#211 Dry Your Sheets Outside

It takes clean sheets to an entirely new level and may offer the sense that you are sleeping under the stars – at least as far as your nose is concerned.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#211

Dry your sheets outside

Smell Sunshine

For much of the population, having a machine available to dry our clothes is something that we take for granted. Few of us hang our clothes on ‘the line’ to dry in the sun and breeze. If you have had this experience, you know that there is a sweet scent of fresh air that permeates the material so that when we come nose to fabric there is no question as to the smell of sunshine.

Line Dry

I know most of us don’t keep a clothes line permanently installed these days but having a line that can be temporarily strung and used once in a while offers us the opportunity to bring a little of the outdoors – inside. Sheets are easy to dry this way because they can be draped over the line – no clothespins needed.

The nose experience

Crawling into bed with sun dried sheets is an experience we should all have at least a few times in our life. It takes clean sheets to an entirely new level and may offer the sense that you are sleeping under the stars – at least as far as your nose is concerned. You may be used to the pleasant aroma of your brand of dryer sheets and yet I’m certain that you’ll fall in love with the fragrance of the sun after you…

Dry your sheets outside.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Dmitry Arslanov on Unsplash

#259 Replace Your Pillows

If I’ve totally grossed you out now that you are thinking about how old most of the pillows are in your house, the fix is simple…

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#259

Replace your pillows

Do you have a plan to replace old, worn out pillows? If you’re like me, I think about it when I am changing the linens and then I forget or put them at the bottom of my priority list – you know, below pedicures and sushi nights. Admittedly, there have been times in my life when I was forced to double case a pillow to hide the dried drool stains and evidence of age if I was in a pinch. At those moments, new pillows became a priority.

Let’s face it, one-third of each day is spent in bed with our heads on a pillow; having the right one is a necessity for a good night’s sleep and potentially, for our health. According to some experts, the basic poly-fill pillow needs replaced every six months (what??). The more expensive memory foam pillows can last as long as 36 months (double what??). I’m embarrassed to admit that mine are much older.

Indeed, my primary – my favorite – pillow is perhaps 8 years old at this point and I’ve kept it because I can’t seem to find one that I like as much. There are so many different pillow options these days and if money isn’t a concern three are plenty to consider. We must choose between content; feathers, down, memory foam, microbead, water, gel or buckwheat. Then there are the different body parts that pillows support; neck, body, and shoulders. There are pillows for health; sleep apnea, allergies, back pain, and migraines.  And, not the least of which is important is the degree of firmness – several options in that arena are also available.

The best time to buy pillows is in January when most of the major merchandisers have annual white sales but I for one, am usually not shopping that time of year… more like recovering from December’s blown budget. It makes good sense to bite the bullet and search sales for new pillows on those beds that get used daily at least annually… (yes, I’m inclined to buy the cheaper ones).

If I’ve totally grossed you out now that you are thinking about how old most of the pillows are in your house, the fix is simple… for a mere $12 or so (each) this weekend at Macys you can …

Replace your pillows.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Martin Castro on Unsplash

Six Ways to Cope with Crap

Here are six constructive and helpful ways to manage all that stinky stuff:

“You never really know what’s coming. A small wave, or maybe a big one. All you can really do is hope that when it comes, you can surf over it, instead of drown in its monstrosity.” ― Alysha Speer

We can’t control everything that happens in our life and there are times for all of us that we turn a corner and run full on into crap. For some, we are just getting cleaned off and another pile of dodo drops from the sky like a storm that blows in on a hot summer day without any warning. The kind of crap I am talking about doesn’t distinguish between gender or class, race or religion, age or vocation… it comes slowly and quickly sometimes with notice, other times suddenly and abruptly. At all times, the only part of the crap that we actually can control is how we cope with it. Here are six constructive and helpful ways to manage all that stinky stuff:

ONE: Use the skills you have.

Remember that you’ve made it through every rough day you’ve ever had before. Chances are, the thing you are going through now is not the first load of crap you’ve encountered. Remind yourself of the coping skills you’ve used in the past. Generally speaking, crap causes stress – stress can be mediated by utilizing traditional and somewhat basic coping tools. Meditation, exercise, therapy, social support, writing and the like are fantastic resources that help us deal with stressors both big and small. Use them! Use several of them at once if necessary and use them often.

TWO: Eat right and sleep right.

