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Tag: mental health

Clutter, Clutter Everywhere and No Place To Put It

decluttering, clutter, depression, minimalism, minimalistI think my head is going to explode. I went to a friend’s house to help out last week and there was clutter, clutter everywhere and no place to put it!

It’s the Christmas season and we’re all shopping like crazy to get the perfect gift on everyone’s list. So, where do you put all the new stuff when your closets are already overflowing?

Why Am I Writing About Clutter?

Yes, I know I’m a certified aromatherapist and what does clutter have to do with aromatherapy? Well, I’m also a holistic life coach and that means I’ve been trained to ask questions and look at situations with fresh eyes. And that’s important information for you to have when reading this post – and thank you for reading!

I visited my friend to help her move “stuff” (read that to mean clutter) around to make room for her Christmas tree. Sheesh!

Listen – how you live is none of my business – ever. But when you stand there and complain that you’re overwhelmed, depressed, frustrated and mad as hell while we’re rearranging a shittonne of junk, then don’t expect me to keep my mouth shut.

To make room for the tree, we had to move some of the clutter into her bedroom which already looked like a warehouse. Bedrooms are for sleeping and sex – NOT for TV watching, eating or as storage units! Period! 

I’ve been in minor minimalist mode for the last few years. I say minor because I have no intention of getting rid of everything I own.

But here’s what’s been on my mind lately: What happens if I get run over by a truck today? Then what? Who’s going to take care of all the stuff and clutter that I have everywhere? Just how much stuff sitting around collecting dust do I really need? minimalist, minimalism, de-cluttering

The bigger and better question is this: WHY are you hanging on to all this stuff – clutter? What does it represent to you? How does it make you feel to hang onto all this stuff? Better yet, how does it make you feel when you get rid of all that stuff?

I told you that the life coach thing would be important to this blog post. :0)

My Minimalist Approach

Here’s my idea of minimalism:

  • Have just what I need – maybe a bit more
  • If I haven’t touched it in 2 years, it’s time to get rid of it
  • If I haven’t worn it in 2 years, let it go
  • How much dusting do I really want to do (I hate dusting)
  • Analyzing why I need more stuff

Physical clutter equates to mental clutter pure and simple. Yet all the commercials we watch brainwash us into thinking we NEED more stuff! Have you noticed how many storage companies there are around your town? Why do think that is?

Listen, I love pretty things and lots of clothes as much as the next guy. I do. BUT – what am I going to do with all this stuff when I get old? All that money spent on needless stuff could have helped my retirement account get a little bigger and make me feel more secure.

Not to mention that we get busy busy busy and don’t take the time to put things away if there’s any room left!

The First Step in De-Cluttering

STOP. JUST STOP. Stop buying stuff you don’t absolutely need for your survival!

At this time of the year, it’s imperative to think outside of the Christmas box. Instead of buying more needless stuff for someone, why not have dinner together? Why not get you and your sister/friend/mom a mani/pedi and spend time together? Or get a series of yoga classes to take together?

How many more toys do your kids and grandkids really need? If they’re into soccer, why not get them a soccer lesson? Or tickets to a big league soccer game and go with them? It’s not things that make memories, it’s people we’ve spent time with.

And in all of this, you’re shopping local at small independent businesses where your dollars make a difference!

My second step was to clean out the junk drawer in my kitchen. Then it was a stack of boxes with stuff I hadn’t touched in five years – five years! If you haven’t touched it in that length of time, why do you need to keep it?

What’s your first step toward de-cluttering?

Where To Take Your Clutter

There’s a number of excellent places to donate your items, but one in particular touched my heart. Annie’s Hope Center For Growing And Healing. Annie’s Hope is a certified 501(c)3 non-profit and the Reverend Abby Catoe is the force behind it. Helping women who have endured domestic violence, this labor of love helps them heal and get back on their feet.

Of course, there’s always Goodwill, Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army. You do help change lives when you give to all of these organizations.

Please think about de-cluttering this year when you do your Christmas shopping. Seriously give some thought to spending time with those who matter to you instead of buying stuff! Besides – I have some awesome products for you to give the gift of health this year for Christmas – let’s talk today!

Blessings,

Melissa

A Thing Of Beauty

A Thing of Beauty, Take a Deep Breath, Kindness, Meditation, Unplugged

It’s been a hard couple of weeks, y’all. We’re all tired and I’d like to help ease the weariness today with a thing of beauty

Just take a deep breath. Rest your eyes on a beautiful scene and imagine yourself there just simply resting and at peace.

