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Guest Blogger Suzie Wilson: What You Should Know About Grief, Loss, and Sleep

If you’ve lost someone you love, you know that grief can come crashing in like waves. You feel normal one minute and then completely lost the next. Grief is such a complicated process that can take time to fully process. However, if your grief is causing you to miss out on all-important sleep, it’s time to start asking yourself some serious questions.


Is It Time for a Change in Your Bedroom?

Losing a loved one can make it feel as though time is standing still, especially when you lose a spouse. Immediately after your loss, you may not feel up to making any big changes around your home. But in time, think about whether altering your bedroom could help you get more restful sleep. You can start with small touches such as adding quality sleep gear to help improve your bedtime routines. New smart sleep technology, like the FitSleep or Nox Smart Sleep Light, use lights and sounds to help you fall asleep faster. A white-noise machine can also be helpful (you can find one for under $20).

When you are ready for a bigger change, you can also add more relaxing colors to your bedroom walls. Calming earth tones like blue, gray, and brown can help relax your senses when you are in your room and help you get more restful sleep as you work through the grieving process. Try to avoid any bright colors or limit any vibrant shades to an accent wall or trim.

 

Are You Taking Time for Real Self-Care?

 Mourning the death of someone you loved and lived with can make even mundane tasks seem like a lot of effort. Self-care tends to fall to the wayside when you are experiencing immense grief, but if you are not sleeping, that lack of self-care could be an issue. For one, regular exercise, as difficult as it may be right now, is absolutely critical in maintaining healthy sleep habits. This is especially true for times when stress is the source of your sleeplessness. Exercise helps reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, in addition to burning any excess energy that is making it difficult to relax. So, try to get a brisk morning workout in a few times a week, or find another physical activity that helps take some of that stress and worry away.

You can also hire help around the house to give you some relief, such as lawn-mowing or cleaning services. If you’re going to hire anyone, make sure you can manage the expense. For example, the average cost of hiring a lawn-mowing service is $49 – $219.

Finding other ways to relieve stress and worry, like journaling, can also help you improve your sleep quality. Finally, pay special attention to what you eat. Comfort foods such as pizza, ice cream, and chocolate can soothe your emotions but when you eat certain foods before bed, you could actually be disrupting your sleep quality.

 

Has Your Grief Reached Unhealthy Limits?

 When you have tried changing your bedroom and you still cannot get enough sleep, it may be time for more help. While everyone experiences grief in their own way, some people may find themselves slipping quickly from normal stages of grief to complicated grief. This intense form of mourning can mimic depressive disorders, but it’s important to note that these conditions are quite different. You still need to seek medical care in order to process complicated grief, but chances are you will be able to recover at some point.

To help make your grieving process a bit easier, try to avoid activities that affect your sleep and can lead to unhealthy habits. For instance, having a drink or glass of wine before bed may seem relaxing, but alcohol actually prevents restful sleep and can develop into an addiction when used as an emotional crutch over extended periods of time.

 The truth is that you may never fully heal from your grief, but that’s okay. We can mourn the ones we’ve deeply loved and lost for a lifetime, in our own way, so long as we learn to live our lives outside of grief. That means practicing self-care, getting enough sleep, and gathering enough strength to pick up those scattered pieces and carry on with our lives again.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2019 in Health

 

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Guest Blogger Suzie Wilson: Downsizing Tips For Seniors

Friends, Elderly, Old, Man, Woman, Couple

While it is not inevitable, many seniors will downsize their living situations as they enter their 60s, 70s, and beyond. For these individuals, the options are usually either to buy a new, smaller home or to move into an assisted living center. If you find yourself facing this decision, you may be intimidated by the process. The good news is that it does not have to be overwhelming, and the following advice can help you along the way.

Which Is Best: Assisted Living or Aging in Place?

If you know that a move is necessary but have yet to decide where the next chapter of your life will take you, you will first need to consider your health. If you have trouble with activities of daily living (bathing, toileting, dressing, etc.), then an assisted living facility may be your best bet. While each facility is different, most provide basic assistance for seniors with a mind for independence. In the Los Angeles area, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $17,860 per month depending on the level of care and amenities.

