• LEARN HOW TO

    EAT WELL

    Explore expert nutrition advice.

    READ MORE
  • LEARN HOW TO

    LIVE WELL

    Discover healthy lifestyle tips.

    READ MORE
  • LEARN HOW TO

    LOOK WELL

    Uncover secrets to a better appearance.

    READ MORE

LIVE WELL

Stressed woman at work.

How to Get Back to Work After Vacation

You have looked forward to your vacation for what feels like forever, yet it feels like as soon as you’ve left you have to prepare to go back to work. And the thought of going back to work is beyond overwhelming. Think of all of the voicemails, the memos and, of course, the many e-mails that are sure to await you when you get back. Doing a bit of work before you leave can help your return to work easier and a bit more pleasant.

Woman working on her laptop.

Write a Great Away Message
To avoid going back to work with an inordinate amount of work waiting you, you need to write a well thought out “away” message. Skip the “family vacation” or “much needed vacay” and instead be a bit more professional. Simply say you are out of the office from your departure date until the day you plan to return to work. Include directions for what is to be done in the event that immediate action is needed and leave contact information so that people are still able to get the information they need. It is also a good idea to ask that the person e-mailing you follow-up upon your return because e-mails can get lost in a crowded inbox (which you are sure to have after a vacation).

Woman working on her tablet in the airport.

Plan for Your Return Before you Depart
Getting everything ready before your departure for vacation is a completely overwhelming task. There’s packing, making last minute changes to your schedule and wrapping up work before you go. With all of this the thought of adding more to-dos before you go may stress you out completely. However, if you actively plan for your return to work instead of merely focusing on leaving work, it can make going back to the office much easier. Having a clear idea of what you will need to do immediately upon your return helps make you more productive when you actually do get back to work. Plan to spend your first day back checking and answering e-mails and leave important meetings until a day or two after you return to make sure that you are back in the swing of things.

Woman with her luggage on an escalator.

Return Earlier
Most people plan vacations with the day of return being Sunday. Bad idea. So many things can go wrong from layovers to cancelled flights, your day of traveling home is stressful enough without having to worry about work. Delay in travel makes having to return to work bright and early on Monday morning that much more undesirable. Instead of planning to head back to work the day after you get home, consider returning on a Friday or Saturday. This gives you a great buffer day in which you can adjust to being home, unpack and mentally prepare yourself for the return to work. Do laundry, read, spend time with the pets you missed, do whatever you need to do in order to get yourself ready for your return to work.

Very few people get excited about going back to work after vacation, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Give yourself plenty of time to travel and ideally some time to relax before heading back to work and once you are back, take it easy for a day or two and spend time returning messages. And of course, do not let the inevitable return to work stop you from enjoying your time spent on vacation.

Family sitting beside lake

Resveralife Live Well: Favorite Pastimes to Enjoy This Summer

Remember when summer was the most exciting part of the year? You got out of school and you had endless hours of sunshine, freedom and fun. Growing up does not mean that your favorite summer pastimes are just long forgotten, especially if you have children. Chances are that when you were a kid you loved summer with a passion and you can recreate that for your children, or for yourself as a reminder to take a break once in a while. This Resveralife Live Well Guide presents some our favorite pastimes to enjoy this summer.

Closeup of woman having ice cream

Make Ice Cream/Popsicles
Nothing is quite as satisfying as homemade ice cream and as a bonus you can make any flavor that you want. One of our favorites is a classic strawberry ice cream featuring freshly sliced berries. Add a spray of whipped cream and some sprinkles for added indulgence. If you aren’t into the idea of either investing in an ice cream maker or having to do all the work by hand, consider making your own popsicles. As a kid you may have made a low­key orange juice popsicle, but as an adult your tastes have probably matured. Try blending mangoes, pineapples, milk and full fat canned coconut milk and freeze in popsicle molds for a taste of the tropics.

Professional baseball player hitting a stroke.

