You know when you first click over to a new blog and you feel that instant sense of connection? You don’t actually know the person, but after reading just a couple of posts, you feel like you could be friends? It happens rarely, but man, that’s the best!
I got that feeling as soon as I clicked over to Sparklingly, which is why I’m so excited to introduce a new three-part series courtesy of one of my very favorite bloggers, J! J’s posts are this perfect combination of down-to-earth and what I like to call “fancy” (check out her recent medicinal moxology post as an example), and her writing, like her knitted napkins, is beautiful.
Like me, J is constantly experimenting with little life tweaks to create a happier day, and I’m always drawing inspiration and ideas from her suggestions. I asked her if she would be interested in doing a guest post, and the post she sent me was so detailed and thoughtful, I decided to break it into a Gentler Days series, including tips for a gentler morning, a gentler work day, and a gentler evening/night.
I hope you enjoy her advice as much as I do!
I’m so completely thrilled that Amanda asked me to pop over for a guest post. I don’t remember how I first found her beautifully-photographed, deliciously-creative, perkily-puggled site, but once I did, I couldn’t help but become a loyal follower!
Full disclosure: I’m in it as much for the good eating as the dog watching and noting the parallels in our lives—we’re both the same age, married, living in bustling Northern/New England cities (hi from Manhattan!), and interested in living as well as we possibly can.
While I’m not vegan, I do share Amanda’s outlook on food: it should be real, whole, flavorful, and as pure as can be. I’ve tried to extend that to other parts of my life as well, from the products I use in my home and on my body to how I live in general. I find that the gentler I am to myself, the better I am to everyone else—so I incorporate small tweaks on just that idea into my daily life.
When I commented on one of Amanda’s posts to share some of my own “hacks”, she asked if I could expand upon them. If you, too, are always looking for ways of being gentler to yourself, perhaps some of these might inspire a few good changes of your own?
– Lights off to ease into the day: If you’re stuck with a no-window bathroom like I am (and you have the morning to yourself), this one’s for you: don’t turn your bathroom light on when you stumble out of bed. Leave the door open and let the light from open shades throughout your home brighten up the bathroom so you can take care of business (except for when makeup and hair time comes). It’s so incredibly relaxing to take a shower with a soft glow from the sun versus the glare from light fixtures.
– Fill your home with green plants and fresh flowers: There’s nothing that picks up your mood, creates a more organic living space, and makes you feel ready for another day than sweetly nodding blooms and lushly shining greenery greeting you when you wake up.
– Turn the burner on and the microwave off: If you prepare your breakfast, or hot lemon water, or coffee/tea/hot chocolate, oatmeal, etc. at home, don’t use the microwave. Besides the fact that you want as few crazy electromagnetic frequencies between your body and your food as possible, there’s just something calming about heating up water or milk on the stovetop that forces you to enjoy your morning, rather than rush through it.
– Read your labels: The amount of things we put into our body is scary! If you can, try as much as possible to limit the amount of chemicals you use. For me this means using edible products—if I can’t eat it, I try not to use it on my body, which is why I now make coconut oil and cacao butter moisturizers, face washes, sunscreen, and deodorant for myself. I also refuse to buy any food product with a long-winded label (the longer the ingredient list, the more likely it is to have weird things in it).
– Dry brush: Look into getting a long-handled body brush and smaller face brush to use in the mornings before your shower. A good dry brushing of your skin gets rid of dead skin cells, makes your skin more elastic, promotes cell renewal and blood flow, and it just feels good!
– Filter, filter, filter! I try not to read the news, especially local news—it’s just too much to bear. When something big happens that I need to know more about, I’ll hear about it somehow, but scrolling through all the badness is a lot to take, especially first thing in the morning (or last thing at night!).
Thanks, J! What are some things you do for a gentler morning?