When you do not yet need assistance but realize that you are not as capable of cleaning a large home, ascending stairs, and navigating narrow hallways, downsizing to a smaller house is a sensible option. Talk to your realtor about finding a home that incorporates elements of universal design. Universal design means the home is laid out in a way that accommodates people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Look for features such as a stepless entry and a single-story floor plan. Cost-wise, buying a smaller home may be more of an initial upfront investment compared to assisted living, and you will be responsible for your mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, and other personal expenses. However, this allows for the most independence.

 

Prepping for a Big Move to a Small Space

Now that you’ve made your decision, you’re going to need to start handpicking furniture and other personal items that will make the transition with you. If you’re moving into a single-family home, space will be your only real constraint. However, instead of just throwing things to the curb, put no-longer-needed furniture and household goods to good use by donating them to a local charity. Updater.com explains that this comes prepackaged with both tax benefits and the knowledge that you’ve kept unnecessary items out of the landfill.

Moving into an assisted living apartment may require you to pick and choose more carefully. There are many items that are frowned upon or downright prohibited in a senior living community. Call your community representative if you are unsure of their policies.

 

Navigating the Emotions

There is no way around the fact that moving, for whatever reason, is an emotional experience. It is also one that is deeply personal. If possible, give yourself plenty of time to pack and say goodbye to your home, neighbors, and community. Remind yourself that you are moving with a purpose. This might be for more opportunities to socialize or to move into a home without stairs to minimize your risk of falling. When your upcoming move comes on the heels of losing a spouse or longtime partner, the process may be even more emotionally challenging. Don’t be afraid to talk to your family and friends if you need a listening ear.

It’s time to enjoy your retirement. But remember, know what you can — and can’t — take with you, and be prepared for an emotional experience. The journey may not always be pleasant, but the end result will be a safer and more comfortable you.

 

Image via Pixabay

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Guest Blogger Suzie Wilson: Four Easy Habits to Keep Your Home Tidy

Cleanliness, Maid, Maintains, Cleaning, Household

 

It is not an overstatement to say that a clean home is a happy one. Unfortunately, life can get in the way of having a tidy house. Keeping your residence free of clutter and mess doesn’t have to be time-consuming, however. Maintaining a routine of easy tidiness habits can really add up to create a relaxing home environment.

 

Simplify Cleaning

Cleaning your home can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Try to make cleaning your home a regular habit, such as daily quick sweeping and taking out the trash. Make vacuuming and mopping a weekly task. Choose specific rooms to focus on each day. This process of elimination can make cleaning your home more manageable. It will be important to give particular attention to areas that are easily overlooked. Get in those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, including behind appliances, and clean baseboards and the inside of cabinets. If you have a large family, do laundry daily, or a couple of days a week if you live alone. This might sound intensive, but it can keep your dirty clothes pile from accumulating and give you a healthy supply of clean clothes. Not seeing clothing piles or dust and debris everywhere can go a long way to helping you relax.

 

Tidy As You Go

Little things accumulate: dishes to be washed, garments piled high, toys to be put away. It adds up and can make cleaning feel onerous. One way to reduce the list of stuff to do is by addressing issues in the moment. Tidy your bed after you get up, load the dishwasher after you have eaten, and put clothes in a basket when you get home. If you are wearing a coat, put it in the closet. Ensure that spills are immediately dealt with, and wipe down surfaces with an antibacterial wipe after using sinks or counters. Even filing important documents once they have been read can go a long way to keeping a house tidy. It’s a simple approach that can quickly become instinctual. The less you have to deal with, the more you will be able to relax and not have to worry about growing cleaning duties.

 

Utilize Specific Storage

If tidying as you go is to be fully effective, you will need ample storage. Fortunately, anything can act as storage, be it cupboards, hangers, baskets, and even mason jars. Storage is the perfect way to declutter and keep your home organized and less oppressive. Designate areas for specific groups, such as mason jars for pens and pencils, baskets for laundry, and a drawer for miscellaneous items or things that are candidates to be discarded or given away. Make it a habit to use specified storage daily by taking ten minutes or so to look for out-of-place items. This approach will ensure items do not accumulate, leaving your home feeling more spacious and clean, as well as making the process of decluttering smoother and less stressful.

