As an aspiring minimalist, I aim to be thoughtful and intentional in what I do and purchase. In January I found some things that I really deem worthwhile and joy-inducing, that were completely worth any money spent. They are all things that help me to live a more healthy and intentional life.
1. F.lux is an app you can download onto your computer to change the color of your computer screen from a white-blue light to a warmer reddish light when it’s dark outside. This is useful because when it’s night time and we expose ourselves to that bright white and blue light, it can trick our brains into thinking it’s still day time, therefore disrupting our sleep patterns.
Although I don’t think F.lux has been scientifically tested, I definitely notice a difference in how easy it is for me to fall asleep after I’ve been looking at my phone for a while before bed, versus after I’ve been on my computer with a warmer colored screen.
2. Himalayan Salt Lamps:
Proponents of himalayan salt lamps make a lot of claims about the benefits of having them in the home.
These claims include:
- neutralizing electromagnetic radiation
- purifying the air
- reducing asthma and allergy symptoms
- improving breathing
- increasing energy levels
- improving sleep
- improving mood
- reducing stress
No one really has been able to prove these things However, they are certainly worth while for the following reasons:
- They’re great for night time use as the light is very warm and pink so it won’t keep you up or disrupt your sleep
- I think that they look really beautiful and add a natural element to any room
- They’re great for mood lighting
- If any of the previous claims happen to be true, you’re not missing out if you have one
I’ve got three salt lamps throughout the house and they bring me joy daily!
In January I picked up two hydrosols. A hydrosol is flower water, made from steam distilling plant materials.
The first one I tried was this Rose Water hydrosol from Alteya Organics. It’s for spraying onto your skin to help rejuvenate, moisturize, and energize the skin. It also reduces inflammation. I use it for my face after cleansing, when I wake up, after exercising, and even after applying my makeup. It smells amazing and really makes me feel a bit more fresh. I spritz throughout the day.
The second one I picked up was this Lemon Thyme hydrosol made by Evan Healy. I bought this one because I had remembered hearing about research that found that thyme was really effective at killing the bacteria that causes acne. I have seen some improvement since starting to use this hydrosol daily in combination with the rose hydrosol. I do think that my acne issues are related to my digestive issues, but the hydrosols seem to keep my skin a bit clearer than usual.
When I’m finished with these products I think I can repurpose these nice glass bottles. Maybe I’ll even look into making my own herbal waters, as these hydrosols are not cheap.
4. Reusable Cotton Produce Bags:
I’m fascinated by the zero waste living concept. I think there is no downside to creating less waste. I am excited to learn more and do more to reduce my own waste.
One change that I have made in an effort to reduce the waste I generate is taking my own cloth bags with me to the grocery store to use for bulk items and produce instead of the plastic bags available at the store.
These bags help me save a little plastic each trip, they look nicer, are more durable, and of course they’re reusable. The stores I’ve taken them to allow me to use them no problem and have just asked that I get the bags weighed beforehand at customer service so that the cashiers know at checkout how much each bag weighs. I have often gotten a bit of a discount for using my own bags.
You can store your items in these bags or just use them for transportation, transferring the items to jars when you get home.
You can make your own bags, use jars, or purchase the bags that I have over at Bea Johnson’s store on her website, zerowastehome.com.
I find this process of trying to reduce my waste exciting and fun. I like this sort of challenge.
5. Way of Gray “Love Yourself Workout Guide” and video series
I like to exercise when I think the exercise itself is fun. I also like when I don’t have to leave the house to do it. This helps me stay consistent.
Sophie Gray is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer. She creates fun workout programs and diet guides for healthy living. At the end of December I purchased her “Love Yourself Workout Guide” and Diet guide package. In this program, she included a video to go with each workout. This is so helpful! She does the moves along with you and continually motivates you to keep going.
The workouts are fun for me because they’re only about 30 to 40 minutes long, they’re structured into 5 different parts, and it’s like I’m doing them with a very motivational friend. There are four workouts a week, Wednesdays and the weekends being rest days. It seems you could start your workouts on any day of the week. I just started mine on Monday.
There are three months worth of workouts and videos and I am on month 2. I am really enjoying the workouts and haven’t missed a day yet. I’ve noticed that I’ve become stronger and a bit more toned. I also feel great after a workout, even when she kicks my butt.
6. Steel Cut Oats:
So I’ve professed my love for oatmeal in the past and I have to admit, I’ve found something I love even more than rolled oats. My new favorite breakfast is steel cut oats.
Apparently rolled oats and steel cut oats are nutritionally very similar. However, I’ve noticed that after eating the steel cut oats, my digestion is better than after eating the rolled oats.
From what I’ve read, this could be because the steel cut oats have a larger surface area, which slows digestion. They also are lower on the glycemic index than rolled oats.
This morning I had steel cut oats with some frozen blueberries, raisins, homemade almond milk and a teaspoon of almond butter. It was heaven.
What were your favorite things in January?