Tomorrow is Halloween, so you all know what that means… the holiday season is officially here! I’m SOOOOO excited! This is one of my favorite times of the year – the decorations, the food, the holiday parties, holiday cards, etc. But if you’re like me, it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Who’s with me?! The gift shopping, the bills, organizing your social calendar, house guests, traffic, etc. The list can really go on and on for pros and cons of the holiday season. Yes, it’s all fun, but I get exhausted, both physically and mentally, from constantly being on the go and stressing. As this crazy time of year approaches, I like to try to control what I can, one of those being my home. Always, but definitely during the crazy holidays, I crave a peaceful home. And I find there are a few things I can implement in my home that will give me a feeling of control, calm, and peace, even if everything else is up in the air.
Do you like background noise in your house? I cannot do tasks around the house when it’s silent. And I can’t put the TV on in the background because I’ll get distracted and end up sitting down for a minute that turns into 20 minutes. Not productive at all! So my go-to is music in the background! I used to play YouTube or Spotify from my phone, but we recently got an Amazon Echo Dot, and it’s perfect for putting on whatever kind of music you want. All you have to do is say, “Alexa, play ______ music,” and just like that, the music instantly starts playing. It doesn’t get any easier than that! I’ll put on something fun and upbeat when I’m cooking or cleaning, and do calm, spa-like music when I’m taking a bath or writing a blog post. Music makes my mind feel at ease makes me feel happy in my home. So perfect!
Burn Your Favorite Candles.
Scent is such a powerful tool. It’s so powerful that Disney World goes the extra mile to get you to smell certain smells. For example, when you’re walking down Main Street in Magic Kingdom, they have secret fans located down the street to blow out the smell of all of the treats sold in the shops to draw you inside. Did you know that?! I couldn’t believe it when I found that out. But then again, it’s Disney so, yeah, I can. LOL. Whenever I smell certain scents, they can remind me of a specific person or a certain memory. I always want my home to convey warmth, comfort, and freshness so those are the types of candle scents I gravitate to, and I’ll light them for hourssss so my house always smells amazing. Bath and Body Works is my favorite place to get candles, OBVI. There are so many scents to choose from, the scents come in single or triple wick candles, AND the scents are so potent that sometimes I don’t even need to light the candle because I can smell it when it’s not even lit. A few of my favorite candles are: 1, 2 and 3.
Turn On Airplane Mode.
Do you use airplane mode on your phone? Now I’m not just talking about when you’re on a flight or if you’re trying to charge your phone faster. If I need a break from my beloved device, I turn on airplane mode. I do this all the time! When I’m super busy at work with a project deadline, if I’m trying to wrap up a blog post, enjoying dinner, or watching a movie with Ryan, I’ll turn my phone on airplane mode to have ZERO distractions. I use airplane mode over Do Not Disturb because airplane mode turns off all communication services from your device, whereas Do Not Disturb just basically silences your phone. I hate to be that person, but I get SO distracted by my phone. Ugh, whyyyy?! Our phones are smartphones for a reason. They are supposed to be smart and do everything we need and make our lives easier. But, let’s be real, sometimes my phone causes me more stress and anxiety than anything. A friend of mine in college would call us out constantly if we were on our phones and he would say, “Social media is not social.” How true is that?! We rather live inside our phones than in real life? And as technology advances it’s only going to get worse so it’s important to try and implement little habitats like realizing when you need to take a break from your phone and put airplane mode on. This way I’m not tempted to answer a call or catch up on the group text that’s going off. PS: Incase there’s an emergency, I do not leave my phone on airplane mode for longer than 30 minutes. I’ll turn airplane mode off, check to see if anything is pressing, and then put it back on if I need more time distraction-free.
Get Cozy Loungewear.