Take Yourself to the Ballgame
Even if your town isn’t home to a major league team, a baseball game is a great way to enjoy the summer air. Many cities have either minor league or local teams that play and you can join in on the fun. Get into the game and enjoy cheering with a crowd of people. And of course, don’t forget the hot dogs and beer (if you’re legal drinking age of course)!

Man swimming in a swimming pool

Go Swimming
Bonus points if you go swimming in an outdoor pool. Swimming and playing in the water was probably an activity you loved as a kid, so why not take a dip in the summer as an adult. Many areas have outdoor pools that allow you to join via a daily, monthly or yearly membership so that you can go whenever the mood strikes, or when you have a bit of extra time. If there are no outdoor pools near you, check out your local YMCA or look for a gym that offers lap swims or water aerobics to get not only the fun of being in the water, but health benefits as well.

Woman at a garage sale.

Go to a Garage Sale
Depending upon where you live this may or may not have been a part of your childhood summers. Spend a Saturday morning cruising your neighborhood and look at all of the odds and ends your neighborhood has to offer. If you do not live in an area where garage sales are a big deal, such as a major city, head to an antique mall or other vintage stores to browse.

Young boy catching fireflies.

Catch Fireflies
Whether you call them fireflies or lightning bugs, these always signaled the true summer season. Catching fireflies is a great activity to do with your own children or with a date as the end of a romantic, fun evening.

No matter how old you get, there is always room for a bit of play and fun. Spend this summer participating in pastimes that make you feel young and exuberant again.

Woman jogging in the morning.

How Long Does it Take to Get Out of Shape

Advertisers selling everything from fake tans to bikinis all welcome the summer season by telling you that you need to “get your body beach-ready.” No matter what that phrase may or may not mean to you, exercise is an important aspect of your overall health and well-being. The terms “in shape” and “out of shape” are relative depending on genetics, age and health. You probably won’t have the same definition of being  in shape or beach ready as the co-worker next to you, but in general you know that getting in shape requires a nutritious diet and regular exercise.

In a perfect world, you would fit your daily workout in with no problem, but your life is hectic and busy and sometimes chaotic. So you take a day off from your fitness routine, no big deal. But how many days off does it take before your body is out of shape again?

Fitness Levels
As previously mentioned, the amount of time that passes before you get “out of shape” is dependent of several things and one of these is your starting level of fitness. Again, it is impossible to pinpoint an exact scale of how fit you are, but the components that go into your fitness level include:

  • Cardiovascular endurance – This refers to what many people associate with general fitness, how well your cardiovascular and respiratory systems endure periods of vigorous activity without becoming winded.
  • Muscular strength and endurance – These areas of fitness are pretty much exactly what they sound like. Muscular strength refers to your ability to use your muscles to their maximum capacity while muscular endurance indicates how well your muscles perform repetitive tasks over time.
  • Flexibility

Woman catching her breath while jogging.

In Shape to Out of Shape
Just as it takes varying periods of time for people to get in shape, it takes different people different periods of time to become out of shape. Craig Rasmussen, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in California, states that after taking a period of two weeks off, “we will probably start to see a decline in general fitness levels.” He adds that “these can occur at different rates in the muscular and cardiovascular systems.” Typically it is your cardiovascular endurance that declines first due to the fact that your muscle memory helps retain a certain level of strength and endurance.

Rasmussen notes that after two weeks it is still probably safe for you to get right back to your normal fitness routines without risking serious injury or damage to your health. However, the longer you remain inactive and the further out of shape you get will determine what intensity you can safely do when you return to working out. The longer you stay away from your fitness activities, the longer it will take to get back to your in shape state. Health professionals recommend at least three to five days a week that include vigorous exercise in order to maintain a level of health and fitness.

