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8 ways to calm an anxious mind

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8 ways to calm an anxious mind

An anxious mind can be hard to deal with. Your mind spins a mile a minute and you can feel paralyzed by possibilities and options and worries. I’ve been working on identifying moments where my mind feels like a runaway train and working to learn how to pump the brakes of my brain. I’ve been working on taking back control and I’ve found 8 ways to calm an anxious mind that have been helping me a lot, so I thought I’d share.

These ideas aren’t about crippling, debilitating anxiety disorders. If what you’re experiencing is beyond the realm of having some anxious thoughts, and is recurring and scary, please see your doctor. I live with obsessive-compulsive disorder and as a result have understood the true weight of a brain out of control, and I don’t ever want you to think that these suggestions replace a professional diagnosis and treatment.

Here are 8 ways to calm an anxious mind.

1. Cut the caffeine
The moment I start to identify that I’m starting to lose it (for me, an inability to sit still or think of something else and feeling like I can’t figure out what to do next), I will immediately cut off any and all caffeine. Coffee is my most favorite drink in the world, but coffee + anxiety is a terrible combination, so it’s good to stop right away. Drink some water (you can always heat it up and add lemon).

2. Make a (realistic) list of things you need/want to do
I find that when anxiety hits me, I cannot begin to figure out what I need/want to do so I will just sit staring blankly for hours if left to my own devices. Instead, I make a list of what I’d like to accomplish to feel like I’ve done something. Sometimes I’ll write “get dressed,” because little victories are still victories. You can also reverse this and make a list of what you’ve ALREADY done, so that you’ll be able to see quickly that you were able to (get out of bed, wipe down a counter, put something away, read, etc).

3. Diffuse some essential oils
I first tried essential oils to help with my emotional wellness, and in the past few months dōTerra has released an essential oil that has given me a lot of support with my anxiety. The Magnolia touch roller is my current go to – I apply it on my neck, wrists and behind my ears when I’m feeling anxious. Some other good ones are lavender, basil, bergamot and frankincense. Smells send molecules to the limbic system, which is emotional control center. Smells are powerful. I choose mine plant based.

4. Listen to familiar comforting noises
John Mayer, Ernie Halter + a playlist I made called “Peace” are all incredibly comforting sounds to me. This + the aforementioned things all combined is a powerful PAUSE to my system. I breathe deeper, feel a little more grounded and I honestly think that music can change the atmosphere. It’s one of the easiest, quickest ways to calm an anxious mind. You can find the Spotify playlist here or play it from this page 🙂 You are very welcome.

5. Journal

An open journal with comforting sounds and smells with a warm decaf tea can help you flush out what you’re feeling. Journals don’t tell you to get over it, give you advice, or glance at text messages. Much like we throw away expired and smelly foods, sometimes just the act of getting something out can be enough. While writing what’s bothering us, what we want to happen, and why we’re stuck, we can sometimes even identify more of our own personal ways to calm an anxious mind.

6. Pray
This one is here for me more than anyone else. The past year has been hard for me, spiritually. Justen’s asked me point blank if my current state of insecurity, unease, anxiety, etc. has anything to do with the same reasons I’ve not been going to church. and since then, I’ve not been able to shake the reality that they’re connected. So now I’m trying to retrain my faith muscle and pray and remember the ways God has spoken to me about the #1 of all ways to calm an anxious mind (spoiler: really digging in and trusting Him).

7. Go for a walk
Fresh air + sights and sounds + exercise can all help, even if the walk is down the street and back. Sometimes you just need to get out of the space that’s closing in on you for a minute. Exercise gives you endorphins, which trigger a positive response in your body that last for a few hours. Find some encouraging, uplifting podcasts and walk around while you listen. When looking for ways to calm an anxious mind, this is a lot of bang for your buck. 🙂

8. Take a nap
Put that stuff to bed, literally! Set an alarm, but allow yourself to sleep some things off. Often the things that make it hard to fall asleep because I worry about them look so much different in the morning. Sleep can be miraculous, even for 45 minutes.

 

Every day I’m trying to be a little bit better than I was the day before. Learning how to identify and figure out ways to calm an anxious mind (mine!) is great preventative maintenance before a massive breakdown occurs. Also, share your successes! Drop some things that work for you in the comments. Tell your best friend, parent, spouse or pet when you’ve quieted your mind. It’s a big deal. <3

 

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Five on Friday // My five best Goodwill Finds

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I’m going to cut to the chase: this week, we found one of our best Goodwill finds. The next day, as I was taking a shower, I was thinking about how we’ve found some REALLY COOL STUFF at Goodwill. Some of these aren’t best because of the high price value so much as meeting a need/overall use. But here are our top 5 Goodwill finds!