 

Organize Chores

One of the best ways to keep on top of chores is a schedule. Fill it in with tasks you would like to see done, perhaps in specific areas. This easy habit can help cleaning appear less daunting and give incentive to get things done. You could use a schedule to aid in the delegation of chores to family members. Convincing children to get involved might sound like a thankless task, but it can have rewards. Start off small, such as reminding your kids to put their toys and plates away after they are finished with them. A schedule can really help your little habits add up, minimize the stress of cleaning, and keep your home ticking smoothly.

 

A clean home is a great place to be after a long day. Use storage effectively, tidy as you go, and organize the process of cleaning so that it doesn’t become overwhelming or stressful. With these simple tidiness habits, you can ensure your home is a place where you can relax without chores hanging over your head.

 

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 
 

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Guest Blogger: Suzie Wilson: 3 Smart Options For Your Home!!

Photo from pymnts.com

If you want your home to stand out in a market full of so-so properties, a great way to do so is with smart home automation. Smart home features make life more convenient and add a futuristic touch to your house. Many of the best features on the market help make your home more environmentally-friendly, which can also save you big bucks on utility bills. Whether you’re getting ready to put your home on the market soon or you just want to add some appeal with the possibility of selling in the future, these smart home automation features make your house stand out from the pack.

Note that while many smart home features are easy to install yourself, you’ll want to hire help for anything that involves electrical or plumbing work. Fortunately, hiring a professional shouldn’t set you back too much. For instance, the average cost to hire an electrician in Los Angeles should only cost you about $189 to $602.

Smart Lighting

Lighting is a huge part of staging a home for sale. Smart lighting systems give homeowners more control over their lighting while allowing them to customize it in cool new ways. Smart lighting uses LED bulbs and strips that are more expensive than your average lights, but they are also more energy efficient and long-lasting, so they end up saving money in the long run. The light bulbs connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network so you can use your smart hub or assistant to control lights with voice commands. Many systems can also be controlled by a mobile app you access on your smartphone or tablet.

 

Smart Refrigerator

A smart refrigerator may seem excessive at first glance, but once you’ve lived with one, you’ll never want to go back to an analog fridge again. Smart refrigerators connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and feature internal cameras so you have access to what’s inside at all times. Simply check your feed via the refrigerator’s mobile app on your smartphone or tablet. Furthermore, they have a touchscreen interface, so you have the convenience of the internet right in the kitchen. Take inventory of what you have in the kitchen, and program it to your refrigerator’s system to come up with a list of possible recipes you can make for dinner. Never worry about forgetting your grocery list at home again– with a smart refrigerator, you can access your to-buy list anywhere and everywhere.

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Smart Thermostat

While old-fashioned thermostats can be fickle, smart thermostats are intuitive. These innovative heat and AC devices learn your family’s behaviors and preferences while monitoring the weather so it can automatically adjust to your liking. Not having to fiddle with your thermostat to make your home feel just right saves more than just your sanity– it will also save you money. Your home’s AC and heating system doesn’t have to struggle to change rapidly. Rather, it gradually adjusts itself without overexerting your HVAC system. Like a lot of other smart home features, smart thermostats connect to your home’s Wi-Fi so you can control it via a mobile app or your smart hub if you integrate the two.

Smart home features may not add much to your home’s asking price, but they do help your house stand out in a market full of the same old stuff. Not only do smart home features make your home more convenient, but they can also help save you money on utility bills. Smart lighting is incredibly customizable and adds appeal when staging your home to sell. A smart refrigerator helps your family stay on top of their food consumption and meal planning, and smart thermostats keep your home comfortable without putting too much strain on your energy consumption.

 

Suzie Wilson ⎸info@happierhome.net  ⎸Happier Home

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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