Think about kindness, caring, gentleness, compassion.

Unplugged, no phones, no internet, no social media, no anger or harsh words.

We’re all stressed to the max and if we just take a moment to meditate – or pray – whatever you choose, we can find joy and beauty in life.

Whether you believe it or not, we’re all connected.

I’ve had the word blessing on my mind a lot lately. I’m blessed to have each one of you in my community. You uplift me, you honor me with your kind words and your business. I’m so very grateful for you.

Today, in honor of my Irish heritage, I’d like to offer you the traditional Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm on your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May God be with you and bless you,
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind always be at your back,
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home,
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

As always, thank you for sharing your inbox with me. Thank you for taking the time to open the emails that I send. Thank you for coming to the fairs, festivals and markets and hugging my neck and telling me that I’ve made a difference in your life.

It’s important to me that each person sees their own beauty. And in doing so, sees more beauty in the world. I’m grateful for the opportunity to spread the message that we each have our own special brand of beauty.

You make a huge difference in my life and I send love, light and deep gratitude out to each one of you.

Blessings,

Melissa

Uninsured – Part 5 – Depression

Depression – it falls into that small category of things like combat that, if you haven’t been in it, you can say you can imagine it all you like. But it’s truly different. Dick Cavett

Depression, signs of depression, Postpartum Depression, Am I Depressed, Mental HealthToday, I touch upon depression in my continuing series on healthcare options for those who may find themselves uninsured. If the current AHCA healthcare plan is passed, mental health is one of many illnesses that insurance plans may not cover along with pregnancy, disease prevention and pre-existing conditions.

Last week, we talked about chronic pain. If you are new to Scented Balance and would like to read the entire series, Part One begins here.

I believe we all understand and accept the occasional bout of sadness or “the blues” which is considered mild depression. Sometimes, life goes sideways and we’re faced with the loss of a job, a loved one, moving or the birth of a child. Yes – postpartum depression is real.

It happens to nearly all of us and, for the most part, we know that we’ll bounce back in due time. Most of the time we do work through the life events that bring sadness with them.

Depression Symptoms

Many times, we still manage to function in our daily lives knowing that difficult situations are part of life, but what happens when the depression last longer than a couple of weeks? What happens when you lose interest in everyday activities such as going to work, preparing dinner, having sex, enjoying hobbies and friends and have trouble sleeping?

From my own experience, I know that someone telling me to “snap out” of depression is not only cruel but unrealistic. It’s like asking someone with a broken leg to get up and walk it off. Yes – it can be done but each of us are different in how we process this disease.

Make no mistake – I don’t pretend to even know a thimbleful of information about depression. Most of what I’ve learned is through my own experience and conducting research to help myself without resorting to anti-depressants. I don’t have or want that option and seriously, the side effects of anti-depressants are far worse than the disease.

What I have learned is that it’s REAL. It’s not some made up problem that’s all in your head. Some of the physical symptoms can be fatigue, loss of appetite (for food and sex), headaches, difficulty concentrating or thinking, excessive sleeping or disrupted sleep patterns and restlessness or irritation. In severe instances, thoughts become suicidal – not that you intend to carry out your thoughts, but they are present.

Cause and Effect of Depression

Even though depression takes place in the brain, the physical effects are every bit as real and frustrating for the one who is going through it as well as friends, family and co-workers. If you’re not sure what you’re experiencing is depression, here is some good information about what it is and when to get help.

The American Psychiatric Association explains depression like this:

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

WebMD.com is another trusted resource for information on many concerns. They explain how to tell if you need to get help for depression:

If you have five or more of these symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, you may have major depression. Your primary care doctor is a good place to start. Your doctor can screen you for depression, and help you manage and treat your symptoms so that you can feel better.

How Can Aromatherapy and Holistic Life Coaching Help?

So many people talk to me when I’m at markets about their struggle with depression. My heart breaks for you because I know living with depression can be overwhelming. Aromatherapy and holistic life coaching are both wonderful tools for addressing your concerns with no side effects.

There is solid scientific research* to back up the use of essential oils for depression (and for anxiety – read more in this post about anxiety). When inhaled or diffused, Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Bergamot are powerful oils to help balance emotions and physical responses associated with depression.

