The Lost Art of People Watching

I heard a podcast the other day that said North Americans have 0.7 friends today. The podcast was from England and was talking about the rise in reported cases of loneliness and depression. To emphasize the point they shared this stat about our lack of in real life friends. From their research we are so socially disconnected from real relationships, connections and friendships with others that it is impacting our health and mental well-being. The irony is that we are also the highest users of social media. It seems an oxymoron for sure. How is it possible for someone to have 0.7 friends, be lonely and depressed and yet have thousands of social media followers?

In many cases I guest this statistic should not be surprising. We live in an age where everyone is constantly on their phone and never looking up from it. We do everything from these little screens including getting a date, ordering food and paying bills. We are living in a time where many social places of the past like malls, restaurants and bars are closing from lack of business. We simply aren’t going out as much as our wild adventure selfie filled timeline suggests. Instead we fill out social media pages with shots of meals and ourselves supposedly having fun. However in reality we are not having fun and we are feeling very alone.

When I travel or go out somewhere where I have to wait it used to be interesting to people watch. It was easy to strike up a conversation and get to know someone in the span of sitting in a waiting room or airport terminal. Today, we don’t do so much of that. In September I was on a train in Utah with 2 friends and it was the morning commuters mostly on it. I sat across from my friends and a young lady took the seat across from me. I commented on her bag stating how incredibly cute it was and she said it was also waterproof. I asked a couple more questions to which she responded and then said she was going to return listening to her phone media, some music or something. She would rather listen to something recorded than engage with a live human. I didn’t take offense at this as we may have run out of things to talk about after discussing her cute backpack but I was sad at this response. If you ride a train to work or take a bus, notice how quiet it really is the next time you’re on it. No one is talking to one another.

Mental Health Awareness

In October there is a week dedicated to Mental Health Awareness. With the rise in depression, anxiety and stress we are feeling and the number of prescriptions for anti-depressants I say this needs more attention. The truth is we can actually self-heal from this situation in large part on our own. Well not technically on our own because it’s going to involve some very old-school socialization.

First I fully recognize there are introverts in the world. There are people who are just uncomfortable in large crowds and noisy places. However, many people are identifying as an introvert simply because we have become lax in our social interactions with others and it’s not convenient. Even introverts have to talk to others and in general we should all be actually talking with one another much more. As in real conversations with real people minus the technology unless it truly is that phone icon we’re using. It truly is sad when you think about the grocery stores even have self-checkouts robbing us of the opportunity to interact with other people!

To add insult to injury just check out what’s in our grocery carts as a result of that situation. When we are depressed we are not typically picking up the veggies but rather the chips and ice cream. Our mental health is critical to our well-being and it impacts our physical health. In a country where we are so friendless we are also obese and depressed. Then we get mad at ourselves for not being able to lose weight so we join gyms where there too we are working out on machines and in classes without talking much to anyone. We mostly have our earbuds in and are staring off into televisions even though there is someone physically next to us on the next machine. You can see how much of a vicious circle this truly is and all because we are locked between our minds and technology.

I think the first step in any change is to physically put down our phones as much as possible. Even if it is to simply people watch everyone else on their phones we need to change our behavior and addiction to these devices. I encourage you to try it the next time you’re in a line, on a commute, traveling, or just at the grocery store.. Look for one other person who isn’t on their phone. Smile at them or give a special wave for being in a special club of real people connecting. As a motorcyclist we give a sign of pointing 2 fingers down at the ground when we see another motorcyclist. It’s a special connection between riders. In this case a smile or wave would be the same thing. Then if you’re ready and there’s a chance try having a conversation with them. Who knows you may actually have a much better time than you would have had scrolling your social media and your neck won’t hurt so much.

Resolution of Reconnection

If you’re resolution this year was to improve your health or even lose weight, one of the key components of that is your mental well-being. I won’t use the cheesy cliche that it takes a village because it really doesn’t but we do need some physical interaction with real people to support this type of resolution. That simple connection with another human being even if it is just a smile or wave changes the chemicals in our brain to the stuff we need (dopamine and serotonin) that in turn supports our physical health.

