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What are the five small things that you are grateful for?
When you live a life that is a constant balancing act between pain, fatigue, depression and trying to live a better life despite all those things...
Sometimes, it's the little things that make all the difference in the world.
In today's post, I'd like to share five relatively small, inexpensive things that I've discovered to make my life better. Some are all about self-care. Some are ways to pamper me. Others are... well... just things that I love.Without further ado:
1. My Gua-Sha Blade and Jade Roller
These are totally pampering items, and I've only had them a week, but I absolutely adore them! I added some additional moisturizers to my morning and evening self-care routine, and these two gems take the routine to the next level.
One of the problems I have dealt with for eons is dry skin - and for years, I didn't even realize it, because I had awful acne - from overwashing and not moisturizing my dry skin! I've since learned to wash morning and night with a gentle cleanser, use an alcohol-free toner, and moisturize!
Since these two tools arrived, I've been pampering myself morning and night and can tell when I haven't used them. The set I purchased has some simple, printed instructions for use of both, and now that I have the basics, I'm exploring a little more.
The jade roller is a great touch immediately after moisturizing. Which end to use (it has a large and a small roller) is more or less intuitive, and using it takes all of 30-45 seconds as you roll it over each area of your face to improve circulation, reduce puffiness (it's stone, so it's naturally cold, even at room temperature).
That can be followed with the gua-sha blade. Mine happens to be rose quartz. My only complaint is that it gets slippery when you use it with body or face oil, as it's slender and very smooth. The term "blade" is a tad misleading, as the edges are beautifully rounded and soft, and again, the cool stone smoothing over my skin is relaxing. This can be used on face and body - my suggestion is to over-apply your body lotion though, as the blad doesn't glide smoothly otherwise, and skin getting pulled isn't fun. Also, if you have tender or trigger points related to your chronic pain, be gentle on yourself. This is not something you want to be digging into your skin - glide it lightly over the surface of your arms and legs.
2. My Himalayan Salt Lamp
I loved the elephant design on this particular lamp, and there are so many choices in design! The elephant isn't available as of this writing, but the company has a dozen or so options (check out butterflies, dolphins and more). The lamp is a painted glass bowl with a hole in the base for the light bulb assembly, and it runs on a very low-watt bulb that can stay on 24/7, however, it's on a dimmer switch as well, so you can turn it down or off if you'd like. With the humidity we have here on the coast, I learned a long time ago to keep my salt lamps on and/or warm. They collect moisture and grow in all kinds of weird ways if you don't.
When you buy this lamp, you get a sack full of salt rock crystals in various sizes, and after you install the lightbulb, you can arrange the rocks however you'd like. I've arranged them large to small, and vice versa for different looks, and having to remove the salt to replace the bulb can be a hassle, but it's not difficult.
So, here's my big plus for this lamp (besides the cute, handpainted elephants) - I can use my essential oils with it. Just a few drops on the top salt crystals and the whole office smells "happy".
This leads me to:
3. Essential Oil Blends and My Diffuser
I have a nice little collection of essential oil blends that I use in a rotation based on how I'm feeling. My favorites are Gurunanda's CALM MUSCLE BLEND, CALM SLEEP BLEND, and Divine Botanicals' MOOD BLISS blend.
The first two get swapped out with a couple other relaxing or healing blends in my bedroom diffuser. My daughter also has a diffuser in her bedroom and has a couple of bottles she uses on occasion. MOOD BLISS I use in my office salt lamp along with blends for anxiety, rejuvenation, invigoration, etc.
I'm increasing my knowledge of essential oils to expand their use in my life, but in the end tally, essential oils have been one of my recent discoveries that have helped raise my level of well-being.
4. My Freedom Mastery Planner
I love my planners. And while I've created my own planner for 2019 and have a couple other planners specifically designed for the businesses and blogs, my 2018 Freedom Mastery Planner has been a huge revelation for me this year.
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I also picked up a 90-day undated planner from these folks that I used for a personal development sprint earlier this year. If my options for planners was restricted to this brand alone and the cost wasn't an issue, I'd choose the un-dated 90-day planner.
Both have the same space for major life goals, short- and long-term planning, priorities, and finding life balance. Both have monthly goal setting and review pages. The 90-day planner also has weekly review pages, and the monthly, weekly, and daily pages are grouped by type. The 1-year planner has the monthly pages sandwiched between the weekly pages and has no daily pages.
But my planners, regardless of brand, are key to my forward momentum. It's just that this year's planner was the best I've ever used. The main reason I'm moving away from it is that I wanted an additional element, and have created that in my hand-made planner for next year.
5. Pre-made salads
If you've been digging into the Amazon links so far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also apologize that I don't have links for this one because this simple item has made my day so much easier and less boring!
Because I'm on blood thinners for a genetic clotting condition, salads have two capacities in my life: Either they are daily, or they are not at all. The vitamin K in them alters how the blood thinner works, and adjusting for a change is a massive headache (not to mention dangerous!).
Because standing at the sink for an hour while I chop veggies and make salad jars can leave me in severe pain, with muscle spasms, and no feeling in my legs, I quit having my daily salads for a while. My weight ballooned, and I spent 2 months trying to recalibrate my blood thinner.
Enter pre-packaged, single-serving salads from the grocery store.
Generally, the store has between 6 and 10 options. Narrow that by a quarter to rule out non-keto foods, and I still have between three and six choices of salads. I buy a week's worth (6-7 salads) at a time and organize them by use-by date. These become my lunches, and I add a package of string cheese for a usually-keto-friendly and always-satisfying meal to break my 18-hour fast.
Grocery stores usually have these in the produce section (I haven't seen them anywhere else, but I only shop at a couple of stores) near the pre-packaged salad bags. The salads range from 200 to 350 calories, and generally, have a tray on top of a premeasured bowl of lettuce. The tray holds various forms of protein and add-on toppings like cheese, ham, bacon, dressing, and nuts, as well as a closed container of pre-measured dressing.
I know that packaged food isn't the "best" choice, but when alternate choices leave me crippled and in pain, they aren't "best" choices.
We're nearing the end of this particular series, and my hope is that I've been able to get you thinking outside of your usual boxes to find things in your own challenges to be grateful for.
And of course, I'd love to hear from you. Jump in the comments section below and share your top 5 little things that you're grateful for and that make your life easier.