Wine glasses with food in the background

Resveralife Live Well: Sauvignon Blanc Recommendations

Now that you know what food to serve with Sauvignon Blanc (check out our last post), it’s a good time to know what some of the best Suavignon Blanc wines are. There is a large variety of Sauvignon Blanc due in part to the fact the the white grape features a broad range of notes and tastes. Some Sauvignon Blanc wines feature a very citrus-like taste while others have a more “green” or herbaceous flavor. Additionally there are some Sauvignon Blancs that feature heavy notes of oak. Some of Resveralife’s favorite Sauvignon Blancs are:

Robert Mondavi 2011 Fume (Sauvignon) Blanc (Oakville)
This Sauvignon Blanc is a textbook Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, For an authentic, and affordable (it retails for $32), you cannot beat the 2011 Fume Blanc. The main notes of the wine are citrusy and fruity, making it a great choice for a summer gathering. The Robert Mondavi 2011 Fume Blanc features heavy notes of lemons, limes, pink grapefruits, gooseberries and rich tropical fruits. Like a true Sauvignon Blanc this wine is completely dry and has a delicious crisp to it. It also has low acidity and just a light touch of oak.

Chalk Hill 2008 Musque Sauvignon Blanc (Chalk Hill)
This California Sauvignon Blanc is another highly recommended wine. The Chalk Hill 2008 Musque Sauvignon Blanc is a vibrant, bright wine with a light acidity to it. True to the name of Sauvignon Blanc this wine is bone dry though finishes with an elegance and complexity. The main notes identified in the Chalk Hill 2008 Musque Sauvignon Blanc are tangerine and lime. This wine also has indulgent notes of honey, making it a perfect treat, though at $40 per bottle, it is a bit pricey.

Guardian Cellars 2012 Angel Sauvignon Blanc (Red Mountain)
Sourced from the Klipsun Vineyard, this Sauvignon Blanc is a dense, pungent white wine. The Guardian Cellars 2012 Angel Sauvignon Blanc is intensely aromatic and opens with notes of the green variety. Opening notes are of freshly mowed grass and hay. The fruity notes experienced towards the beginning are citrus and fig, which is then followed pineapple and additional citrus notes. While the Chalk Hill above features notes of honey, the Guardian Cellars 2012 Angel Sauvignon Blanc has interesting notes of bee pollen and beeswax. Each bottle retails for $20.

Spy Valley 2012 Envoy Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)
The Spy Valley 2012 Envoy Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is generally regarded as much better tasting than the Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Like a traditional Sauvignon Blanc there are fruit notes and this wine opens with notes of citrus and fig. To add a bit of surprise and elegance to the wine the fig and citrus notes are followed by vanilla notes. The wine then features more citrus fruits with the prominent note being nectarines. This Sauvignon Blanc is not quite as dry as others and has a silky texture with a robust finish.

Sauvignon Blanc can be served alongside a variety of foods from a simple salad to a freshly prepared white fish. The above Sauvignon Blanc wines are highly regarded as representative of what a Sauvignon Blanc should taste like.

Woman with a beautiful tan posing.

Resveralife Live Well: Tanning Addiction, Real Issue?

Summer is just around the corner and you can’t wait to throw on your bikini and relax in the warmth of the sun. But before you do, perhaps you feel the need to get a golden glow from a tanning bed so you don’t look too pale when you hit the beach. If you frequent the a tanning salon, or even go year-round, you can maintain a beautiful bronzed body, but you may also have some more serious issues at hand than simply doing damage to your skin.

What is a Tanning Addiction?
It may sound silly, but there are numerous studies and research that indicate that it is possible to be addicted to tanning. A paper published online by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that females were far more likely to have an addiction to tanning than males were. Additionally, the study found that there were other conditions that were associated with a tanning addiction in a large number of those studied. The two most commonly associated behaviors that were observed among tanning addicts were some measures of obsessive-compulsive behaviors and body dysmorphic behaviors.

Resveralife came across an article posted by the Skin Cancer Foundation which stated that tanning addicts display both physical and psychological dependence behaviors with regards to tanning. When something causes physical dependency, the body goes through the process of cravings, withdrawals and an increase in tolerance to the addictive stimuli. A psychological dependence deals with your brain’s rewards system.