Amazingly using our words and our body improves not only our physical health but also our mental well-being. You are a whole person so we can’t just tackle one area of your life and expect improvements without addressing everything else in your life. We are interconnected in our being so if one area isn’t doing well the other areas kick in to help it out. By the way that same relationship happens when you start forming friendships and interacting with people. You can call it coincidence but it really is a living proof that we were made to be with others in real life.

If you are a self-proclaimed introvert I challenge you to really look into what that means for you. There are introverts in the world and it’s ok to be one but even as an introvert we must find a way of connecting with others in real life. I often find myself as a mix of introvert and extrovert. I love being with people and having fun and I love interacting with people but I also love time to myself in quiet. It’s good and healthy to want both but we must find a balance of these feelings. Today too much of us are in the solitude of our own minds and phones and feeling like forced introverts. In most cases I believe you will find you are also a mixed and while maybe a little more introverted you need to let your extrovert out some too.

As I worked through this in my own life this is the sequence of natural support I used to help me rebalance my introvert and extrovert.

  • Before leaving the house for an errand tell yourself you’re going to not use your phone unless you get a call. (You can ignore texts and social media notifications for a couple hours)
  • Apply my special “I Love Friends” roller (recipe below) to your wrists and back of neck
  • Take in everything around you on the way to where you’re going. What traffic is like, how busy parking lots are
  • When you are at a stoplight DO NOT PICK UP YOUR PHONE! Instead intentionally look at the car next to you. Try to make eye contact and if you do smile and look forward.
  • When you are at the store, look for at least one other person to make eye contact with and smile. If the opportunity presents itself, like when standing in line, start a conversation!

Here’s an example of how this works. I took my son to the State Fair and being a kid he wanted to do all the rides and activities. One of the things he did was some climbing, maze type of thing and there were 2 other boys with him also doing it. I saw their mom not far from me so I strolled over and said, “They sure look like they’re having fun.” To which she said, “Oh yes, gotta love that boy energy.” When our children were done with this attraction they raced to the next and she and I followed. We laughed at their fun and silliness and enjoyed about 15 minutes sharing stories around our children. Then she and her boys went on and we went the other way. It was casual. It was light. It was non-imposing. It was a connection that made walking around the fair fun. I found I interacted with other people more easily the rest of the day too. I became interesting to me to see people and connect with them. Try it and see for yourself.

I Love Friends Rollerball

In a 10ml rollerball bottle mix these ingredients:

  • 10 drops doTERRA Marjoram (Oil of Connection)
  • 10 drops doTERRA Cedarwood (Oil of Community)
  • 5 drops doTERRA Balance (Oil of Grounding)
  • fill rest with fractionated coconut oil

To get the oils and supplies to make this roller simply click here: dragonspitapothecary.com/I-Love-Friends

I also invite you to join our Members Forum to connect with real people interested in sharing and growing together on the journey of living life more naturally on our terms. It’s free and we talk about some very interesting things.

dragonspitapothecary.com/members-forum

Then the Clutter Went Away

When you begin to use more natural products in your life you for some reason also become more conscious of waste and clutter. You look to extend the life of what you have and up-cycle what is used for new purposes. There’s interest in seeing what you don’t need or what can be done differently to not only reduce cost but what you end up throwing out or storing and having to organize. It sort of happens just naturally it seems.

I didn’t set out to become this ultimate DIY up-cycle mom who reuses everything and is intently interested in things that don’t come with a lot of packaging. Ok well that last part isn’t true as I really hate trying to open some of the hard plastic wrappings and containers like for make-up or my son’s toys. I also am not a fan of all the peanuts that come in shipping boxes and end up all over the floor as you work to get your items out of a box. Meanwhile the dog is thinking those peanuts are toys and treats so you’re having to pull those out their mouth. That aside, I didn’t intentionally go about looking to change these things either, it just sort of happened.

