Relaxing Properties of Nature – 10 Reasons Why Being in the Nature is Good for You

life hacks, Lifestyle

Are you feeling a bit stressed lately? Tired? Irritable? Anxious? Maybe even a little depressed? Sluggish? It’s ok, autumn is here, winter is coming, days are colder and shorter and this year has been incredibly frustrating and strange.

Let me ask you another question? How much time have you spent in nature lately? The answer to this question may give you simple explanation of why are you feeling a bit down and under the weather lately. It’s not a myth, spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Whatever you call it , forest walking, ecotherapy, hiking, mindfulness in nature, green time or the wilderness cure, humans evolved in the great outdoors, and your brain benefits from a journey back to nature.

The way you spend time out in nature can affect how much your physical, emotional and mental health will benefit from it. So go outside to relax, relieve stress or anxiety, focus your mind, and improve your health and well-being, you definitely won’t regret it. You will even benefit from it.

There are undeniable benefits for your mental health when you spend time in nature, like lower stress and better memory.  But if you’re usually glued to a screen, computer, TV, or any other kind, you may have forgotten exactly how relaxing in nature works.

Here’s why it’s healthy and beneficial to spend some time outdoors and hug a tree or two.

You Feel Happier

According to one Finnish study, spending just 15 minutes sitting in nature helped people feel psychologically restored. If you spend time walking in nature, and not just sitting, the mental restoration happens even faster.

Walks In Nature Help Your Memory

Taking a walk is always a good idea, but one study from University of Michigan showed how amazing nature is. Participants who took a walk in nature versus a walk in the city performed 20% better on a memory test.

You Can Concentrate Better

Taking a break in nature can improve your concentration by giving your brain a well needed break. Leave your phone behind and let your mind unwind from the overstimulation brought on by modern busy life.

Nature Can Heal

One study shows that people exposed to more natural light healed faster from a spinal surgery and had less pain. Nature worked as a natural drug for them because they also needed less pain medications.

Nature Prompts Weight Loss

Being outside and enjoying a nature is not a magical diet pill, unfortunately, but it does tend to make exercise more enjoyable. Some aspects of outdoor exercise like hiking may help you lose weight in an unexpected ways. Spending time at higher altitudes can speed up your metabolism and decrease your apetite.

Vitamin D Is Good for You

Spending time in the sun helps your body create vitamin D – a vitamin that studies have shown may help prevent cancer, osteoporosos, and heart attack.

Nature Helps You To De-Stress

Being in nature can and will reduce stress in your body. Studies show spending time outdoors can lower your heart rate, help you relax and even sleep much better.

Nature Keeps You Youthful

Want to be forever young? Or at least to age gracefully? Going outside every day may be the key. One study showed those in their 70s who spent time outdoors every day had fewer complaints of common aging pains, like aching bones and poor sleep than those who didn’t.

Nature Brightens Your Mood

Nature helps you in many ways, including mental health. Multiple studies have linked nature walks with improved mental health.

Nature Boosts Your Immune System

A Japanese study showed women who spent six hours in the woods over a two day period increased their white blood cells, which fight viruses, and the boost lasted about a week after the experiment. Imagine what happens if you spend some time in nature every day!

Do you like to spend your time in the nature?

How To Prepare Your Kitchen For Fall In 11 Fun And Creative Steps

Living

As the temperatures drop and pumpkin craze begins, prepare your kitchen for the season of celebrating roasted vegetables, spices, warm muffins, hearthy stews, and sweet potatoes for every meal. It’s time to welcome fall with open arms—and a clean kitchen. Autumn means crisper weather, foggy mornings, changing leaves, and cozy flannels and sweaters. Oh and boots!! Can’t wait to wear my Doc Martens and Uggs again!

If I could pick one season to live in year-round, it’d be autumn—and not just because of hot coffee and cinnamon apple everything either. I prefer fall to every other season because it gives me the perfect, guilt-free excuse to stay indoors. As the season changes and the temperature drops, I find myself wanting to be cozied up inside more often and cooking more frequently. Wrapping up in a warm blanket, sitting on the couch for a Netflix binge-session, and eating a big bowl of something comforting is an ideal autumn evening for me.

Do you agree that kitchen is the coziest place in your home? Kitchens are for more than just cooking, being the room where you talk, laugh, and share memories with the ones you love. September is the month where I start to prep my house, especially my kitchen, for fall and the upcoming holidays. 

As the summer comes to an end, your attention may turn to getting your house ready for the cooler fall and winter weather so it’s important to make your kitchen clean, cosy and beautiful.

So if you’re ready to say goodbye to summer and get ahead of the changing of the seasons, here are few easy steps that will help you get your kitchen ready for fall in snap:

Deep clean your shelves

You’ll be amazed by the rogue grains of rice and flour dust you’ll find. Kitchen is the busiest room of the house and it can get disorganized the fastest. As the weather turns colder, I’m in the kitchen more cooking and baking, so this month is a good time to go through each cabinet and get rid of the clutter.