Both of these are relative ‘no-brainers’ and we all know them intellectually but the first thing that people under stress tell me is that it is preventing them from eating and sleeping. Then we face the bigger problem of how magnified the basic stressor becomes when we haven’t slept and/or we aren’t providing our bodies with the nourishment that makes our brains work. Furthermore, it seems as if the basic stress point births more stressors that in and of themselves, become big and problematic when we allow ourselves to become run down physically.

This isn’t the time to worry about dieting… while I’m not suggesting that we all develop the habit of ‘stress eating’… keeping fruit, nuts, and juices available so that we have something healthy and quick to grab at any time, makes sense. When I know someone is going through a rough time, I take them a big bowl of whole fruits – I know… buzzkill.

Sleeping is difficult when our brains don’t ‘turn off’. You can help by making sure you create an environment conducive to sleeping. Many of us have really bad habits that don’t support healthy sleeping conditions. NO television in the bedroom! NO sleeping on the couch in front of the TV. NO caffeine (including chocolate ice cream and other hidden sources of stimulants – including alcohol). Yes, a single glass of wine can relax you but two may induce less ‘restful’ sleep. More than just a little alcohol of any kind will certainly help you ‘fall’ asleep but your slumber will be restless. Learn progressive relaxation (search in YouTube) and do it as you fall asleep. Use a fan or a white noise machine to help drone out the sound of your thoughts. Technology allows us access to so many helpful tools regarding sleep these days. Lastly, don’t forget to support melatonin production in your body as well.

THREE:  Self-care.

As simple as this sounds, it is the one thing I find goes unnoticed most often. Seemingly, the last thing we think about when we are experiencing a load of crap in life is taking time out for ourselves. I guess it isn’t second nature to stop in the middle of chaos and ‘fuel up’ but let’s think about this… how far does your car go without gas?? Would you let a leak in your roof go indefinitely or would you take time to fix it so it doesn’t get worse?? When I recommend to people that they take some time for themselves, they often tell me they don’t have time but we both know that is an excuse. Learn to look at your life with the intent of carving out small slices that belong to ONLY you. This is the opposite of selfish – the objection most everyone tries to lay out – if you run out of steam, you will be worthless to help anyone! Take five minutes an hour under extreme duress and 30 min. a day otherwise to devote to making sure that YOU are bringing your ‘stress level’ down to its base line. If not, your body will think that it needs an elevated amount of Cortisol in your system to function and a new base will be established – that won’t feel good either!

FOUR: Accept Help

Are you good at asking for or accepting help? I always recommend accepting any type of help that is offered even if you think you may not need it. Someone willing to come mow your lawn will probably be willing to run the kids around instead if you find that more helpful. If someone asks how they can help – don’t say “I’m fine” – ask them “what are you offering?” or “Sure, what did you have in mind?” or better yet, “That would be great! Would you please….”.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to ‘do it all myself’ and it eventually backfires. Asking for help is a sign of STRENGTH – because it unzips your vulnerability. When we ask for or accept help we are making a statement that we can’t do it all ourselves and that is OK!! We are social creatures, not designed to be isolated and alone, or draining every personal resource we have. As a single mom, I had a village – almost literally – neighbors, scout leaders, friends, coaches, and the occasional family member that I depended on because I was only one person and even though I tried – God knows – I couldn’t do it – not successfully. When I made the decision to actually respond affirmatively to people who volunteered their help – my life was instantly better. Those who hadn’t meant it learned a lesson and we probably didn’t remain friends. Those who did, learned that I am a loyal friend who gives back when it is possible.

FIVE: Breathe & Count

At the very least learn how to breathe and count to five. In those few seconds where I take a deep breath and slowly exhale to the count of five, I collect myself and create intention (most of the time anyway). I respond better in conversations that are stressful, to people who are hyper or ultra emotional, and when there is significant chaos or confusion. The time it takes me to breathe and count allows my brain to run through a variety of scenarios where it can choose the best response, or the most logical in that time at least. Sometimes I count to ten if there is room for the extra pause.

SIX: Practice Gratitude

Everywhere you look these days we see reminders to practice gratitude and yet I find that the habits are not yet developed in many people… no worries, start again to make appreciation a part of everything you do. No matter how dense or smelly your pile of crap is – find something in it to appreciate it. I realize that sometimes, this is done in retrospect for the crap as a whole but in your day… there are at least three things that you can be grateful for. Today, I had enough to eat, I hugged three people who love me, and saw a beautiful sunset. If I take some time to really acknowledge those three things, I feel better about my day – at least a little. If you do a gratitude just before bedtime, you’ll have something fresh on your mind that is positive – helping you to sleep more soundly.

 

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