For well over two years now we have been changing out what we use at home to more natural options. If you’re new to reading this blog I encourage you to scroll back on this blog to see our journey. In the course of these changes I realized our cabinets like the one in our bathroom that used to be crammed with cleaners on the top shelf is much less cluttered these days. That’s pretty interesting to me. We have lived in our home for almost 15 years and we have decent sized cabinets and closets. Over time though they have become filled and at times there will be these big projects to take everything out of them and organize it all. More than once in those types of activities my husband and I have said we simply have too much stuff!

In general I think most of us can say we have too much stuff. Our shelves, closets, cabinets are full and sometimes we even buy extra cabinets and storage items to store and organize our things. There are piles we stash away when we know someone is coming over. We have to spend weekends organizing and sorting to make sense of what we have periodically. Some of the thinking behind it is we just never know when we’ll need something and yet when we need that thing we usually can’t find it. Or that just might be the case in my house which happens quite a bit. When you add in the fact that most of feel we pay good money for the things we have there is some angst about just getting rid of it even if we’re not using it. I totally get that and trust me our house has it’s fair share of things that falls in this category too.

When I changed our home to natural cleaners I stopped buying multiple bottles of things that were on sale or that were handy to have a spare on hand. I stopped needing several cleaners all together because I found ones that worked in multiple areas. I also stopped needing several bottles, cans, and sprays. Through just the normal course of swapping out these products the areas where I keep cleaners looks drastically different now. Like that bathroom cabinet top shelf where I keep the bath cleaning stuff. It has

  • A bottle of white vinegar
  • Box of baking soda
  • Bottle of doTERRA OnGuard Concentrate
  • An air spray I made
  • Glass cleaner I also made using the empty spray bottle
  • doTERRA Purify oil
  • doTERRA Lemon Eucalyptus oil
  • A couple scrubbing sponges

Once upon a time there were at least 2 bottles of glass cleaner, at least 2 air sprays, couple cans of bath and tile cleaner, multi-purpose cleaner and of course sponges. There was usually a bottle of drain opener too because well I’m a girl and I have hair that likes to clog drains. Now though there’s room now to put other stuff up there. None of the things I use today are toxic so I technically don’t need to store them so high up either. Oh the possibilities! I had never considered what I could have my bathroom cabinets look like if I didn’t need to store cleaners out of reach! Imagine not having to use special locks and those annoying pulls on your doors to keep children from not getting into harsh chemical based cleaners!

Now that we’ve made several changes in our home and I can notice things like extra space in our cabinets I’m realizing there is just so much other stuff we could seriously organize better or get rid of. Imagine opening any closet in your home and seeing it perfectly organized and easy to get to something without stuff falling all over you or not finding what you need! This simple switch I made in cleaners has completely opened up the idea that I can maybe organize my entire house and have it look like we are a super organized, well put together family!

If you had told me that using natural products in my home could equate to organized and neat closets where things are pretty to look at and not crazy when you open the door I would have laughed hysterically. All the piles of stuff in my office from making quilts and running a small business neatly organized and easy to get to. Or the pantry where good luck if you need to find a box of noodles. And yet, here I am the one telling you this is what’s happening in my own home as a result of realizing there is room when you stop using what you actually don’t need and that isn’t good for you anyway. Here I am the Queen of stuffing things in a closet so no one sees the mess telling you I no longer have to do that. There’s like real space in my cabinets and closets!

Even if you think things like essential oils and natural products are baloney for changing your health this is worth checking out. If you’re tired of your closets being a hot mess that falls on you upon opening then this is how you change that and save money in the process. I didn’t think it was possible but yep sure enough it’s happened and without me even intentionally working on that! Who knows you may even feel better too from using them. Ready to try? Click here to get started: dragonspitapothecary.com/natural-journey-start-point

Why We Don’t Lose Weight in January

We just spent the last 2 plus months eating very well. We have been surrounded by beautiful dishes, decadent treats and lots of wine! All those holiday get-togethers had food and drinks that we happily partook in and enjoyed. It was fun. It was what everyone was doing. We told ourselves we would worry about the calories, fat content, sugar, carbs, and our waistlines after the new year. No one diets during the holidays anyway so we shouldn’t either.