Consider Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Rollerball to help manage your symptoms. Each oil in this blend is specifically chosen for its’ ability to balance and uplift. If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you know that I always consider emotional qualities when selecting oils for your concerns and depression is no different.

As a holistic life coach, I look at what’s going on in your life for the root of your depression. When it is NOT caused by a life event such as chronic illness, birth or something of this nature, then I ask:

  • Is there a part of your life where you feel unworthy?
  • Do you have a sense of hopelessness?
  • Are you feeling a sense of loss not easily explained?
  • Where do you lack clarity in your life?
  • Are you living outside of your integrity?

I don’t want to gloss over depression and pretend that it’s no big deal. It is a big deal and the sooner you get ahead of it, the better off you are. Yes, you may very well be capable of dealing with depression on your own – I applaud you. But please don’t let embarrassment or fear keep you from reaching out to me as your aromatherapist or your medical professional.

Another alternative is acupuncture. ScientificAmerican.com has an interesting article on how acupuncture can help you manage your symptoms. In the coming months, we’ll explore alternative modalities that can help with many of your health concerns.

Where do you see yourself with depression today? I would love to talk with you to see how we can work together and help you help yourself. Please take a moment to fill out this short contact form and let’s get started today.

I’m grateful you stopped by today – blessings,

Melissa

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned in the blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional for any health issues.

*Chang SY (2008) Effects of aroma hand massage on pain, state anxiety and depression in hospice patients with terminal cancer. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi 38: 493-502 (Article in Korean). Cited by Dobetsberger C, Buchbauer G (2011) Actions of essential oils on the central nervous system: an updated review. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 26 (5): 300 

 

A Day For Mothering and Self Care

Self Care, building self esteem, mental health, stress relief, how to get balance in my lifeWhile every day should be a day for mothering and self care, for many of us, it’s not. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are moms of two-legged babies, four-legged fur babies or fine feathered babies!

It’s wonderful to set aside a day to honor mothers everywhere. Our job has always been tough with long days, longer nights, juggling schedules, managing work with housework (or for you lucky SAHM’s – just keeping up with everything!), yard work – in other words – moms keep the world in balance.

Balance. It’s a nice word, isn’t it? A huge part of self care is balance in your life. A balance between work and play; not too many highs, not too many lows – an even keel is a good way to describe it.

Personally, it took me a long time to learn how to get balance in my life.

I am honored to serve so many of you (both men and women) who talk to me about balance in your life via phone, email and markets. It’s a huge honor for me to handcraft aromatherapy products that help you create balance in your daily life. Combining aromatherapy with holistic life coaching to help you find balance allows me to serve you in ways I never dreamed possible.

Mothering Yourself

Self care for caregivers to adults and children is even more important as you cannot pour from an empty cup. If you’re burning the candle at both ends and not caring for you first, how can you expect to be fully present for those that love and depend on you?

I know your candle is susceptible to burning out. When time to relax is scarce, here are self care strategies to help yourself stay in balance in just a moment or two:

  • Take a deep belly breath – when you smell a beautiful flower, what do you do? You close your lips and deeply breathe in the scent of the flower. You can do this any time you need to stay calm and find balance. Take five deep, slow belly breaths and then breathe out just as slowly each time. This is wonderful for stress relief.
  • Take five minutes each day to write down ten things you are grateful for. Big things, little things, important things, unimportant things. It all matters in helping you maintain balance and perspective. I looked back at some of the entries in my own gratitude journal and one of the things was the ink pen I was writing with that flowed so smoothly on the page of my journal.
  • Once you climb into bed for the night, rub a couple of drops of Lavender on the bottom of your feet. Maybe your partner would be willing to do this for you – even better! Lavender calms the central nervous system and encourages balance in all areas.
  • Snack on something that is healthy. I found organic applesauce in a pouch that is strong enough to keep in your handbag when you’re on the go. If you have a busy schedule, this is a simple way to keep from starving and bottoming out especially in the late afternoon.
  • Show compassion to yourself. Be aware of the negative self talk you tell yourself. You would be gentle and compassionate with your best friend, so why not be the same way with you? Building self esteem is just as important for you as it is for your children.
  • A dab of beautiful perfume made from essential oils on your wrists (or a few drops in your diffuser necklace) to calm your senses is ideal for self care and balance. Here is a wonderful blend that is all plant-based, subtle and calming:

Calming Perfume

  • 12 drops  Neroli/Petitgrain Co-Distill
  • 6 drops    Sweet Orange
  • 2 drops    Ylang Ylang
  • .33 ounce Jojoba Wax
  • .33 ounce Glass Roller Bottle

Blend all ingredients into the roller ball and gently shake before using each time. Apply to inner wrist, over your heart and behind your ears for a beautiful calming perfume. Please use caution – this blend is phototoxic, so don’t put it on skin that will be exposed to the sun or UV rays. This also makes a great personal gift for any mom!

