9 Natural DIY Essentials

DIY NaturalIf you’ve read any of this blog, you know I love to make my own cleaning and personal care products. Getting started can be a little overwhelming, though. What are the basic products you need for natural DIY? How do you know you’re getting a quality product? Is it expensive to get started? These are all questions that were swirling in my brain. I did a lot of reading and collected recipes for DIY products, but ultimately I had to just dive in to really figure out what was going to work for us. So if you’re looking to get started on the natural DIY path, I’d like to help you sort out the confusion. Continue reading

Sleep Better Naturally

lionI’ve struggled with fatigue for more than half my life. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep, sometimes I wake up too early, sometimes I toss and turn all night. Even nights when I sleep well and get enough sleep, I wake up tired. Fatigue has become such a part of my life. I’ve found many tricks to improve my sleep and minimize that tired feeling throughout the day. The fatigue never goes away and I still have bad days, but these methods help. Even better, they are natural. Continue reading

Battle the Flu Naturally

fluLast week, my husband and I battled the flu. He came down with it first, and a couple of days later, I was sick as well. It’s been miserable-fever, aches, coughing, sore throat. My husband needed a breathing treatment and was prescribed an inhaler because his lungs sounded so bad. So I began reading up on the symptoms and learning natural ways to treat them. I have learned a lot and would like to share what I’ve found with you. Continue reading

Get Rid of Stress with Essential Oils

stressWe all get stress from time to time. Stress is defined as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” Simply put, stress can cause us to feel overwhelmed. We are busier than ever in this day and age and it can be tough trying to keep up with the demands of caring for a family, working, keeping up with friends, and the million and one things on our to-do-lists.

It’s hard to make the time, but it’s so important to de- stress once in a while. Stress can affect so much of your life, from your emotions, behaviors, and thinking ability, to your physical health. We all handle stress differently, so we can be affected in different ways. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, either. What helps one person unwind may not help another. The key is to find what works for you.

I love using essential oils. They have so many uses. Let’s talk about why essential oils are great for reducing your stress level and why they work so well.

How Do Essential Oils Reduce Stress?

Essential oils have a fragrant molecules that can have a direct effect on the areas of our brain in charge of controlling feelings of stress, anxiety and even panic and depression. In a sense, essential oils “adapt” to what we need. If you are restless or agitated, essential oils can have a calming effect. If you are depressed, the same oil can uplift your mood.

How to Use Essential Oils

  1. Inhale directly: I like to inhale directly from the bottle
  2. Rub directly on the skin: Mix with a carrier oil to avoid skin damage and rub into your temples, wrists or anywhere, for full body relaxation.
  3. Use on-the-go: You can buy an essential oil inhaler to carry with you. I like these ones. Or put a few drops in a handkerchief for stress relief on the go.
  4. Add to your shower: Use a few drops in your shower or bath.
  5. Use a diffuser: (I use this one.) Use a diffuser to make your whole room a stress-free zone. This is my personal favorite!

Which Oils Should You Use For Stress?

Keep in mind that you may need to experiment a little to figure out what works best for you. What works for one person may not work for another. Some oils have a strong fragrance that is too much for some people. So just keep tweaking it until you figure out what you like. It would be counterproductive if your oils were stressing you out more!

Here is a list of oils that are great for stress and some symptoms they help with:

  1. Ylang ylang: anger, confusion, depression, irritability
  2. Orange: anxiety, fear, frustration, depression
  3. Geranium: agitation, discouragement, mood swings
  4. Lavendar: anxiety, concentration, depression, grief, irritability, mood swings, panic, restlessness
  5. Peppermint: concentration, confusion, mood swings, frustration, forgetfulness

Essential Oil Blends to Reduce Stress

The following blends contain the oils above and can be used in any of the methods listed. Download the chart to keep it handy!

stress

What essential oils help you unwind? Let me know in the comments!

 

Starting a Natural and Frugal Life

how i got started on the natural and frugal life

As a kid, my mom did some things naturally for my brother and I. She had a homeopathic kit and would give us echinacea and vitamin c when we were sick. So I got a good foundation in using natural treatments as a kid.

The Natural Life

When I was around 15, I started experiencing fatigue and muscle pain issues. Over the next several years I had some blood tests and a sleep study done. One blood test showed that my bad cholesterol was a little high, and because of my age(I was 27), the doctor didn’t want to put me on medication. When I got home and did some research. I began an aggressive vitamin/herb regimen. After 3 months my bad cholesterol was down 58 points. My doctor couldn’t believe it, and I was amazed, too.

After my sleep study showed nothing was wrong, the same doctor told me to take more naps and I wouldn’t be so tired. I have gone through phases where I slept most of the day, so I clearly didn’t need more sleep. At that point I was tired of doctors, so I did more research. I learned that gluten could cause many of the symptoms I was experiencing. I also learned there were vitamins and herbs I could be taking to improve my energy levels. (I’ll expand on the various things I have taken and tried in later posts.) Once I made changes to my routine and diet, I had more energy and could get through a day without sleeping for half of it. This convinced me that natural was the way to go!

A few years later, I contracted MRSA. I had painful abscesses on my legs, two of which had to be surgically drained at the emergency room. So-you guessed it-I did more research. I learned about herbs and essential oils that would help. The doctors wanted me to go on long-term, low-dose antibiotics. (In the interest of being fully honest, I did take a course of antibiotics. But just one course really messed me up.) I was not thrilled with the idea of long-term antibiotics. I worked out a natural routine and as long as I stay on it, the MRSA doesn’t flare up. Thank goodness for that, the abscesses are incredibly painful and usually come with a high fever.

Learning to Be Frugal

As far as being frugal, I also learned a lot from my mom in that area. She was a single mom raising two kids on a very limited income. So I learned to shop sales, buy in bulk, go to thrift stores, appreciate hand-me-downs, use coupons, and make it myself if possible.

When I got married, my husbandd made good money. Right before our first anniversary, he needed neck surgery and couldn’t work for about 6 months. His company had a disability policy, but it was only about two thirds of his monthly income. So I had to put those skills to good use.

Later we moved to a very rural area (90 miles from the nearest WalMart) where there aren’t a lot of jobs and the ones that are available don’t pay well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love living here. But again, those frugal skills that my mom passed on to me came in handy. We don’t have credit cards and we limit how much debt we accumulate. Both the cars we own are paid for, eliminating another bill. Our monthly bills (not groceries, gas, pet supplies) are around $400. I know that sounds hard to believe, but there’s a certain freedom in being frugal. We can live in a place we love and aren’t slaves to making payments.

So in this blog, I want to share some of what I’ve learned about cutting back expenses, making it work on a small income, and living naturally to improve health. Hopefully I can help you in some small way.