As a result of switching from light summery foods to more hearty dishes in the Fall followed by an overflow of holiday foods our digestive systems are a wreck! We have gone from one way of eating to the next building up in richness and all the things that don’t exactly line up to a healthy regular way of eating. Isn’t it interesting how we can manage to pack on weight year after year from this? We never really do seem to lose those holiday pounds before we are once again faced with the holidays. All through this time our digestive systems are flooded with things it cannot process and we feel miserable. Our clothes are not fitting and we can’t seem to break our love affair with sugar or lose weight! It truly is a vicious cycle many of us find ourselves on.

If there was ever a worse time to start a diet it would be January! This bitter cold winter month is the hardest of all for several really big reasons. It’s like the ultimate challenge where everything that could be stacked against you actually is. I believe it truly is why most well meaning health related resolutions and intentions are probably long forgotten and broken and it’s not even the end of the month! Let’s look at why this month is so hard to diet in:

Water

It is generally understood that one of the basic needs of improving your health is to increase your water intake. When we are dehydrated we tend to have more cravings for salt and sugar. We eat more and move less. We leave toxins and waste in our body that can’t be flushed out. When we don’t get enough water we don’t truly recognize when we are hungry instead of just thirsty.

So when people first start out dieting or improving their health they find a nice big cup or jug and start carrying it everywhere with them to drink more water. This is great and truly a powerful first step that can help us make bigger changes. The problem is we naturally don’t drink as much water as we should when it is cold and dark outside. We don’t feel thirsty. We instead want hot drinks that warm us. I know I naturally increase my coffee intake when it starts to get cold out. I could go all day drinking warm drinks and am not at all attracted to a cold glass of water.

January being the coldest and hardest winter month for most of us naturally works against us drinking water. It doesn’t taste good. It isn’t appealing and it isn’t something we think about as often. Don’t you find it interesting that when the weather is warmer and rivers and streams start thawing and flowing that we too are more drawn to water? Certainly you can force it and you may overcome that challenge but that doesn’t feel good to most of us and can only introduce harder challenges when we add in other dieting habits. For me, I have found I am much more successful when I don’t force as many things in my life.

While we still need a lot of water year-round despite winter coldness there are some tricks to overcome this challenge in January. Here’s what I’ve found works for me:

  • Definitely use a cute cup that you look forward to using and that feels good in your hands. We are drawn to things that appeal to us
  • Lower the ice level. I love crushed slushy ice in my drinks but I know if it’s super cold outside I don’t want a super cold drink. So in January I don’t add as much ice to my cute cup so it’s not as cold
  • Make it flavorful. Look we did just spend the last 2 months eating, drinking and being merry and our bodies are not robots that can just turn that experience off and be good now. Allow your body time to adjust by making your water taste good! I love adding in a couple drops of doTERRA Grapefruit oil, Lemon oil, Wild Orange and even Tangerine to my water. This makes it taste so much better than plain water and you will drink more of it.
  • Get bubbly. Not like champagne bubbly but the bubbly waters. Experiment with different kinds to find one you like. If you get a plain one you can then also add in the doTERRA essential oils I mention to personalize the flavor. This is also a tummy soother when you add a drop of doTERRA Ginger or DigestZen oils.

To get the oils I put in my water click here: dragonspitapothecary.com/water-oils

Salads

Almost every single diet will include increasing your intake of vegetables. That’s great but January isn’t exactly the time when fresh lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes grow. Most of us find hot house grown veggies in our stores right now that are as tasteless as tap water. Who wants to eat a plain tasteless salad that is also cold when we want hot soups and hearty meals?

