While mantras and the dedication to more self-care and health practices are a beautiful way to press reset year-round, a lot of us forget how important it is to nurture our most sacred space. And by that I mean, our homes. While the outside world comes with stresses and responsibilities and chaos, your home very much embodies the eye of the storm. There you find peace, tranquility, and solace. And because it does, you shouldn't be afraid to elevate the way you think about it and how you make it work for you. Dare to do something different as you set your intentions for the rest of the year. Turn your home into a place that takes care of you.
Give these 10 feng shui tidbits a try and ignite a positive and nourishing energy shift in your life for 2022.
1.Keep Your Entryway Clutter-Free, Well-Lit, and Laced With an Inviting Aroma
Everyone who enters your home will take on the attitude and energy that greets them when the front door opens. Your entryway should inspire guests to bring only the happiest, healthiest parts of themselves into your home. We all have baggage, but bright paint and a fragrant scent will encourage your grumpiest neighbor to leave their negativity at the curb. Clutter-free means no trash, no stacks of mail, no piles of shoes, no shovels, and no raggedy coat racks in the doorway.
Make sure your home's entrance is saying, "Girl! Come on in here, so we can relax and have fun" as opposed to, "Ugh! What took you so long? I'm drowning in here!"
2.Designate a Place for Guest To Leave Their Shoes
For centuries, ancient Chinese feng shui pioneers have followed this rule: do not wear shoes in the house. Shoes carry gum, mucus, feces, and much more from the street into your home. Allowing people to walk around your home in their shoes is the equivalent of walking through Times Square barefoot. Secondly, letting shoes be worn in your home energetically represents people carrying their problems into your residence. As you can imagine, other people's issues to settle into your space can seriously interfere with your home's peace and positivity.
Do yourself a favor and always have the guests leave their shoes and their troubles at the door.
Tip: Keep a small basket of ankle socks on hand to offer those girlfriends whose toes haven't seen a pedicure in a while.
3.Protect Your Kitchen
The kitchen nourishes the family both literally and energetically. Anything that sustains you is worth protecting. It is best if you cannot see into the kitchen from the front door. Do something to cover your kitchen doorway. Energetically, visible access to the kitchen from the front door gives way to problems with nourishment-related health problems.
Tip: Use all four fires on your stovetop when cooking. Most people (especially singles) tend to use the same jet repeatedly. In feng shui, putting all stovetop jets into action energetically balances your body's health.
4.Shut the Bathroom Door (and Put the Toilet Seat Down)
Bathrooms are physically and energetically set up to "get rid of" what we no longer need or want. We all use the bathroom to wash away dirt and release other bodily things we are too ladylike to mention here. But did you know that bathrooms will energetically wash away your finances as well? Keeping your toilet seat up and the bathroom door open is the energetic equivalent of saying, "Here, take my money, I don't need it." So next time bae heads to the bathroom, tell them to put the lid down because your bank account depends on it.
5. Be Sure the Living Room Doesn’t Feel Like a Museum
Living rooms should be set up for conversation. It is the room where "living" (being with loved ones, communicating, enjoying good company) is supposed to take place. Seating should be set up fairly close together, clutter-free, cozy and inviting. Furniture set far apart or lined up along the walls does not encourage "living" or togetherness. It's okay for the living room to look like the cover of ArchitecturalDigest, as long as it doesn't feel like the Smithsonian.
6.The Bedroom: Sleep, Sex and Solitude
There are lots of fun, feng shui facts about the bedroom, so take note. Bedrooms are the lungs of the home where deep breathing (relaxation) should take place. Bedrooms are best when placed at the back of the home, where the energy is more yin. Every bed should have a headboard because, when we rest at night, energy from the universe enters our bodies through the tops of our heads. Too much cosmic intake can be overstimulating and disrupt your sleep. And lastly, do not store items underneath the bed. Doing so symbolizes underhanded, sneaky, or backstabbing behavior from others.
7.It’s Electric! (And Unhealthy.)
Electrical currents are harmful to our human bodies. In modern times, it is hard to avoid. Nevertheless, there are things we can do to decrease our electrical exposure. What your grandmama said about not sitting so close to the TV is correct but the most vital place to reduce your contact with electrical currents is in your bedrooms. Free your bedroom of all electrical items like TVs, radios, and electrical alarm clocks.
If full-on monastery mode is not your cup of tea, then at least unplug the electronics before you sleep. Just plug everything into a power strip and turn the strip off at night. For those who sleep with their cellphones, try and break that habit by sleeping with all electronics a minimum of four feet away from the foot of the bed. And, yes…that includes your cellphone as it charges overnight.
