botanical gardens. To make this happen, I asked my mom to find me thrifted planters for Christmas and I slowly found little plants to live in them. Cost? Planters =  free and plants typically $5.

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3. Incense. Really good, lovely smelling incense. My obsession is the incense by Julie Clark at Province Apothecary. All of Julie’s products are beautiful, organic, hand crafted in Toronto and you know what? She is a great person – I love supporting great people. The PA incense costs $12 a pop directly from her new workshop in Kensington Market, or she let me know you can purchase it in Parkdale at Cambie Design (close to Sorauren & Queen). Honestly the spruce and fir scent combo is to die for. And it transfers… I get complimented regularly on how I have the best smelling dog ever.

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4. New cleaning products! So cheesy I know… But you know what, when you are sick and tired of being indoors and feel like you can’t spend money on new home related accessories (who isn’t on a budget these days?) then investing in a few new cleaning products is the way to go. We all need them… So you are going to spend the money anyways (so don’t feel bad) and the outcome means your home smells awesome. To keep my apartment smelling and feeling squeaky clean, I grabbed a lot of fresh smelling citrus products. Also – fresh lemon! boil some fresh lemon in a pot with water…. Delicious smells.

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5. Essential oils. I am slowly acquiring new essential oils. My best bud has been using them for years but I am newer to the game. Guys – they are so good for us and you know what, natural stimulants! Side benefits: antiseptics, disinfectants and readily available. My favourites right now include: Bergamot (natural antidepressant, stimulant, can be used as a deodorant and it smells fricking amazing), lavender (do I even need to say anything else? So good), sweet orange (I bought this to make room spray – I actually don’t love this brands sweet orange scent, anyone have a brand they love?), citronella (same benefits as bergamot as well as an insect repellent – I use it in the summers) and patchouli (hippy ya ya ya – aphrodisiac – those hippies were onto something apparently, anti depressant and boosts energy). Moral of the story? All essential oils are good for us.

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6. Window shopping. Although I don’t have that much extra cash in my wallet to be purchasing new decor for my apartment it doesn’t stop me from putting a few things on my wish list. I think the ‘hope’ of looking for new things makes us feel better. Maybe this is a female thing? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. I think it is always good to look forward and set goals of things you would eventually like… Here are a few things I have had my eye on: tie dye pillow cases (Sea and Stone on Etsy), a cool Moroccan style basket to keep  Nan’s toys contained (Bazaar Living on Etsy) and some fun tie dye sheets (Dream Sheets by Omar).

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