(Disclaimer: This post features a product gifted to me in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)
I learned from a young age that my environmental aesthetics mean a lot to me.
I remember being 11 or 12 and asking my mom to paint my room seafoam green because in was “my color”.
I still have the cherry blossom prints I specifically picked out to go with my perfect cherry blossom comforter set for college.
I’ve purchased and repurchased items for apartments or houses as I’ve moved, just because previous items didn’t match the aesthetic (thank GOD we’ve found our long-term house!).
So, yeah, I like decorating. But even more than appearances, as I’ve gotten to know myself better, I’ve learned that I actually really rely on my environment for anxiety management. Heat, and bright unnecessary lights overstimulate my senses and can trigger anxiety or even panic. Clutter and untidiness are constant reminders of things I need to do and prohibit me from relaxing (as I write this, I’ve gotten up 3 times to pick up choking hazards the baby has pulled up from who knows where…). I can’t have the TV running while doing something important and I am extremely sensitive to music, especially when already anxious.
When I knew we would be spending WAY more time at home in the past few months, I immediately went into whirlwind nesting mode. I knew that in order for me to maintain my mental clarity and health at this time I would have to make our home a sort of sanctuary, or a place that I loved to be.
What are some of these ways?
Don’t ignore the olfactory. Though I think there is a lot we still need to learn about essential oils, there is strong evidence that aromatherapy can be a powerful tool in combating mood disorder. There’s some evidence that specific oils themselves, like lavender, trigger calm, and there is plenty of evidence that you can train your brain to make positive associations with scents (even locker room smells!). I diffuse essential oils in three rooms, careful to use only 100% essential oils. I also dab some on under my nose, neck, or collarbone before yoga or meditating. Some favorites are sandalwood, rose, and lavender!
Green up your space. Y’all, I used to be one of those people who rolled her eyes at “plant ladies”…until I became one. I can’t sing the praises of introducing plants into our home enough. Humans are such a part of this planet, and I truly believe we are meant to be surrounded by it’s natural beauty as much as possible. Plants are pleasing to the eye, help clean the air in your house, and I find it rather meditative to take care of them each day. Plus, there’s plenty of proof that having indoor plants improves mental health.
Make time for tidy. I, too, have heard the age old trope, “The mess can wait,” but having too big of a household mess makes me a WORSE parent. I can’t concentrate on my children when we have a huge household mess because I’m too busy focusing on what I need to do to clean up the mess. Admittedly, I’m also often stewing about how messy my family is when there’s too much clutter about! Again, there’s plenty of evidence that mess equals stress (find more in this post). By setting aside a little time each morning to tidy up at least a little, I feel like I’m setting up our day to be orderly and, as a result, calmer.
Sound off. Like I mentioned above, I can’t tolerate certain sounds or music, sometimes more than others. At times, our house is just quiet, and I hone in on and enjoy the sweet sounds of my infant cooing, or really focus on the conversation my daughter and I are having. But sometimes it helps set the mood to play soft, calming music (the Lumineers a and Simon and Garfunkel are favorites of mine!). When I’d like something more than silence but music is too much, I’ll ask our streaming device to play “nature sounds”.
In addition to calm for me, it’s also important to make our home comfortable and health-promoting for my family. We’ve been working on how we clean every part of our home, including the air.
Enter, the Molekule Air Mini+!
If you’ve been following along with us on Instagram, you’ll know my 9 month old was hospitalized for respiratory distress when he was 5 weeks old. This event was extremely triggering to my anxiety, specifically health anxiety, which for me looks like obsessing over any and all perceived symptoms I or my children have and constantly thinking there’s a hidden health problem lurking, waiting to pop out at any time. Add a worldwide pandemic on top of my existing mental loop and it can spiral quickly. There is a lot of internal work I do to try and manage this obsessing, but doing what I can control to ensure a clean environment helps, too.
We had been looking for an air purifier for our room for some time when Molekule reached out to me to inquire about a collaboration, so I was thrilled to give their product a try in exchange for this post.
The Molekule Air Mini+ is meant for small spaces 250 sq ft or less and has two key features: it’s particle sensor and Auto Protect Mode.
The particle sensor detects the amount of particulate matter in the air of the room in which the device operates. The sensor is easy to find and you can connect your phone via app to keep track of the particulate matter the device has sensed.
Working hand in hand with the particle sensor, Auto Protect Mode is super helpful for busy parents like me because it automatically adjusts the device’s fan speed based on what the sensor detects. These two features mean the Molekule Air Mini+ is working in real-time to capture and destroy particles in the air like pollen, dust, and other air pollutants.
What sold me on trying the Molekule Air Mini+, besides it being a beautiful product, is that the Molekule PECO filter works differently than other filters. Where other air purifying filters trap particles from the air, the patented PECO filter also destroys particles, including mold, allergens, bacteria, and viruses on the molecular level. It eases my mama mind to know that while we’re at home almost all day every day, we have truly clean air to count on.
Finally, the device is also easy to set up, energy-efficient, and extremely quiet…we run it all night!
If you’re looking to promote clean air in your household or business, Molekule is offering a discount for my followers! Use code 10MAY20MINIP on Amazon to save 10% off of a Molekule Air Mini+ through May 31, 2020. (Please note: this code will only work with this Molekule product and is only valid one per customer)
I’m really truly happy with our Molekule product, and appreciate how it adds to a soothing home environment for my whole family along with the tips above.
Do any of my methods for cultivating a calm home resonate with you? How do you promote a positive mood in your home?