The other problem is when you go from over indulging to scarcity in an attempt to cut back in calories your body goes into starvation mode – even when you are not hungry! It quickly realizes you have cut the food calories and it goes into ninja level defense mode. Your mind responds with frustration and disdain for salads and your stomach is trying to switch to healthier foods while overcoming all the toxins it is buried in from holiday foods. It’s not that eating a salad is bad for you because it is not at all but when you haven’t prepared your mind and digestive system for this change you’re going to have some problems like these:

Hunger

First our bodies are going to think they are hungry ALL THE TIME! It is not use to lighter calorie healthier meals and oh yeah it’s still winter out and our bodies want that warm food. It wants to be warm and comforted and cozy like it was in December when we were eating pot roasts and gravy.

This is where most of us trip hard in our January health goals because we can’t find that balance and control over our hunger and what our body is telling us it wants. This is why I have found it incredibly helpful to start with a cleanse. Again not one of those harsh spend all your time in the bathroom and in pain cleanses but one that gives your body a good way to clean out and adjust to changes. If you don’t get your digestion prepared then everything else in your body will not work to help you progress on your health goals. Your digestive system is the core of your body’s messaging systems. When it doesn’t feel good or another area of your body doesn’t feel well it is felt in the stomach area. This is why dieting can be a great first step to health changes but we have get our digestive system working well first.

In January right after the holidays I like to do a 2 week cleanse that helps me reset my systems. I use this formula (1 time in morning and 1 at night):

  • 1 doTERRA GX Assist (cleanse)
  • 2 each doTERRA Life Long Vitality Supplements
  • 2 doTERRA Terrazyme
  • 1 Veggie capsule containing 1 drop Cinnamon (cravings), 2 drops Ginger (digestion) 2 drops OnGuard (immunity), 2 drops Tumeric (blood/cholesterol), 2 drops Grapefruit (hormones)

To get what I use simply click here: dragonspitapothecary.com/cleanse

Cravings

It seems the minute I decide I’m going to go on a diet my mind turns into an evil science doctor and pushes all my buttons in resistance. It takes over my sweet tooth and I’m in overdrive with cravings I didn’t even realize I had. Not long afterwards I am feeling like I’m in a constant battle of thinking about food and wanting the “wrong” foods. Hence the salt and sugar cravings most of us struggle with every day.

For some moderating these cravings gives us a balance of accepting what we cannot control. For others moderation is extremely hard and it has to be an “all or nothing” mentality. My own experience has shown that I need to at least start out in the “all or nothing” side and as I can control I can choose to let some things back in and try moderation. It seems until we ultimately feel in control of our cravings no amount of moderation is going to stop us in times of a severe craving. I can personally attest that I will rebel against telling myself no and find a lot of chocolate eaten just to show myself “Oh yes I can too!”

I am not always successful at managing cravings. Sometimes it does take more than willpower to be successful too. Upfront I try to get the entire family to avoid salts and sugars for a couple weeks to give me a head start and then try to ease it back in where you can. It is not easy every day telling yourself no and staying away from it. I have found the capsule I describe above with the ginger and grapefruit does help me not want the salt and sugar as much too.

Successful January Dieting

While it is one of the hardest months to start a diet you can use January to start the process. For me that includes preparing my body to take on the challenges that come with dieting and being the in the position place to deal with hunger and cravings. I think by modifying our approach to dieting we can improve our chances for success and become of those unicorns that do really keep their New Year’s Resolutions.

Be sure to join our Member’s Forum to share and learn from others also looking to live more naturally on their terms, including losing weight and being more healthy! It’s free and you can join here: dragonspitapothecary.com/members-forum

Shopping and Saving in 2020

Hopefully with the holidays behind us you are not seeing the credit card bills in your mailbox this month. The piles of debt we can sometimes find ourselves in can be limiting and cause a great deal of stress in our lives. There’s not much more that can cause significant strain in a family than financial risk. It’s scary to think about what could happen and how quickly things could change as a result of lacking money. As a single income family I definitely know that stress and can attest to the impact it’s had on the way I work with and manage my family’s budget.