ONE // end/coffee table

While at Goodwill, we saw a box that was open, and when we glanced inside all I saw were gold pieces. I immediately looked up the words on the side of the box and found a photo of a beautiful gold/glass end table that retailed for $110. I immediately hugged the $20 box and asked Justen to get a cart because we were taking it home.

My mom had purchased two gray couches for us before we even knew where we’d live, and they’ve made it really difficult to rearrange most of the furniture in our apartment. After we bought the next item, we turned this table into our coffee table. I love it so much.

 

TWO // brand new ottoman

Our little living room has undergone a few different arrangements, but there’s only so much we can do with the space. After our last rearranging, I began to hunt for an ottoman. I saw some cute ones at Target, but I wasn’t about to pay $70 for them! We were perusing Goodwill one day when we saw a beautiful gray ottoman with the Target tags on it. $30 for a brand new ottoman! Again, asked Justen to get us a cart because we were taking it home. After bringing it home, we rearranged the furniture we could to complete our living room with this setup.

ps this ottoman is still on sale at Target, for $70!

THREE // smart scale

I have no idea why, but for awhile Justen was on a kick where he was determined to find a smart scale at Goodwill. We finally found one! The only bummer is that I’m avoiding that thing like the PLAGUE and Justen… well, I don’t know what his excuse is. 😉 So it’s the ONE good find that we’ve not put into use.

FOUR // t3 hairdryer

After being in the blogger world for awhile, I’ve become familiar with the t3 brand. It’s the super expensive often mentioned in the Nordstrom sales hair styling brand. When Birchbox was having a big sale, I actually bought their curling wand (don’t even get me started on the price, but I’ve not regretted it once). So when I glanced over the hair styling products at Goodwill and saw the white hair dryer with rose gold accents, I almost lost my mind.

T3 micro featherweight luxe 2i Rose Gold found at Goodwill for $7

and for $7.

I’ll take a used $7 t3 hair dryer over $20 new in box conair hair dryer ANY DAY. I took it home, cleaned off a few marks on the side and this bad boy works like a dream. It didn’t include a diffuser or anything, but I don’t care AT ALL. It was originally sold for $225.

FIVE // brand new kitchenmaid mixer

This is the one from this week! We were about to leave Goodwill with a few random things – a little Lilly Pulitzer votive and something else I can’t even remember, when we saw a stack of KitchenAid mixer boxes at the end of the checkout. For $100. My eyes got big and I asked Justen to hold my stuff while I went over to check it out, and sure enough… brand new 5 qt Kitchen Aid mixers. It’s black, which wouldn’t have been our color of choice but for $270 off/almost 75% off a brand new Kitchen Aid mixer? Yeah, that’s a no brainer.

Okay now I HAVE to know: what is the best (either cost wise or just your own personal opinion-wise) thing you’ve ever found at a thrift store? Talking about thrift store finds might possibly be my favorite past time 🙂

Linking up for Friday Favorites, Five on Friday, and High Five for Friday 

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November dōTerra LRP order

Two years ago if you had asked me “do you think you’ll ever spend money every month on essential oils?” I probably would have laughed at you and said heck no.

and yet here we are.

I thought it would be interesting if I started showing what I’ve been ordering and what I’ve been using up. People often post pictures of their massive essential oil display, but let’s be real… sometimes you have to wonder what they even do with a bazillion bottles of plant juice, haha!

November 2018 dōTerra LRP order // stephanieorefice.net

This is what our November dōTerra LRP order looked like. Let me tell you this: I ALWAYS place my monthly order on November 1st, and that’s when they launched their holiday products and I literally spent 6 hours trying to place my order. It was… fun. So I definitely watched the tracking information and darn near cried when it finally arrived!

dōTerra LRP order November 2018 // stephanieorefice.net

This is what the insides looked like. I’d also like to note this: right before I tore open these boxes, I put a piece of bread in our toaster oven to have toast. While I was taking these photos, I started noticing a weird burnt toast smell. There were people working on our roof so I attributed it to that. A few moments later it hit me like a ton of bricks: I was probably smelling actual burnt toast. And I was. So I ate the crispiest, toastiest, burnediest piece of toast while doing this.

This month, in addition to my normal monthly order, I also took advantage of some of the holiday items in our November dōTerra LRP order – and I’m glad I got them when I did, because most of them have sold out already! Dang.