Frequent tanning is also associated with unhealthy practices such as smoking, alcohol use, illicit drug use and eating disorders. In addition to these increased behavioral risks, tanning also is linked to higher incidences of premature aging, sun damage and skin cancer.

Woman getting a tan in a tanning machine.

What Causes a Tanning Addiction?
Here is where the research gets a bit unclear. There are certainly known risk factors that contribute to possible tanning addictions. One possible factor in a tanning addiction is the release of endorphins when tanning. Exposure to UV light is known to release endorphins which are opiod-like chemicals in the brain. These chemicals increase feelings of general happiness, increased mood and even relieve pain. This process, the relief of pain and positive emotions is the same cycle responsible for other chemical dependencies such as alcohol or drugs.

What You Can Do
As with any addiction, prevention of an addiction is easier than treatment of an addiction. Dermatologists suggest public education on the dangers of tanning beginning in early childhood. Educational information should also be directed at parents and other caregivers on how to stay safe in the sun, and how to avoid tanning.

If you already think that you may have a tanning addiction, not all hope is lost. The first thing you should do is cancel any subscription-type services at your tanning salon. Not having advanced paid tanning sessions makes it easier to avoid hitting the tanning beds. Next, address the issue of endorphins through other activities. Experts suggest tanning addicts engage in some exercise when a desire to tan attacks. Exercise is a healthy source of endorphins. Lastly, if you absolutely need to be bronze, check out self-tanning products to give you the glow without the damage.

Woman changing the time of the day.

Resveralife Live Well: Revel in the Most Pleasurable Time of Day

You have a lot to do during any given 24 hour period. Pressures like work, making it to the gym, cooking and taking care of kids all add a degree of stress to your day. Additionally, these activities all take up significant amounts of your day. Chances are that by the time you finally collapse at night you are too exhausted to do things for yourself that bring you happiness or stress relief. Fortunately, Resveralife came across a recent study published in the Journal of Personality suggests that simply being present and aware during a specific time of day can increase feelings of relaxation and enjoyment.

Digital clock showing 07.00

The Magic Hour
According to the study, the most fulfilling time of day is 7:00 P.M. What are people doing at this hour that makes them happier at any other time of day? Well, because the activities that bring people happiness differ, so do their activities at 7 P.M. One of the study’s authors, Erica Baranski, explains “It is possible that 7 P.M. is unique over other times of day in that the things that generally make us feel comfortable and happy are present. Maybe all the ingredients that make life pleasurable are present at this time more often than at any other time.”

The study used 5,447 members of college communities in 20 different countries and most of the respondents reported feeling the happiest at 7 P.M. When you think about it, the logic behind Baranski’s statement makes complete sense. By 7:00, most people are done with work which is immediately a bit of a relief. Some people have already prepared and eaten their evening meals while others still have a delicious experience ahead of them. Parents may be spending quality time with children or preparing them for bed. Maybe you’re looking forward to an evening full of possibilities. Whatever the night holds, at 7 P.M. the majority of people are free to choose what they do with their time, a feeling that is linked to increased levels of happiness.

Woman getting a manicure at a salon.

How to Make 7:00 Your Happy Time
The good news is that making the most of the 7:00 hour really doesn’t require much effort from you. Many of the positive effects of this time in the day are simply from being able to make your own plans and surround yourself with comfort. However, if you want to know how to make the most of your 7:00 ask yourself a few questions. What activities truly bring happiness and peace to you? How can you incorporate more quality and meaning into these activities?

This Resveralife Live Well Guide lists a few options for activities that can make 07.00 PM your happy time.

  • Pampering yourself – Give yourself a manicure/pedicure or head to a local salon if one is open a bit later in the evening. Take a relaxing bath with scented oils for extra luxury. Put on a face mask or a deep conditioning hair treatment.
  • Get social – Head to your favorite bar or restaurant with friends for happy hour. Gather your family for a family game like charades.
  • Take it easy – Prepare an easy, but tasty meal for yourself. Bring up your Netflix queue and indulge in your favorite entertainment.

