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This is the page that I will use to keep track of how my environment (both weather and surroundings) effects me. It's more for my benefit than anything else, but maybe it will give you a place to start looking if you're trying to identify your environment "do"s and "don't"s. The lists will fluctuate over time, I'm sure. I'll try to keep it as up-to-date as possible.
I have split this page into 2 categories: Environments that Hurt and Environments that Help to make it easier to find specific items at a glance. Environments that Hurt will be any weather/surrounding that makes me tired, changes my mood negatively, gives me IBS-type symptoms/nausea (yes, that can happen), etc. Environments that Help will be any weather/surrounding that improves my mood, gives me energy, improves my health, etc.
Environments that Hurt
- Cold. This is a huge trigger for me. As soon as I get cold, I feel pain, which can make it impossible to do what I need to do, which makes me depressed, etc.
- Mess. I am not a neat freak, but piles of laundry, dirty dishes and floors, unmade beds, etc. make me feel like a failure which depress me. I need to do a little cleaning every day to keep up with 3 little kiddos, a hubby and a cat or it gets overwhelming.
- Negative places. By this I mean being around people who are negative or gossipy or places where there is a lot of chaos or violence. It stresses me out and gets me in the negative zone and away from God.
- Dreary days. Days were it's dark and dreary are hardest. They effect my mood more than I can say. I have even gotten ill from being so depressed on days like that.
Environments that Help
- Warm. I have to carry a sweater or blanket with me to make sure that I can always get warm if I need to. This helps the aches and pains a lot. Heating pads are also wonderful. :)
- Church and other positive places. Being with God's people, with my family and other wonderful friends and extended family are always a good thing. It keeps me positive and happy, and it's good to know people are praying for me. The hugs are nice, too. :)
- Clean. As I said before, doing a little every day helps me tremendously. Asking for help is sometimes needed, but as long as it gets done, it's good. :) I feel so much better when I am looking at a clean house than a messy one. Besides, I'm not tripping over toys, and who likes to step on Legos? :) I'm just grateful that my kiddos like to help clean and are great about picking up after themselves.
- Gorgeous days. I try to take advantage of any day that is beautiful, whether it be a clear, crisp autumn day, a bright, cheerful summer day, a frigid, yet blue-skied winter day or a spring day filled with blooming flowers and sun. Those are the days I relish and look forward to, along with days with family and friends. Those days make you feel alive and loved and whole.
- Aroma Therapy. I have found that certain smells (i.e. mint, chai, vanilla, lavender, pumpkin, apple, cranberry, berries, leaves) have a positive effect on me. They either make me smile or relax me. It's great for me to have some of those scents around in the form of candles, soap, lotion or Wallflowers at all times, especially during "emergencies" if you know what I mean. :)