How we feel when we purchase things, whether we need them or not, causes both physical and emotional reactions in our body. The act of shopping, paying for something and carrying it to your car is so much deeper than just the physical act of buying something. There are responses triggering stress in our body before, during and after we purchase things. These responses happen whether we have money for that purchase or not but our method of payment can influence how deep and intense those responses are. When we use our credit cards and know we don’t have the money for it or we’re signing papers for a loan we feel a heightened pressure. It also happens with smaller purchases like buying shoes or school supplies the kids need.

Take for instance when you go to the grocery store and you load up the cart with everything your family needs. You were careful in not adding too many things that you really didn’t need but that cart is still pretty full. How many times have you stood at the checkout with a slight panic feeling over what that cart of food will cost or gasped a little when you heard the total? Even when money isn’t an issue for my family I still freak a little when I see a large total for food. It happens to all of us. We can feel money controls us more often than we control it too often in our lives. That’s not a comfortable feeling at all.

Everything has a Price Tag

It literally seems everything is for sale these days and most things can seem way out of reach for us. We try to be smart with our money and stretch those dollars as far as they will go while getting what we need. We look for quality so it will last and balance that against a price tag to see how much “quality” we can actually afford. It can make it feel impossible to stay ahead of debt and not find yourself in a situation of lacking money should an emergency arise.

I believe there are a couple factors influencing our feelings of things being out of our reach financially and constrained by debt getting things for our family. First, we live in a highly driven marketing and consumerism based world. We are presented with things to buy that we “need” all the time. We live in a world where we are told what we “should” be doing, how we should be living and what that life looks like. We are flooded by images of richness and luxury comfort living that is appealing and desirable and yet leaves us in massive debt.

Secondly I believe our purchasing feelings are greatly influenced by our own insecurities. This is one is tough for us to admit but most often we find ourselves over extending ourselves because we think we deserve it. It isn’t that we don’t deserve it but we have this urgency for when we should have it. It’s right there so why not have it now? We can make payments on it and pay it off in no time! It is extremely hard to deny ourselves things that we feel we deserve, need or think we should have. It is hard as a parent to explain why your child can’t have a phone or expensive toys when they see their friends getting them all the time.

Disconnecting and de-tangling from the emotions of purchases is a set of it’s own feelings. We find we’re lonely, different, excluded, bored, anxious and even depressed. When you stop spending and step back from that type of cycle it takes a minute to realize who you are and where you are. It can be extremely uncomfortable too. However, if we really want to reset our spending and stop living paycheck-to-paycheck the answer isn’t a better paying job or a raise. It is literally re-doing our entire mindset about living and what that looks like.

From the point my husband wasn’t able to work anymore and we had to start living on just my income I admit I was very stressed out. While I knew that change was coming and I thought I was prepared it was still extremely scary and at times still feels very uncomfortable. I worry a lot more about job security and having gone through a few layoffs in my career I panic at that thought these days. I spent hours pouring over our budget to make sure we would be able to pay bills and what that now looked like for things we used to do like vacations or extra spending. I became super sensitive about any money we spent because I had fear of how we would do this on just my job income. It’s still not easy at times and I will wake up worrying about this responsibility.

Taking Controls

In going through this experience in our family I can share that it does truly take one step at a time to figure it out. We must ultimately expand our view to see the value of things that are not associated with money. We must look past our things and material possessions to see what else is in our lives. That full picture view is what gives you the power to figure out the money stuff and is key to finding a lifestyle that isn’t being controlled by your family budget.

The whole reason I started this blog over 2 years ago now was to share with you the transformations in my family as a result of these changes we had to make. There was a lot we have learned in this process and have had to overcome to get to a safe spot financially. We are fortunate even though I do still greatly stress sometimes about the money. Mostly that is due to the incredible volatile nature of work that could result in a loss of job at any time and managing a small business to help offset that risk. However, I do know I’m doing all I can to protect my family financially every day. I also found some emotional support for those moments I feel that financial panic creeping in. I simply apply it on my arms and back of my neck. (To get what I use click here: dragonspitapothecary.com/not-scared-of-money)

If you want to secure your family’s financial future you have to make those conscious tough decisions to start moving in that direction. For me it was doing small things like reducing our grocery bill by getting rid of things that were impacting our health and budget. From having worked in healthcare for over 30 years I can tell you that over 80% of the claims paid by an insurance company are for things that we can treat at home with the same or better results. That means big savings in your family budget.