No matter what activities you choose, take some time to enjoy them at this magical and pleasurable hour of the day.

Little boy presenting flowers to mother

Beyond Brunch: Ideas for Mother's Day

You want your mother to have a magnificent Mother’s Day but it can be hard to think of things to do. You want mom to be relaxed, but still enjoying herself. After all, this day is devoted to honoring your mother. One of the most popular activities on Mother’s Day is to take her to a delicious brunch. However, if you are tired of just taking your mom out to eat, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Mother’s Day with your mom. Below we’ve listed some of our favorite creative ideas for showing mom how much you love her.

Family enjoying a picnic lunch.

Picnic
Okay, so this one still involves food, but it adds atmosphere and fun to your Mother’s Day meal. Going on a picnic often feels nostalgic and brings back memories of playing in the sun, popsicles and the sweet smell of flowers. Find a basket your mom that you can give to your mother after the picnic and fill it with utensils, plates, napkins and any other thing you need for dining. Once that is sorted, either make or buy some of your mom’s favorite classic foods. Great foods for a picnic include sandwiches, fresh fruit like strawberries and blueberries, homemade iced tea and treats like cookies. Handpick some flowers for your mom and give them to her at your picnic.

Mother and daughter at a spa.

Pamper Mom
Normally Mother’s Day is an affair that involves the entire family, but maybe what mom needs is a little quiet and alone time. Pampering activities can include a massage or facial at her favorite spa or a mani/pedi. However, pampering your mom on Mother’s Day does not have to come with any added expense. Simply let mom take a nap while dad takes care of the kids. Let mom watch her favorite TV or movies all day long or prepare her a relaxing bath with soothing scents (like lemon and jasmine) and let her soak for as long as she wants. Because moms are constantly doing something, it can be nice to give her some time to just do things that let her completely relax.

Mother and daughter gardening.

Plant a Garden
If your mom is an outdoor enthusiast, consider heading outdoors for Mother’s Day. Start a new tradition and plant a few of her favorite flowers. To give mom a bit of a break on Mother’s Day, plant a garden a few weeks before Mother’s Day so it starts to bloom brightly on her special day. The great thing about planting a garden for mom is that it truly is a gift that keeps on giving.

The ultimate Mother’s Day activity, and gift, is one that is tailored to your mom’s specific tastes and lifestyle. A few weeks before Mother’s Day, start making lists of activities your mother enjoys or food that you know she would love. Mother’s Day is all about your mom and there are many ways to celebrate her. The best gift is one that is thoughtful and benefits your mom, such as a book by her favorite author or a new coffee mug for her morning caffeine fix. You don’t have to stick with flowers and brunch, and you also don’t have to spend an extreme amount of money, just give your mom a gift from your heart and she will love it.

Mother with her daughter in her backyard.

Stress Busting Tips for Mom

Stress levels continue to rise for modern mothers and 70% of mothers surveyed in the United States rate motherhood as “incredibly stressful.” The pressures of everyday family life not only consume time and energy, but they also consume the mind as well. Worrying about finances, success in academics and cultivating a healthier family take their toll on mothers. Below, Resveralife offers some of the most effective tips to help bust stress, if only for a few minutes, and have more peace in your day.

Beautiful woman writing in her diary in a park.

Stay Organized and Plan Ahead
It can be difficult to plan for a typical day with your children, but there are steps you can take to stay organized and help reduce stress. Your kids can constantly come up with new ways to add unexpected stress to your day and those are hard to plan for, but there are also times during each mom’s day when things are stressful. One of the most stressful times of the day is morning. Someone lost a shoe, your keys are magically missing, your child cannot decide what to wear and you’re out of milk. Starting your day this way not only stresses you out in the morning, but it makes your day more chaotic as well. Experts suggest that parents, particularly mothers, rise a bit earlier in the morning than the rest of the house. This way you get at least a bit of uninterrupted time in the morning which starts your day with a sense of calm. Leave outfits for the next day (including shoes) out the night before for easy dressing and make an extra set of keys to save time searching for them every morning.