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take one cabinet at a time or a small section of your kitchen a day at a time. Empty the cabinet of everything, wipe it out and only put back the items that you actually use.

Free up some freezer space

It’s a good idea to sift through your freezer at least once a year and toss out expired, improperly stored, or freezer-burned foods. But more than that, you can get your freezer ready for fall by completely clearing out one or two shelves. What do you think? Can you do that?

Restock and reorganize your pantry

Throw out all of your expired goods, and take inventory of what’s left, making a note of any baking essentials (like all-purpose flour, baking powder, or vanilla extract) or dinner prep must-haves (like chicken broth, tomato paste, or rice) you’re short on. This will help you avoid making any last-minute trips to the grocery.

Without question, there will always be a few items in the pantry that just need to go, whether they’re expired or simply things you will literally never use. Oh, be sure to move all fall flavorings–cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves – to the front and center of your spice rack.

Clean your oven

To prep for your fall baking, you’ll also want to give your oven a deep clean. After removing everything inside the oven, make a paste with a 1/2 cup of baking soda and a few tablespoons of water. Coat the entire interior of your oven with the paste, using gloves if your oven is extra grimy. Allow the mixture to sit overnight, and in the meantime, clean the oven racks.

After at least 12 hours, wipe out the paste (and all the grime it lifted) with a warm, damp dish cloth. Spray with white vinegar as needed to remove excess baking soda, then wipe down once more with a clean, wet cloth.

Clean under the sink

After you give your pantry, freezer and oven a refresh, it’s time to take a look at your cleaning supplies. Empty out everything underneath the sink (or wherever it is you store your cleaners), give the cabinet itself a scrub, and replace whatever needs to be restocked.

Deep clean your refrigerator

Now is the time to say farewell to crusty summer condiments and expired food so you can make room for your fall ingredients! But first, give your refrigerator a deep clean. As a general rule, your fridge can use a refresh and good clean at least once a season, and at the beginning of a new season is a great time to hit “reset.” Take all the items out of the fridge, remove the drawers and shelves, and give them a scrub in your sink. For the walls and surfaces you can’t remove, spray with a solution of water and white vinegar, then scrub. 

Get to meal planning

Now that the kitchen is decluttered and organized, you can move forward with a clear head and thorough knowledge of what you’re working with in the kitchen. This means you can easily plan meals around what you have to utilize the ingredients you intentionally keep in stock. Simply make a list of the ingredients you have, plan a few menus around those items, and then make a shopping list for the handful of other items you may need to enjoy prepping cozy meals in your refreshed, orderly kitchen.

Decorate with pumpkins

Pick up an assortment of colorful pumpkins (orange, white, green…) at your local supermarket and then have fun pairing them with various fall offerings, like warm-toned foliage and seasonal fruit. Arrange them in a bowl and set them on your table for a centerpiece, or set them on countertops next to cozy candles.

Decorate with seasonal fruit

Seasonal fall fruits like pears, plums, apples, and figs make great arrangements on your kitchen table or countertops. Create a fall fruit bowl and place it on your kitchen counter to bring in the feeling of the season, or use fall fruit in an arrangement with other decorations to create a centerpiece for your kitchen table.

Embrace classic fall colors

Fall introduces a lot of earth-friendly tones, and these tones can be used to easily add coziness to a kitchen that is starting to cool down. Colors like burnt orange, chocolate brown, olive green, and mustard yellow are all fall-appropriate colors that will instantly bring warmth to your kitchen. Most fall colors can be found in nature, so anything goes to make your fall-kitchen your own. 

Flowers and herbs

Collect fall foliage from your neighborhood or farmers’ market, then pair elegant florals like roses or hydrangeas. It’s easy, fun, and inexpensive to arrange your own fall-themed bouquets to use as centerpieces around your kitchen. 

Fall is a great time to use natural herbs as decorations in your kitchen. Keep bundles of herbs like rosemary, thyme, or fresh sage around your kitchen to use as a decoration, for cooking, or simply as an organic air freshener. 

You can also use dried wheat bundles as a decoration captures the essence of autumn without the maintenance of taking care of it. Dried natural wheat gives any arrangement a rustic, earthy look that feels appropriately autumn.

What do you think? Is your kitchen ready for fall? If not, what are you going to do about it? I’d love to hear what you do to prepare your kitchen for the fall.

Skin Types – What is My Skin Type?

Beauty and Skincare

Hello all my skin-care addicts and beauty lovers. Today we are going to talk about skin types, how to determine your skin type and the end goal when it comes to healthy skin.

There are four main and basic skin types. They are determined by genetics. You may have heard about other skin types before such as sensitive skin, mature skin, dehydrated skin but these are more skin conditions rather than genetically determined types of skin.