If you don’t have these oils, I make this blend in a rollerball for $16.99. I also have a diffuser blend created especially for this called Balance. It’s $24.97 for a .5 mL bottle and I have it for sale at markets, fairs and festivals. Simply send an email (balance (a) scentedbalance dot com) to me or fill out the contact form and I’ll take it from there.

How can I help you find your balance? I have simple and effective tools to help you learn self care, balance and see all your beautiful potential through holistic life coaching

Fill out this contact form and let’s talk today.

Blessings,

Melissa

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. My products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional for any health issue.

Are You Feeling Stuck?

Are You Feeling Stuck, coaching, in a rut, head or chest cold, feeling stuckIt seems like wintertime gets a lot of people feeling stuck in a rut. When I say feeling stuck in a rut, I mean your energy seems sluggish and there’s no spring in your step.

It could mean that you feel stuck emotionally and energetically or it could be congestion from a head or chest cold that just won’t budge.

When your energy seems stuck and your head or chest cold seems to linger, it’s a great time to bring out the conifer oils to get your energy and your congestion moving.

All essential oils have energetic qualities to them and the conifer oils such as Black Spruce, Hemlock (not the deadly kind), Pine and Fir are all steam distilled from the needles and cones. The needles of conifers allow them to breathe, protect them from water loss and support photosynthesis.

Andrea Butje, owner of Aromahead Institute talks about Black Spruce (Picea mariana) in her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy:

Black Spruce has a helpful presence in blends for soothing respiratory issues and “sprucing up” your energy. It can support you through colds, the flu, coughs and allergies.

Andrea goes on to say that Black Spruce is an excellent oil for staying healthy and vibrant in winter and anytime people around you are sick. Just about anywhere you go in wintertime, someone is coughing or sneezing, coming down with something or getting over something, so black spruce is a great oil to keep on hand.

Black Spruce  is also very good when you have aches and pains with your cold or flu. You can add 6 – 8 drops to one ounce of carrier oil such as argan or almond and massage your sore muscles as it has a rejuvenating effect. Moving Stuck Energy

Another oil that Andrea talks about for respiratory health and sore muscles is Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). It’s interesting how she says Hemlock supports your energy: 

While hemlock soothes muscles, it does so in a way that releases energy rather than relaxes it. Hemlock is a great essential oil for feeling vibrant and overcoming fatigue, especially during the long, dark months of the year. 

One of the oils that it blends especially well with is Black Spruce. If you have a cold or the flu or you are around people who are sick, this combination is ideal to diffuse as they are both excellent at fighting infections.

I learned so many wonderful things from Andrea during my aromatherapy studies. The area that had the biggest effect on me was the emotional support that essential oils provide. She is very intuitive and her wisdom in this area is the reason that I approach my aromatherapy practice with your emotional well-being in mind.

How To Get Out Of Your Rut

Here is my personal blend to use anytime you are feeling stuck in a rut, whether it is energetically or from congestion:

Get Unstuck Diffuser Blend

  • 2 drops Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
  • 2 drops Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
  • 2 drops Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • 2 drops Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)

Add to a cold mist diffuser whenever you have a cold, the flu, sinus issues or just feeling stuck in a rut. You can also add this blend to one ounce of carrier oil and massage into your chest and back. I have 10 mL stock bottles of the pure, undiluted Get Unstuck blend for $19.95 plus $3.95 shipping. Simply send an email requesting this blend and I’ll take care of you!

Essential oils offer so much to help you take charge of your overall well-being and aromatherapy and holistic life coaching are my way of helping you help yourself. I want to help you enjoy your life to the fullest and experience your best version of goodness.

Please let me know what questions you have; I would love to talk with you about your needs and concerns. You can email me directly at balance (a) scentedbalance (dot) com or click here to fill out the contact form.

Take charge of your overall well-being and take the first step – let’s get started today.

As always, I am very grateful you chose to stop by.

Blessings!

Melissa

PS – the above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Please see a qualified medical professional for any and all health issues.