Woman performing a yoga breathing exercise in an outdoor setting.

Learn Calming Techniques
Moms are going to experience stress each day and it is incredibly helpful to have a few strategies for calming yourself down. One way of doing so is to practice deep breathing. Experts suggest employing the 5-7-8 breathing method to center yourself. Inhale for a count of five, hold your breath for a count of seven and the exhale for a count of eight. This may feel completely foreign and uncomfortable at first, but it slows you down and relieves stress. Another method experts say is helpful is to spend a few minutes each day meditating. You may think you have no time to simply sit and do nothing, but taking just a few minutes every day can help reduce stress significantly. Start small with three to five minutes and sit in silence. If you find it too hard to shut off your thoughts, try focusing on a calming word or phrase and repeat this as you breathe deeply.

Woman trying to hold a butterfly.

Be Present
One of the biggest stresses mom face is worrying about everything that must get done each day. When you spend your time thinking about all of the things that need to be done and how things could go wrong, you are missing out on living in the present moment. Try to really focus on what is going on around you. Notice your surrounding, listen to the noises, inhale deeply and experience the smell of your area. Channeling your stress energy into immersing yourself in the moment naturally relieves stress.

Let’s face it, being a mother is not an easy job. However, it is also the most rewarding one you’ll ever have. With your day so busy it can be overwhelming to take a few minutes out to just focus on yourself, but when your stress is lowered, everyone around you experiences increased happiness as well.

Abstract art showing beautiful use of color. q

Resveralife Live Well: How to Boost Your Mood With Color

A few weeks ago we discussed tips for using color to help you control your appetite and lose weight. If color can affect your weight, why not use color for other areas of your life as well? Colors also have an impact on your mood and can help energize you, make you smile and help soothe you. You can use everything from your clothing to the color of the walls in your home to boost your mood. This Resveralife Live Well Guide from Resveralife highlights how to boost your mood with color.

Woman wearing an orange top jogging with her husband in a park.

When you Need Energy
One of the most energizing colors is orange. Orange mixes the passion and fieriness of red, it also incorporates the positive and joyful associations of yellow. Experts suggest selecting workout gear that features orange because orange is a color that helps with stimulation and enthusiasm. You know there are days when you drag your feet about exercise, so pop on some orange and increase your energy levels.

Woman wearing a beautiful red dress ready for her date.

Another color that ignites you into action is red. Red is a bit more complicated than orange, because there are many moods and feelings that people associate with red. Red is often considered a color of passion and romance. A date is the perfect place for a woman to wear red. It gets the blood pumping and can make a man’s heart race when he sees you. Additionally, red can work in your favor when it comes to energy. Because red is a physical stimulant, as we just mentioned, it is also a great color for working out or increasing productivity. Red can be a bit overwhelming if you wear it head to toe so experts suggest adding in small pops of red. Painting your fingernails red, choosing red shoes or having red flowers on your desk at work are all ways to inject some energy ad passion into your day.

Beautiful green interiors of a home.

When you Need to Relax
Green is a soothing color that is literally easy on your eyes. The color green requires no ocular adjustment and helps reduce your level of fatigue. Green is commonly associated with nature and helps you tap into your psyche on a very primal level. In addition, green can increase mental focus and can refresh your senses. This is currently the most popular color for home decorating and is also a helpful color in offices. Often you have little control about the color of your office walls, but you can surround yourself with this relaxing color. Keep a small green plant, set your desktop to a shade of green or have a few green candles sitting on your desk for a bit of refreshment and relaxation.

Woman wearing a black dress at a meeting in her office.

