Organizing for Your Health and Wellbeing, Part I

Budget-Friendly Tips to Get Started from a Professional Organizer

The popularity of Marie Kondo’s Netflix show Tidying up With Marie Kondo and the KonMarie method shows that many of us either secretly or very openly want our lives to be well… more tidy. While Marie Kondo’s system may or may not work for you, there is an organizational system out there for each of us and finding it sooner rather than later could actually do wonders for our overall health and wellbeing. That’s why I went to professional organizer Jenna Fischer with The Arranged Abode. In this first of a two-part series, she explains why getting and staying organized is good for our health and shares some budget-friendly tips to help get us started.

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Photos Courtesy of The Arranged Abode

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Natural Ways to Care for Your Lips So They’ll Care for You

Tips on which ingredients to use and which to avoid

Our lips – one of the most important areas of our skin but among the most neglected or taken for granted – until something goes wrong. Then, they become everything. I should know. In recent months, my lips have consumed much of my attention. They became dry, crusty and seemingly insensitive. I was miserable and was afraid that I had somehow ruined my lips forever. If you had told me there was a crazy expensive magic pill that could give me my lips back, I would have paid it in a heartbeat. No questions asked.

I thought I was trying everything, but as it turns out, I was trying all the wrong things and most of them dried my lips even more. I was desperate! I finally found a natural solution that helped get me through the worst of it, but I also knew that I needed to change my approach to my lips. I think most of us do. Fortunately, Naturopathic Doctor Jennifer Ito is helping to answer our questions by offering natural ways to care for our lips so they’ll care for us. She also shares tips on which ingredients to use and which to avoid.

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Craving Connection: The Importance of Intimate Relationships

4 Tips for Nurturing Your Relationship

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, our relationships – especially those with our spouse or partner – are top of mind. While we know there are many benefits to being in a healthy intimate relationship, there are studies that show it’s actually good for our wellbeing – especially as we age. These relationships are something we all need because we crave connection with others, but that doesn’t mean they come easy. That’s why I went to the experts to find out why intimate relationships are so important, why we need to focus on them for Valentines and throughout the year and how we can nurture them even when kids, work and day-to-day life are calling for our attention.

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Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter from Pexels

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Eating for Wellness

Tips for Healthy Eating

Are you tired of being bombarded with all the newest information about what you should and shouldn’t eat? Are you confused about what healthy eating even means? Or are you simply saying, “I have three kids who all have different activities, drive-thru it is.” If you answered “yes” to any or all of these, you’re not alone, and please, let me say from the beginning, there is no judgment here. We’ve all been there, done that. But if you’re reading this, you must be at least a little interested in finding out what eating healthier could look like for you. That’s why I want to help cut through some of the noise and get you on your way to eating for wellness as quickly as possible. Your health and quality of life depend on it.

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10 Recommended Healthy Holiday Recipes

Options for Any Occasion During the Holidays

We all have our traditional favorite recipes that we have to have during the holidays – many of which may not be the healthiest. That, of course, is perfectly fine. It is the holidays after all! But if you’re trying to come up with at least a few ideas that are a little to a lot healthier or at least “healthy-ish,” you may feel stumped as far as where to get some ideas. That’s why I’ve put together this list of 10 recommended healthy holiday recipes. I’ve done the legwork for you with these, and I can vouch for how they turned out. I also offer notes on how to make many of them allergy-friendly if needed and many are already paleo, vegan, or vegetarian as is. You’re sure to find an option here to fit any way of eating and any occasion during the holidays.

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The Importance of Traditions

Tips for Beginning New Traditions

From marking birthdays, to Sunday dinners, to Fourth of July picnics, to any of the other ways we mark milestones, events or simply being together – our cultures are full of traditions. While these can be found in daily life or on special occasions, they’re extremely important during the holidays. Some of these traditions have a religious foundation, while others are centered around simply sharing a common experience that unifies and brings us together. Either way, they help to center and ground us and help to add meaning to the ordinary and the extraordinary. That’s why we’re going to explore why traditions are so important, as well as how to start new ones for you and your family.