When shopping for a table, keep this in mind. The most uncomfortable tables are those with a glass tabletop. Fear of breaking or cracking the table is a visitor's worst nightmare. People can't help but feel tension when they have to place something on a glass table. The stress is distracting and takes away from good conversation and fun activities. So, when you're redecorating, swap the glass out for wood, leather, or some other less fragile tabletop.
9.Big Windows and High Ceilings
When choosing a new home or apartment, be sure the top of the window frame is higher than the tallest resident or frequent overnight guest. Short window frames give college baller bae -- that uneasy, trapped feeling. We don't want that energy creeping into our relationship.
10. Place a Protector Near the Entryway
Every queen needs protection. Feng shui suggests using a talisman at or near your home's entrance as a tool of security and an attractor of good vibes. Different cultures have different talisman items. The Chinese culture likes the Bagua or fu dogs, while a home of African descent may choose an Ankh or the Eye of Ra. The choice is yours.
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Featured image by JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images
Originally published on October 24, 2019
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The first big leap was moving to a new city and getting settled into my new home. The next big leap? Was finding community and belonging. Moving to a new city excited me! I looked forward to having my own apartment, decorating it, and exploring what the city had to offer. I also found excitement in the thought of meeting new people and expanding my connections. When it actually came down to it, I felt nervous. I heard that making new friends as an adult can be hard because we all have different responsibilities and schedules that may not align. I knew in order for me to really feel at home in my new city, I had to create community.
Having a community of people who I can share memories with, lean on in times of need, and inspire each other is something I always valued. I took a moment to truly center in on what I desired from the new friends I would make. Then I realized it all would have to start with me. I had to be centered and confident in who I was to attract who I desired to be aligned with. As someone who moved to a new city and established quality friendships, I gathered these six tips that helped me feel grounded and create community in hopes that it will help you, too.
6 tips to start building community and making new friends in a new city:
Sean Anthony Eddy/ Getty Images
Be true to yourself
Do you know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in three words, what words would you use? In order to develop deep friendships, you must be a friend to yourself first. Know what refuels you and what zaps your energy. Self-study your habits and why you do the things you do. All this will be important to keep in mind when looking to create bonds with others. Every day there’s all kinds of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, or what you should wear. At the end of the day, the only opinion about yourself that truly matters is your own. Spend some alone time with yourself indoors or out at an event you like to truly discover who you are in this season of your life.
Pray about it
Before you step out into the world and cross paths with all kinds of people, it’s important to pray about building your community. God outlines what true friendship looks like in numerous Bible verses such as "Iron sharpens iron." - Proverbs 27:17 and “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you desire friendships that last, pray about what you seek in friendship. I remember praying for mentally stable, happy, and whole women who moved through life with abundance mindsets. Take a moment to journal about the community you want to build and then pray on it.
Go to fun events to meet people who share your interests
Most metropolitan cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Atlanta are known to have strong young professional communities and events where you can connect with others. I highly encourage you to attend events in or near your community to see what the city is like and meet people. It’s likely that the people at the event have the same interests as you, which is a great way to start a conversation. You can start by searching for events on Eventbrite or following Instagram pages that highlight events happening in your city.
Carlos Barquero/ Getty Images
Accept that you won’t be compatible with everyone you meet
While living in your new city, it’s likely you’ll meet a variety of people. Please know that everyone you meet will not bud into lasting friendships, and that’s okay! You are uniquely created and not made for everyone. Then you’ll meet people who are good for only surface-level connections, and then you’ll have your girls who you can get deep with. I think sometimes people can look down on surface-level friendships, but not everyone needs to fully know you. That’s a privilege to have and to accept within yourself. Continue to check in with yourself and be real about who you crave to spend more time with and who is nice to see for a monthly or quarterly catch-up.
Join Facebook groups & GroupMe chats
If you haven’t used Facebook in a couple of years, it’s time to dust your profile off. Facebook Groups is a great place to join online communities for people who just moved to a new city like you. Typically, you have to agree to the group’s guidelines, and then you can join. For example, you can search for groups in the Facebook app by using keywords like women, Black girl, or [the name of your city] foodies. With the GroupMe app, you’ll have to be invited to join an already existing group. While you’re out and about networking, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re in any online groups/communities they recommend you join too.
Be friendly to folks in your neighborhood
When I first moved to my new apartment, I spent the first week walking around the complex and working in the community spaces to get a better feel of it. I was able to meet people in my neighborhood, enjoy small talk, and learn more about what the community has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone and work in your apartment’s community space or a local coffee shop to connect with others.
Overall, you may feel alone in your new city, but I guarantee you’re not. There are other people experiencing living in a new city too, and all you need to do is find each other. I hope these tips help ease the nervous feelings you have about building a new community and inspire you to make a new friend today!
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