Healthful Habits: Sticking with It

Please do not replicate without permission. Today’s world is so crazy, full of people coming at each other from all different directions. Most of us don’t take the time to “stop and smell the roses“. Now, that may sound cliché, but it’s something I struggle with. Currently, I am working towards a big deadline for work and it seems like I just can’t shut off my brain when I’m not working. That deadline is always looming over my head, sneering at me and taunting me with its insatiable expectations… Yeah, you can obviously see that I am not good about deadlines. It’s like that big kid on the playground that teased you enough times that they don’t have to even tease you anymore to bother you, all you have to know is that they could be there. They may not even be watching you, might even be home sick for all you know, but the imprint of her torment lingers with you every recess… I have some issues. But, I am now focusing on being in the moment. When I get time with my loved ones I need to just be there and enjoy my moment, enjoy the few seconds away from our busy lives that we get to share with one another.

Life is too short to do anything but be thankful for the little blessings that God has gifted you!

What else is going on? I’m trying to get healthier again. About a year and a half ago, I realized I was starting to put on some extra weight and lost 25 pounds. I felt incredible! After that I fell of the bandwagon a bit. I didn’t gain any of the weight back, THANK GOD, but after I started school I stopped exercising, became a caffeine addict, and was eating controlled portions of really crappy food. I love dessert. Seriously, I gained the 25 pounds to begin with, because I believed that I deserved dessert after every meal. How I had accomplished finding something for dessert three times a day (at least) everyday is beyond me, but I sure as heck did it. So, here I am now: drinking so much water I pee an annoying amount of times a day, I am cutting down on the dessert, sticking to strong tea in the morning, and working a yoga sesh into my work breaks.

To add a little more to my new healthier lifestyle, I am also learning about how to use natural and frugal toiletry items. I’m a broke college student and I have decided my bank account needs to act like it. So here’s to “no poo” and making my own body wash, toothpaste, face cleansers, scrubs, deodorant, chapstick, hairspray, etc… A chemical free me! This is definitely not as easy as it sounds… I will admit, that I will not be able to go truly organic until I’m rich and famous someday, but here’s to getting a start in the right direction! (I am finding a lot of great tips from Wellness Mama!)

It’s not a diet, it’s a healthy lifestyle. Diets are only temporary.

So far, I have converted with hair products. I am now using natural hairspray, beachy waves spray, a natural conditioning hair butter (it’s from Target..I haven’t made the hair butter leap yet, made by SheaMoisture), and I have sworn off shampoo and conditioner! WOO! Luckily I have been blessed with thick, curly hair so I can join the “no poo” clan with ease (I use 3 tbsp baking soda per cup water then 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar to cup water, let both sit for a few minutes before rinsing). Just waiting on my henna & indigo to arrive in the mail to dye my hair…! Yeah, this will be one of the biggest experiments. Unfortunately, I’ve been dying my hair with box color for some time because salon coloring is so expensive (I’ve had gray hairs since I was 13 years old…), so how this box to henna-indigo transition is going to go is totally up in the air. Not just doing henna alone because I tried the whole red hair thing and it looked absolutely wretched with my skin tone…

Another chemical-free transition that will eventually have to occur is the makeup debacle. I have just decided to discontinue buying/selling skin care and cosmetics as a consultant. That in itself should tell you how dependent I have be come on my face products. Recently, I have been encountering a lot of drying out trying to compete with the sticky summer weather, I have acne prone skin, so I starting researching natural acne fighters. I love witch hazel. Yes, it may sound like I’m going to stand around a cauldron with some eye of newt and wart of frog while chanting some type of curse, but it is an amazing new discovery. I bought the astringent and it is really helping my face oils to balance out naturally. Today was the first day that I used witch hazel and my new sugar scrub on my face: it feels fabulous! I’ll have to get to the store to purchase some castor oil, so I can use a 2/3 castor oil to 1/3 olive oil solution as my cleanser, but so far I can already feel my face relaxing. Going to all natural makeup scares me, I’ll have to do more research…

Speaking of relaxing, I have finally gotten my sleep schedule in check! This may sound like a small victory, but for me, the restless-forever-insomniac, to go to sleep and wake up at normal times is one of my greatest achievements. HOORAY! Routine is the answer, in addition, to brainwashing yourself into loving sleep. I’m funnier with more sleep! That in itself is worth getting the seven hours (my eyes just pop open) of sleep at a decent hour. Here are my new sleep guidelines:

  • Put on my night shades a bit after dinner. This may sound silly, but these suckers are amazing. They’re a pair of yellow aviators that make me look like Chip from Napoleon Dynamite and block the blue light that keeps your brain in daytime mode. This helps regulate my melatonin naturally and my eyes can tell my brain it’s almost bedtime.
  • Go to sleep before midnight. This is a goal, not a rigid rule. My brain doesn’t like rules. But, midnight is a good deadline for my insomniac brain, earlier than that and it will feel too rigid to me and I’ll ignore it and end up crocheting all night long and go to bed at 7 o’clock in the morning instead…
  • Don’t set my alarm. The dread of my alarm alone will prevent sleep. I have to naturally wake up or I am a zombie grouch. These past few mornings I have been up before 8 o’clock sans alarm clock!
  • Take melatonin* when snuggling into bed, pop in my ear plugs, and slip on my sleep mask. I may sound like a sleep diva with all that I have to wear to go to bed, but I sleep like a puppy after a kids’ birthday party with all my extras. The melatonin prevents my tossing and turning, the ear plugs prevent me from hearing all the creaks of the basement I live in, and my sleep mask ensures that when my eyes pop open before I fall asleep I am in a black cocoon of solitude. You need three things to sleep: warmth, quiet, and darkness.

photo-9So, here’s an update in my quest for fulfillment. These may not be the ways that you’ll use to find fulfillment in your life, but these are the ways that will truly help me to live life to the fullest in this world of pandemonium. Back soon with more on my pursuit to greatness!

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”
– Elbert Hubbard

*Always consult your physician before taking any dietary supplements.


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