Normal Skin

The luckiest skin type. Also known as “no problem skin”, “you can put anything on me skin”, “I always look perfect and don’t need any filters skin”. Normal skin is usually blemish free, has good oil and water balance and the ultimate goal is to maintain everything and take preventive measures to keep it healthy.

The T-zone (forehead, chin and nose) may be a bit oily, but overall sebum and moisture is balanced and the skin is neither too oily nor too dry.

Normal skin has: fine pores, good blood circulation, a velvety, soft and smooth texture, a fresh, rosy colour uniform transparencyno blemishes  and is not prone to sensitivity.

Combination (Combo) Skin

This skin type can be either oily-normal or oily-dry. The T-zone usually has increased oil production, visible pores, whereas the outer portions are either normal or dry and flakey. In case you are wondering, this is the most common skin type in the world.

The oilier parts of combination skin are caused by an over production of sebum. The drier parts of combination skin are caused by a lack of sebum and a corresponding lipid deficiency.

The goal is to balance the oil and water in the skin. Make sure you are not using too harsh products which can ruin and dry out your skin, leading to increased oil production, dehydration and more dryness as a result.

Dry Skin

Dry is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. Skin moisture depends on supply of water in the deeper skin layers and on perspiration.

Dry skin is usually sensitive, and may become irritated when in contact with harsh detergents, soaps or unsuitable cosmetic products. When the skin’s barrier function is disturbed, allergens, irritants, pollutants and microorganism can penetrate the skin more easily.

It is important to avoid skincare products that contain irritating ingredients such as perfumes and colourants. Always check that the product has been dermatologically tested on sensitive skin.

Oily Skin

This skin type produces excess oil. Pores are large and visible. Skin is prone to acne due to buildup of oil and dead skin cells that clogs the pores. Fun fact: oily skin can be a sign of severely dehydrated skin. Avoid harsh cleansers because they can dry out your skin leading to more oil production.

A number of issues trigger the over production of sebum: genetics, hormonal changes and imbalances, medication, stress, comedogenic cosmetics (make-up products that cause irritation).

What skin type do you have?

How To Make A Self Care Jar

Lifestyle

What is self-care? Self-care is a general term that describes everything you do deliberately for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. It may sound simple but many of us pay little attention to self-care. Self-care is an important part of living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Looking after yourself both mentally and physically is crucial to taking control of your health.

We lead increasingly busy lives and it can be easy to forget to put yourself first, especially if you have multiple responsibilities and other people to care for. But looking after yourself will make you feel better, and the better you feel, the better you will be in all areas of your life – from work to relationships.

Self-care doesn’t have to involve a huge time commitment and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. It could be taking a bath, relaxing with a good book, taking a walk outside or eating your favourite food. It’s about making a commitment to putting yourself first, even just for a while. 

A big part of self-care is committing to looking after your body and becoming more attuned with its needs. Whether it’s brushing your hair, exercising more or getting enough sleep each night, part of any programme of self-care should focus on looking after your health and well-being.

Making time for relaxing activities, such as taking a warm bath, listening to music or practising yoga or meditation, is another common theme of self-care. Any activity that makes you feel more relaxed can help to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety and to lift your mood.

Self-care has a number of benefits, most of which are interlinked. Committing to self-care should improve your well-being all round. But, you might wonder how to practice self care?

Ever heard of a “self-care jar?” It’s a jar that contains random self care ideas to help you relax and enjoy your “me time”. You pick a random note every day from your jar and you are required to do that no matter what. It is also a great way to add some spontaneity and fun into your self-care routine.

Let’s be honest here for a moment, self-care isn’t always easy and fun and it’s hard to keep up a routine that actually lasts. Sometimes it takes a lot of mental effort to keep choosing your own health and well-being over everything else. Having a self-care jar will ensure you never forget to take care of yourself everyday.

How to make a self-care jar?

Making a self-care jar is super easy. All you need is a used and clean mason jar, some pieces of paper (white or colored one), a pen, some art materials if you are feeling creative (bows, glitter, etc), and a mind full of great self care ideas you really want to start doing.

Write down ideas and focus on those that help you relax, lift your mood, and give you much needed care. Some good ideas might be: a hot bubble bath, spa night, reading, massage, watch a movie, go outside, workout, meditate, learn something new, try out a new recipe, bake some cookies, listen your favorite music, start a scrapbook, write a letter to someone you love…

Pop all ideas into your jar. Don’t forget to decorate your jar. Make it pretty! Be creative.

Take one piece of paper every day when you need a little “me time” and relaxation. Don’t cheat! Every day is your day, you just need to make some time for yourself. Never forget to take care of yourself. Remember that!

What do you think about this idea? Will you make your own self-care jar? Let me know how it turned out and how do you practice self-care.