Ryan always tells me to change out of my work clothes and put “comfy clothes on” once we are home, but I’m always hesitant to do so because I don’t want to dirty another pair of clothes. More laundry to do, ya feel me?! So I normally stay in my work clothes that I’ve worn all day to watch a couple of hours of TV before heading to the gym. Those couple of hours of TV are usually my only relaxing time during the work week, besides bedtime. But how relaxed can I really be in my work clothes, right?! There’s no way I am feeling at peace in my work clothes, but I don’t want to put my pajamas on because my body will think it’s bedtime and I’ll get tired. Such a dilemma! I’ve come to find loungewear is my new best friend! I feel super comfy like I’m wearing PJs, but you look more put together than normal PJs! Also, since I only wear them for a couple of hours just relaxing on the couch, I can wear them for a few days before tossing them in the dirty close hamper. So technically not doing more laundry. Yay! I’m sporting these in today’s post photos; I love the dark maroon color for fall. LOFT has some of the most comfortable and high quality loungewear on the market. You’ve got to check it out!
10-Minute Tidying Up.
A few months back I did a whole blog post on my weekly cleaning schedule. But let’s be real, life happens sometimes, social obligations pop up, you had a long day at work and you’re exhausted, etc. and you can’t get to your daily tasks. Then before you know it, it looks like the Tasmanian Devil came through your house. You all know you’ve been there! Is it just me or do you automatically feel more at ease when things are clean? More peaceful, if you will! That’s me 1000%! I cannot relax in a messy house. But I also don’t want to feel like I’m cleaning every second that I’m home and missing out on just enjoying my home. That’s no way to live, people! BUT, we cannot NOT clean. Things have to get picked up eventually. So to ease my stress, this is where I implement my 10-minute tidy. 10-minutes – that’s it! Not shorter. Not longer. I do these tidying sessions BEFORE things: before we leave the house, before bed, before dinner, before showering. I’ll set the timer on my phone, turn on some music, and try to get as much tidying done before the timer goes off. Once it does, then I have to accept (sometimes it’s hard to) that what I got done will have to do for now. This allows you to break up the cleaning process so you don’t feel like you’re spending hours upon hours cleaning during your day. And bonus, it helps you practice time management skills, too! Win-win!
Saying “No” with Boundaries.
I’m about 80% an extrovert and 20% an introvert, and that extrovert part of me typically overpowers the introvert part. Ha, shocker! I love being social, but sometimes I need a break. It can be hard when people always expect you to go to everything, be the life of the party, but in actuality, sometimes I would rather stay home and rest. In order for the extrovert part of me to thrive, I NEED quiet time at home. Ask Ryan, I get cranky if I don’t get rest! It seems like we are constantly on the go, but as we’ve gotten older, we realize our boundaries and have started learning to say “no” to things. I like to have specific times carved out in the week where Ryan and I don’t do anything. Typically it’s Sunday afternoons (sometimes Sunday mornings), Friday afternoons, and other times throughout the week depending on what we have coming up. I feel bad “letting people down,” but I operate so much better when I have my time to rejuvenate. I realize this may be easier now while we don’t have kids, but I hope this is something we continue once the babies start coming along. You need to “treat yo’ self” by taking care of yo’ self, in every way – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our bodies need rest. Make scheduled time for it to make sure it happens.
No Shoes Inside.
I cannot stand when things are dirty, specifically my floors. If I feel uncomfortable to walk barefoot in my house, then I know it’s time to sweep, vacuum, mop – the whole 9 yards! A big rule at the Ehrhardt household is no shoes inside. Does this always happen? No. I don’t make guests take their shoes off the second they walk in the door. But if it’s just me and Ryan we keep the shoe wearing inside the house to a minimum. We usually kick them off at the door the second we walk in, and put them on as the final step before leaving the house. I just always think about all of the gunk you’re bringing into your home when you wear shoes in your home. Yuck! Grime from shoes is typically one less thing for me to worry about.
What are some things you do to have a more peaceful and calming home? Let me know in the comments below! XOXO