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Intentional Gift Giving

Creative, Unique and Meaningful Gift Ideas

It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of this time of year that sometimes we forget a very important aspect of what the holidays are all about. Giving. To others and for others. No wonder we can end up in the middle of all the hustle and bustle feeling deflated, depleted and broke. If our main objective is simply crossing off a list or filling a gift bag, we, as givers, get nothing from it and more than likely, the recipient doesn’t get much from it either. If, on the other hand, we put thought, energy and intention into the gifts we give, we’re not only giving joy, we’re creating it for ourselves as well.

Coming up with creative and meaningful gifts is something my family enjoys doing. That’s not to say that we don’t have crazy, busy years where we just check off a list, but those are the holiday seasons I enjoy the least because it means we’re too wrapped up in ourselves and the craziness of life. Intentional gift giving gets us out of ourselves and prompts us to stop and think about what would not only make others happy, but what would bring them joy. Here are some creative, unique and meaningful gift ideas to help get those juices flowing.

For it is in giving that we receive.

photo background by George Dolgikh from Pexels

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A Realistic Guide to Staying Healthy During the Holidays

How To Fit Good Nutrition and Exercise Into a Busy Holiday Schedule

As wonderful and exciting as the holidays are, let’s face it, they can also be busy and demanding. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does put even more constraints on our already packed schedules. Navigating them and all of the extra decadent food that’s sitting around without losing sight of our health and wellness can be tricky at best and overwhelming at worst. It’s tempting to say that we’re going to put all thoughts of exercise and eating healthy on the back burner until after the first of the year, but that’s really not doing us any favors and may actually take away from our enjoyment of the season.

Caring for ourselves while doing everything else that needs to be done and that we want to do is a fine line to walk. That’s why I asked American Council on Exercise (ACE) Director of Product Development and personal trainer Lauren Shroyer, MS, ATC,  for some advice that can help all of us. In this Q&A, she offers a realistic guide to staying healthy during the holidays as well as tips for fitting good nutrition and exercise into a busy holiday schedule. She even offers a sample workout that can be done quickly and with no equipment.

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Essential Oils: A Natural Alternative That Promotes Health and Healing

How They Work, How They Help and How To Get Started

If you’re tired of popping a pill every time you get a headache or looking for an alternative for that nightly glass of wine to help you unwind, or you’re tired of having a cabinet full of cleaning products that contain chemical ingredients you can’t even pronounce, essential oils might be something you’ll want to explore. While the science behind them is young, their use is not. We’ve come full circle to what our ancestors and indigenous people knew long ago. Essential oils are natural alternatives that promote health and healing, and we’re going to show you how they work, how they help and how to get started.

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Part 2: Phone Breakup

How We Can Move On

Cell phone use, especially smartphone use, is on the rise, and the way we live our lives is a reflection of that. Statistics released by the Pew Research Center earlier this year, show that 77 percent of Americans own smartphones – up from 35 percent in 2011. We’re no longer tied to computers or desks to get information. It’s at our fingertips whenever and wherever we need it. In fact, the same report shows that “Today one-in-five American adults are ‘smartphone-only’ internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.” While there are many good things about so many people being connected to information in this way, there are also many pitfalls. Mainly, as we become more connected to our phones, we run the risk of becoming less connected to each other and to the world around us.

As I told you in Part 1: Breaking Up With My Cellphone, I started seeing this in my own life. A completely unhealthy, dependent relationship with my phone had emerged, and something needed to change. I needed a breakup. Part 1 was about how I came to this realization and how I relied on How To Break Up With Your Phone author Catherine Price and  Good Morning America’s #phonebreakup Challenge to help lead me through the process. Now, I’m sharing what the seven-day breakup was like, how I’m moving on with a new relationship with my phone and how you can too.

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