When you truly sit down and make a list of everything you pay for and buy in a month you can find those opportunities to reduce what you spend and still get effective, high quality products and services. These are the things I found on my list to reduce immediately:

  • Bath cleaners
  • Multipurpose cleaners
  • Window cleaner
  • Dishwasher soap & dish soap
  • Laundry supplies
  • Soaps and body washes
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Hair styling products
  • Pet shampoo
  • Facial care products
  • First aid supplies
  • Over the counter medications
  • Prescription medications
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Lotions
  • Shave cream
  • Diaper cream
  • Baby wash

It can seem trivial but when you realistically add up what you spend on just these types of things each month you will be amazed at what it is costing you! I was spending almost $100 a month sometimes on these things! Over the course of a few months I tracked these expenses and then I tried different approaches to reducing these expenses. I even tried couponing and working the 6 week sales cycles in my local stores at first to cut these costs but ultimately I still ended up spending way more because I was trying to stockpile what we used because it was on sale. Plus I was driving everywhere and shopping different places all the time which was a huge time hit.

The difference compared to what you can get when you make them or buy a natural version adds up to a lot of money saved. When I changed to using a natural product that I could buy or make I didn’t need a stockpile of stuff taking up space and our budget expenses for these things went way down, even compared to intense couponing. I also wasn’t going store to store watching sales or spending time looking for coupons or making purchasing decisions based on sales and coupons. Seriously it was a huge time hit to plan around sales and coupons! The bonus I found when I removed the chemicals was my family stopped getting as sick as often so we were able to reduce the doctor bills on top of it!

You can say you don’t believe in essential oils and it’s just a bunch of baloney but here’s the deal you won’t beat the price tag or impact to your family budget. That alone is worth serious consideration if you are wanting to change your family budget’s bottom line. You also won’t beat your family’s change in health and what that means financially. So if you don’t believe me that it works then believe me that it actually saves you money and then see the results for yourself. We can stop living in a money scarcity mindset by proactively reducing our expenses and ending the paycheck-to-paycheck living cycle.

Make your own list and put your own numbers on it. Track it a few months and see your own results. Then let’s help you learn how to transition to more natural options that will change that spend scenario and positively influence your budget. Let’s talk about how to get high quality products that do work and provide the benefits financially, emotionally and physically while saving real tangible dollars. If this is your 2020 goal then start here: dragonspitapothecary.com/live

90 Days From Now

In less than 90 days from today it will start to show the signs of Spring. Little crocus flowers will start to emerge followed by daffodils and small leaves on the trees. If you live where it snows that too will start to show signs of melting. The days will feel warmer and the sun brighter for a little longer each day. Yes, in just 90 days it will start to feel like a different setting all together.

You will feel the energy of these changes when these signs in nature start to appear. You will find you are more energetic, alert, awakened and perhaps even refreshed. You will look forward to seeing the colors of Spring and feeling the warmth of the sun. You will find you want to go outdoors more or even open a window in your home to let fresh air in. We feel these changes even without really noticing them consciously. Yet we are drawn to these feelings and movements quite naturally.

Today is Really a Preparation

We are very clearly not in the Spring season yet. The days are still quite cold and there’s snow in several parts of the country blanketing landscapes. The days are in fact gray and bleak with drizzle and sleet sometimes. These scenes are still beautiful and intentional for us. We find rest, restoration and the ability to work from within ourselves and our homes.

Winter is our time to prepare for the actions we take in Spring and Summer. It is a time of planning, preparing and setting forth the small actions that will support our future. My favorite part of January is when the seed catalogs arrive with options for growing things in my garden in a couple months. I can pick things to start indoors and list out things to be planted directly outside. I can sketch out the rows that will contain the vegetables I want to grow this year. This is a perfect time and season to do these types of things physically and emotionally.