First and foremost, I got these two dōTerra throat drops. We’ve had them for awhile but in the past month I’ve really started to appreciate them. The breathe ones are great for sniffles and coughs (which Justen and I have been passing back and forth for the past week or so) and I LOVE popping in an OnGuard drop before I go to the Goodwill outlet to source items for my Poshmark closet. It may just be in my head, but it helps me feel safer from any germs and nasties that are lurking around the big tables full of discarded stuff. I was so excited to get more, because we ran out towards the end of October.

These, along with the drops, are things we use on the daily so it’s more of our normal monthly stock-up. The hdclear is a face wash Justen uses every day in the shower. Honestly, I’m sometimes amazed by the way Justen has really embraced essential oils and EO products. One day a few weeks ago, Justen wasn’t feeling good and when I got up he began telling me all the ways he’d been using oils to help fight off whatever was wrong. I was laying in bed, half awake, really proud.

The fractionated coconut oil is a carrier oil to help when we’re topically applying oils. We also use it when we make our own rollerballs.

And then you can see our really boring, but super important little stash of oils. Peppermint roller because it’s so great to help soothe headaches and a bottle of peppermint because hello holidays. TWO lemons because we go through lemon like crazy. It’s the one oil that really made everything click for me. I use it to get sticky stuff off of anything I get at the thrift store, we use it daily on our face with witch hazel, and we sometimes put a drop in our tea or water.

We’re out of purify because Justen uses it every day in his shoes (though we’ve now found something else we like better). But it’s great for cleaning the air of stinky smells .

Did we need a new diffuser? No. But did I really really want the Harvest Spice blend? Yes. Did dōTerra then release the Harvest Spice blend on its own? Yes. HOWEVER. We put this new diffuser in our kitchen, and it’s been great. It’s a very Justen diffuser, and he loves the Harvest Spice blend. I’m glad we got it, because the diffuser + blend combo sold out. We love the Harvest Spice blend so much that we’ve already ordered it on its own in case it sells out before next month.

FINALLY! EVERY TIME I have gone to order these dōTerra misters, they’ve been sold out and they were finally in stock! Praise hands emojis flying all over the place. I’ve already made a linen mist for night time (Serenity + Vetiver + Cedarwood and it is DIVINE) and a bathroom spray (Lemongrass, Bergamot, Grapefruit I believe). If our apartment was any bigger, I’d seriously make a spray for every corner of this place.

Ugandan Aroma Bracelet + Beautiful Roller. This was a holiday item that’s also sold out. I love this bracelet and I love the Beautiful blend. It’s a limited edition oil that everyone loves, but I’m honestly more excited about this adorable bracelet and the opportunity to support women around the world.

aaaand another holiday item! Earlier this year, I bought a cute little dōTerra clutch for carrying around my rollers and I LOVE it. I thought this clutch was really classy and good for grabbing just a few of them. It came with the limited edition Radiant and Dream rollers, and I’m in love with the Radiant blend.

and my last items. This OnGuard chocolate bark. Last year they had truffles that were so good, so I figured we’d try these and have enough to share with our friends. It’s really rich, and the cranberries on top give it an interesting texture.

So that’s our monthly order! A lot of these items were limited edition holiday purchases, so you’ll probably never see them again. I’m looking forward to sharing what we order and actually use up to give you an idea of what life with essential oils actually looks like.

 

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Friday Favorites // Fall 2018

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Happy Friday!

This week has been bananas. Justen was home sick one day, another day there were people working on our roof and it was SO LOUD it shook the apartment and I couldn’t concentrate so I had to peace the heck out for the day. THEN we woke up in the middle of the night with a leak in our ceiling! Aye aye aye! It’s been a weird, wonky week for sure.

But here we are! It’s Friday and I’m going to share with you five of my FAVORITE THINGS I’ve discovered/am loving this fall!

friday favorites // stephanieorefice.net

ONE // BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES

Kate Spade Wireless Headphones

Oh my word, y’all. I hate the little ear buds that fall out of your ears, so when I was at TJ Maxx and saw these Kate Spade white/gold glitter bluetooth headphones I asked Justen if I’d be able to use them and he assured me he’d get them working and I am in LOVE. No strings, and they make working from Starbucks super fun (and sparkly). There’s ONE PAIR on amazon (for $110 what the heck! I paid… $30?) but I’m sure there are other great bluetooth headphones out there.

TWO // STARBUCKS

K OBVIOUSLY I love Starbucks but lately I’ve been ultra impressed with them. FIRST have y’all tried the iced maple pecan latte with cold foam because if not you need to get on that asap.