When you Need to be Assertive
If you have a huge presentation or an important meeting at work, black is definitely your color. You know that black is used a color of mourning and that it is an ever-present color in fashion because it is slimming, but black is associated with more. Black is a color of assertiveness and even aggression. Studies have shown that when a sports team is wearing black uniforms, they have more fouls called on them than a team not in black. You’re not looking to start a fight at work, but black is perceived as a serious and can enhance your professional persona.

Colors work on your mind in a variety of ways. Blue increases feelings of tranquility, yellow helps with cheeriness and purple is associated with nobility and elegance. Experiment with different shades of each color and find new ways to incorporate colors into your wardrobe and spaces. Change your mood as easily as you change your clothes.

Beautiful living room with natural lighting.

Resveralife Live Well: Make Your Home a Zen Oasis – Vine Vera Reviews

You already have enough stress in your life. From pressure at work to keeping up with kids, you probably spend a fair amount of time feeling drained and exhausted. You do not want your home to be another source of stress. Your home should ideally be a place where you can completely relax, shut out the outside world and feel 100% comfortable. With all of your obligations your house may not be high on your priority list but it should be. Stress is linked with obesity, heart disease, headaches and depression among other illnesses and conditions. This Resveralife Live Well Guide shows you how to transform your home into a zen oasis and finally get the peace you deserve.

A peaceful Japanese styled bedroom

Get Rid of Clutter
There is a tendency today to own too much stuff. You have knick knacks from all your vacations, gifts from friends that you have no use for, papers you’ve kept for documentation but that haven’t been touched in 5 years, baby clothing when your child is 15…the list truly is endless. Often, you keep things for sentimental reasons. The problem is that having so many possessions not only clutters your house up, it also creates stress. And it is completely aggravating to never be able to find anything. 

With the amount of things in your home, the idea of going through all of them may seem completely impossible and overwhelming. Experts suggest that taking just a few minutes each day to work on getting rid of clutter makes a huge impact. Additionally, often once you start to see some cleanliness and order, you will be more encouraged to do more. Try to spend 15 minutes at night cleaning things and putting them in in their proper place or removing items that you no longer need.

A bonsai tree used as decoration in a bathroom.

Get Some Green
You know how taking a walk in nature helps your unwind, calm down and refocus? Keeping plants in your home has the same effect. Once you have your clutter under control and you have free space available, add some plants. There are tons of options to match any decor or personal style. Also, there are plants that are totally low-maintenance, such as succulents, geraniums or Boston ferns are all indoor plants that require a small amount of work. Be sure to place your plants in areas of your house where they will receive adequate light. Not only will plants brighten your space and bring you a sense of calm, they actually do help clear your air and rid your space of toxins.

A bedroom with soothing lighting.

Use Soothing Lighting
Most spaces use overhead lighting as the primary source of light. However, these lights are not only unflattering, they also tend to increase the frequency of headaches. Rather than relying on harsh overhead lighting, light your home with plenty of desk lamps, table lamps and floor lamps. To increase the effectiveness of these lamps, use shades that help reduce the brightness of the light.

Beautiful interiors with wooden flooring and soothing lighting.

Be Color Conscious
Think about your favorite relaxing spa. Chances are the colors that fill the space are neutral and light. This is because color has a significant effect on your mood. In order to create a completely zen environment stick to colors that are earthy neutrals: cream, beige and soft shades of blue. If you are a person that craves color, use pastels to brighten your space. Mints, dusty pinks and robin’s egg blue are all shades that work perfectly with a neutral palette and that create a calming atmosphere.

Aromatherapy

Use Your Nose
Scent is a powerful tool in creating a zen ambiance. Depending on the scent, you can help yourself wake up in the morning or fall asleep at night. A linen spray with lavender promotes a peaceful sleep while grapefruit essential oil stimulates your brain and metabolism.

Sure, it’s great to have reminders of the important or fun events from your life, keeping an object from every single moment of your life leads you to forget the good times and focus on how everything is constantly in your way. Reducing the amount of clutter and keeping your home organized are the first steps in making sure that your home is truly your oasis from the world.