October 23, 2017
I just saw an article
discussing the relationship between indoor air quality and acne. Contrary to what you may think, indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. Common culprits can be dust, candles, cleaning supplies and also the particles that travel inside with you on your clothing.
"These are commonly known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs."
Frequently, these tiny, invisible particles lurk in things like paint, cleaning products,
candles, and air fresheners--and they can have all sorts of repercussions for your skin.
It's easy to think of acne as only an external skin issue. Having a proper skin care routine is extremely important to clearing your skin and maintaining that clear skin. However, it stands to reason that other factors play a role in the look & appearance of our skin as well.
Acne can be a deep rooted issue and it's important to get to the real source. Digestion, quality of nutrition, stress levels and quality of sleep all affect the appearance of our skin.
What about air quality? It's probably safe to say that many of us aren't focused on this part as much. However, there does seem to be a natural progression between improving nutrition and improving the quality of household cleaners, soaps, shampoos and makeup. Once we start changing the foods we put in our body, it's natural to begin examining the things our skin comes in contact with as well as those things we breath in.
I have made the switch from toxic cleaning products to safer alternatives. Before that I remember shooing my children away while cleaning the bathroom. On the days when I had to go in and scrub the tub, I'd come up coughing and eyes watering. Pretty sure that's a good indication that what I was breathing in wasn't great. Not only that, but the chemicals we use come into contact with our skin and may end up in our bloodstream.
Where to start?
Start small. Ditch plug in air fresheners and perfumed room sprays. My favorite alternative to this is diffusing essential oils.
Consider having a few house plants. There's a lot of evidence to suggest that indoor plants help improve the air quality. Plus, they are attractive and can be a natural part of your home decor.
Check out a quality air purifier. One thing to look for is how much square footage the unit covers. If you live in a small space one air purifier may do it. If you have a large home take that into consideration. If you cannot manage to cover the entire house, focus on the rooms in which you spend most of your time, including the bedrooms.
Awareness is the first step. It's easy to go through the "day-to-day" and not think about what comes in contact with your skin. If you have persistent acne it's certainly worth looking into.
October 22, 2017
What is it about Sundays and feeling blue?
I don't think I'm alone in this as I've seen other bloggers write about this very topic. Not to mention a good friend of mine and I call it
depressing Sunday. In fact we call or text often on Sundays and say the words, "Happy Depressing Sunday!!" This little joke between us has actually brightened my day more than once.
I don't know about you, but I'm the type of person who thrives on routine. I like the mundane, ordinary tasks of the week and while I may get tired of it sometimes, there's also a great deal of comfort in it.
I'm a Christian and grew up in a Christian home so Sunday was always a day of worship and rest in our house. My parents even had a rule that any weekend homework had to be completed by Saturday night because come Sunday there would be no working on it. I much appreciated this rule because I was never frantically trying to get school work done before Monday morning rolled around.
While Sundays have always had a calmer feel to them, there's something that feels almost sad to this day.
Whether or not you are a believer, and whether or not you attend a church, I don't think many would argue that Sunday does represent a somewhat slower pace that any other day of the week. It's a time to sit back, be with family and rest for the week ahead.
It's the sitting back and resting part that can be a bit uncomfortable for me. Weekly schedules and routine keep my body busy and my mind busy. Do you find this to be true for yourself?
Routines and structure means there isn't much time for reflection and this also means there aren't many pockets of quiet. While this does get tiresome, it also offers a certain level of protection. I can't stop and think and reflect because I need to move on to the next task. Sundays provide a large window of time where I really don't know what to do with myself and I'm forced to deal with the quiet.
Do you find this true for yourself?
Your state of mind is essential to your overall well being.
Everything is connected: mind, body, and spirit. It's important these things are in tune with one another.
Now I'm not saying don't ever feel sad or blue. Quite the contrary, when these feelings do arise don't ignore them but rather decipher where they are coming from and what's behind them. My mother passed away three years ago and, since then, Sundays have become an even greater challenge -- missing her most in the quiet moments. The reality of her absence cannot be denied during those times.
Here are a few things I've found that help me deal with the Sunday blues and may help you as well:
I'd love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on Sunday? Funday or Depressing? Is there a day of the week where you feel more uplifted and excited than the rest of the week?
Disclaimer: This blog is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical advice and/or professional help. If you struggle with depression it is important to seek professional counseling.
- Stay hydrated. Sounds ridiculous, I know. It also sounds like it's just another excuse to talk about the importance of water. However, there is no denying that when your cells aren't properly hydrated your body doesn't function optimally. Any negative emotions you're feeling will only be amplified if you're running on empty.
- Take a walk and grab some sunshine. It's easy to stay in the house and hibernate with Netflix. This can be comforting but it's easy to not want to retreat from your personal space. Instead I like to grab my daughters and take them for a walk, especially when the weather is nice. A little Vitamin D from the sun can go a long way to lift your spirits.
- List the things for which you're grateful. It can be easy to forget all the little things we have to be grateful for. Try writing down just 3 things you are thankful for. If you are in a tough season of life, you may feel that there isn't much to be grateful about but that's the beauty of this exericise. It causes you to pause and see the beauty that's around you. At night when my girls and I do their prayers, we always thank God for our warm beds and our full tummies. Two things most of us take for granted everyday but oh their significance in our lives! I thank God for my family, friends, for the roof over our heads and for food in the refrigerator. Stopping to say these blessings helps me remember just how sweet life can be. I challenge you to complete this exercise in gratitude and see if your spirits aren't lifted.