But with the whole anti-plastic movement, I LITERALLY told my friend Kristen a few weeks ago that instead of just getting rid of straws (and did they? because i definitely have had one recently) and keeping their all-plastic cups, they needed to offer an incentive for people to get reusable cups. And right now I’m sitting across from my husband who is drinking his $0.50 off peppermint mocha in his reusable cup. Actually it’s 1/2 off AND 50 cents off because happy hour.

So way to go, Starbucks. Putting your money where your mouth is.

THREE // THE BEST SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

best boy bands & 90s pop spotify station

This Boy Bands & 90s Pop Spotify Playlist is literally the best thing I have EVER heard. It’s full of N’Sync, Spice Girls, Dream, One Direction, BSB, Hanson, Boyz ll Men, Justin Bieber, and more. It’s my new favorite of ALL TIME and I cannot get enough of this playlist. I feel like I’ve been searching for it for FOREVER and now it’s finally here and I can just die happy.

FOUR // MY NEW POLYMAILERS

I think I’ve found THE MOST perfect polymailers. My whole thing is pink watercolor and gold, yeah? Well check out these polymailers I found on amazon for sending out my Poshmark packages.  I’m so happy with them!

 

FIVE // YOUTUBE

I’m not sure what’s happened, but overnight I’ve become OBSESSED with YouTube. I literally watch Plan with Me, Clean with Me, Decorating, Home Tours, day in the life… I could literally spend all day watching people perform mundane tasks. The cleaning videos especially. I can watch like 20 minutes of them before I’m ready to clean EVERY CORNER OF OUR SMALL APARTMENT.

 

Linking up for Friday Favorites, Five on Friday, High Five Friday

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1st Anniversary Trip to Seaside, Oregon

On October 22nd, I asked Justen, “does it feel like we’ve been married for a year?” and he replied “sometimes it feels longer,” and I reminded him that answers like that are fine and dandy… until we get him set up with life insurance and then he’ll need to watch himself.

I joke.

Side note: it actually terrifies me to talk to him about getting life insurance because if something happened to him shortly after he got life insurance, I WOULD BE THE PRIME SUSPECT. Like come on, I’ve seen Forensic Files. I know what’s up.

Anyway. We snuck off to the Oregon Coast for a weekend away to celebrate. Justen booked us a room at THE CUTEST little hotel room at a place called The Tides. It’s a bunch of individually owned rooms in a bigger property. Ours was the coziest little room ever, AND he told them it was our anniversary so they left us the cutest little gift bag.

The Tides in Seaside, OR // stephanieorefhice.net

The Tides in Seaside, OR // stephanieorefhice.net

Our room was about a mile from the main Seaside area but it was RIGHT ON THE OCEAN! We walked out of our room and down a little pathway and we were at the ocean! We arrived Friday night and left Sunday and Saturday morning it was so beautiful before turning SO STORMY (it was perfect). We walked along the beach for awhile.

Seaside, OR // stephanieorefhice.net

Justen taking some senior portraits for this seagull, lol

took a really cool shot of these people and their dogs, haha! Framed so nicely in the background.

We can’t take nice pictures, like ever.

It was so beautiful, but you can see the storm coming in! Which was also so beautiful. After the beach we wandered around downtown Seaside which is full of so many cute little souvenir shops and made our way into this store which made me (stupidly) wonder why I was suddenly overcome with the desire to decorate for Christmas. IDK, you take a guess…

We went to Mo’s for some clam chowder, grabbed coffee and a Redbox and then stayed inside playing Sequence and watching our movie + Law & Order: SVU. It was great and felt so special – it sometimes feels like we rarely ACTUALLY make time for each other, to just enjoy each other’s company. I feel like I’m constantly worrying about wanting the apartment to be a little more clean, or stressing out about Poshmark, or WHATEVER. But for the weekend, we had no agenda and no real worries.

After clearing out of our cozy little slice of heaven, we took a detour to Tillamook on the way home. In case you don’t know, that Tillamook cheese and ice cream y’all have comes from Oregon and they have a big ol Tillamook creamery. We went and grabbed some ice cream before heading back home. The drive was super rainy and sometimes scary but I actually love that weather for trips!

Justen made a little video of our trip and I uploaded it to my *new* YouTube channel (y’all should SUBSCRIBE! pls?) so you can see it with your own eyes.

All jokes aside, it’s so hard to believe we’ve been married for a year already. It’s been my favorite year of my life, I think <3

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