Our health is much like the seeds. We are assessing, planning, making small steps that will support our long term growth and vitality. While many of us will attempt to make drastic diet and exercise changes in January the truth is sometimes we fail because it isn’t the right time to start these types of activities. Our bodies are aligned with nature’s seasonal changes and right now it’s calling for us to do smaller changes and rest. These smaller changes are still important and support our goals but it can seem like we are not making any progress at all right now. We are though as we modify our diets, reset our sleep to improve quality and plan for how we will ultimately reform our health.

These small changes like taking a nap, practicing yoga or eating a healthy meal are still influencing our health. We are still making changes but we are allowing our body time to adapt, adjust, and build on these smaller activities. When Spring rolls in soon we are stronger and ready for more challenging activities. We are emerging from our homes ready for longer walks, more strenuous exercises and an expansion of our healthy eating. We are craving fresh vegetables and lighter foods that weren’t as easy to get or as tasty to eat in Winter.

Planning for the next 90 Days

What we set out to do in 2020 can be set into a strategy that we start working on gradually during this time. For many of us our intention this year was to be more healthy, to lose weight and be less ill throughout the year. We can use this time in January to figure out what that looks like in motion. How will we do those things? What are we most looking forward to on this change journey? What interests us the most about doing it?

We can then adapt small things to try like changing out some of our meals to be healthier or working on sleep routines. We can use a cold blustery day in January to stay inside and practice meditation or yoga. We can call up a couple friends and take a brisk walk outside. These changes do not have to be extreme or even inconvenient. It is almost tradition to buy a new gym membership in January only to find we never make it to the gym or we dread going. Instead we can save our money and focus on smaller changes that give us the foundation for later Buy a new pair of sneakers or a yoga mat instead and start where you are more comfortable. Begin to use a food journal or learn to meal prep your lunches. Start where you are and build momentum so when we are ready to increase our exercise we can consider larger options like that gym membership.

Many resolutions will fail in January and February because we are not prepared for what these changes feel like in our body and mind. We want the changes but we are not ready to commit to the level that some of us feel obligated or necessary to see major results. Our bodies quickly become tired and sore and that doesn’t feel good. We see our minds dreading repeating these challenging workouts that are don’t feel strong enough or confident enough to complete. We feel awkward and clumsy at them. It is entirely normal to feel these things but I encourage you to give your body and mind a path to follow that is supportive of where you are right now and how you are feeling. For many of us making small changes now can help us overcome those intimidation feelings we feel about going into a gym.

When you are overweight and out of shape there is nothing more intimidating than walking into a gym and feeling like a failure at not being able to accomplish what looks easy for others doing the same thing. These negative feelings add up to us giving up, feeling like we can’t do and it’s not for us. While this is not true at all it does point out that we need to take a different path to getting there. Instead we could be finding things we enjoy doing like taking the dog for a walk or learning to cook healthier options. These things are just as effective at supporting our health goals but leave us feeling positive with a sense of accomplishment. When we feel accomplished we are more likely to build on that experience and grow stronger in the process. It’s must less intimidating and we don’t dread it.

How to Start

If improving your health or losing weight are on your intentions list for this year then I highly recommend starting with a wellness assessment. This will give you insights into what is really important to you. I will give you a personalized report from your answers that will help you set a solid 90 day plan for making changes. It’s also free. You can take the wellness assessment here: dragonspitapothecary.com/wellness-and-lifestyle

With this information you can then add in the tools and support you need to start these next 90 days of change in a meaningful way that supportive to you. You can factor in your budget as well to know what tools and support you need to help you. Setting your strategy around a plan that is personal to you is a positive step that will propel you into making smaller changes gradually that will add up to those larger changes you want to accomplish. It most importantly lets you adjust where you need to fit your needs and budget instead of seeing money wasted on things you won’t use long term.

What does the end of the next 90 days look like for you?

If you have questions or would like help, please reach out through the dragonspitapothecary.com/contact

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