Saturday, December 26, 2015

Feng Shui for Seniors

Me and my Mom!
I am excited to welcome back contributing author to the world of Feng Shui. Helen Gaynor, freelance writer, has gifted us with some fabulous Feng Shui advice. As we age, Feng Shui actually becomes more important to our well being - whether living alone, in a assisted living facility or a nursing home. Our physical environments affect us no matter what age we are and it is vital to our physical wellness and mental health. Enjoy!


Feng Shui can have an impact upon everyone, no matter what their demographic. The way in which our environment affects our lives is becoming an increasingly acknowledged phenomenon, scientifically and psychologically speaking [1] – something which practitioners of Feng Shui have known for generations. However, the increasing acceptance of many Feng Shui principles by the establishment is opening the discipline out to a greater audience. This is great, as there are many groups of people who can seriously benefit from Feng Shui. The elderly are one such group. Making the environment in which our seniors live can have some extremely beneficial effects. Here are just a few ways in which Feng Shui can be used to help the elderly.


Balance Out ‘Yin’ Energy


Due to a number of factors, including reduced income and mobility, the homes of seniors have a tendency to allow encroaching ‘Yin’ energies to predominate. The space may become dark, cold, cluttered, and generally uncongenial to health. This in turn can make seniors more vulnerable to issues like depression and substance abuse, to which they are already (sadly) predisposed as a demographic. An inability to afford things like heating and air conditioning ensures that air fails to circulate as it should and the life energies of the home become passive – stagnant, if you will. Sadly, it's also not uncommon for reduced mobility to result in a reduced ability to perform simple cleaning tasks, which may end up encouraging things like mildew - not good from either a Feng Shui or a health point of view! Doing things as simple as opening windows, going round with a duster, and freshening up the home with lighter curtains, live flowers and so on can help to restore the positive balance of energies – essential for preventing chi entropy. Keeping the energy within the home vibrant and balanced will help to ensure that your elderly loved ones have a better quality of life.


Clear The Clutter


We accumulate an awful lot over the course of a lifetime, and many items have precious associations which encourages them to keep them close. However, this does not mean that they have to be strewn haphazardly around our homes, or make our rooms seem crowded with 'stuff'. Furthermore, elderly people may become less able to keep on top of their homes when it comes to tidiness. It is essential that clutter is not allowed to get a hold on a senior’s home. Not only is a cluttered, messy environment profoundly bad from a Feng Shui perspective, it can also present a considerable health hazard. The older we get, the more at risk of falls we become [2]. Clutter puts the elderly at greater danger of tripping. Furthermore, it can actively reduce our ability to process information – not ideal if you’re trying to cope with age-related cognitive decline as well. If clutter becomes excessive, it can also put people in psychological danger – encouraging misery and depression. Of course, sometimes clutter can be a sign of something more sinister [3]. Compulsive Hoarding Disorder presents a huge variety of risks both mental and physical [4]. If your loved one is proving excessively resistant to de-cluttering, it may be worth getting them a psychological assessment, and perhaps some professional help.



Make Your Presence Felt


Filling the home of a vulnerable senior who lives alone with your vibrant, kind, human energy can be profoundly uplifting. Spending time with your loved one and doing your best to make their home a more positive environment can in itself improve things. Loneliness is a great scourge for the elderly people of today, so just being there for them and letting them know that you care will be a great help. If you can also use the time to clean up, tidy up, improve the flow of energy, and generally make the environment a more positive, balanced, and vibrant one then that is a bonus. At a time when many of us feel that we are losing control and losing touch, having someone to help bring the environment into line and spend time with us really can make all the difference to the way in which we live our lives.


[1] “How the environment affects mental health”

[2] “Important Facts about Falls”

[3] “When It Isn’t Just Clutter Anymore”

[4] “The Dangers of Too Much Stuff”

Monday, January 12, 2015

Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sanctuary And a Retreat

I am excited to welcome  a contributing author to the world of Feng Shui. Helen Gaynor, freelance writer, has gifted us with some fabulous advice for creating a sanctuary in our Bedroom - one of the most important rooms in our homes. Connected to our physical well-being, mental health, self-love and of course our most intimate relationship, the Bedroom reigns!

Enjoy!



If you’re new to the art of Feng Shui, then you may find the concept of giving your home a complete Feng Shui makeover may seem completely overwhelming. However when you start applying Feng Shui principles to your home you’ll quickly find that you feel more relaxed, more calm, and more compassionate. Not sure where to start? The very best place to begin is in your bedroom, as being able to sleep and unwind in a calming and balanced environment is important, and this is the room that will have the biggest impact on your wellbeing once Feng Shui principles are applied. [1] Here are a few hints and tips for turnings your bedroom into a Feng Shui sanctuary where you will immediately notice your mood are sense of wellbeing are improved:


Breathe Deeply


You cannot have a good night’s sleep in a room that is stuffy or full of pollutants. To achieve good Feng Shui in your bedroom you should be mindful of the quality of the air in the room and ensure it is as clean and fresh as possible. [2] You can achieve this by opening the window as regularly as possible, or by investing in a decent air purifier to keep the quality of the air as high as possible. Although plants are great for improving the air quality throughout your home[3], it isn’t good Feng Shui to have plants in your bedroom., particularly if you have a relatively small bedroom. If you have a very large bedroom though, and are loathe to remove any plants that you love, then you can keep your house plants in your bedroom provided you keep them as far as possible away from your bed. 



Immediately Improve Your Mood


If you regularly feel drained of energy and often express negative emotions then it could well be that the lack of Feng Shui in your home is affecting your overall well being. When you are experiencing these kinds of negative emotions, you are likely to struggle to show compassion for yourself [3] and even experience feelings of self-hatred and demonstrate seriously low levels of self-esteem. Learning how to show compassion for yourself can give you both an emotional and a physical boost, and you will find this much easier to achieve if you are living in an environment that has a well-considered Feng Shui balance. 
There are several simple steps to help you achieve self-compassion; these include acknowledging when you make mistakes but then forgiving yourself and moving on, and simply cutting yourself some slack. Give yourself permission to move on to better things and to let go of the things that become unimportant to you or that weigh you down: this refers to both emotions and people, and also to your physical possessions too. Regularly decluttering your bedroom and removing anything that doesn't make you feel good or emphasis any positive affirmations is an important step towards having a bedroom that feels like a sanctuary and enhances your mood. You should also remove your computer, TV, exercise equipment and any other electronic equipment from your bedroom. These have no place in the room you choose to sleep in, and will destroy both your feelings of well being and the Feng Shui energy of the room.

Light and Color


As human beings, light is our most important nutrient so the lighting of your bedroom is very important. Because our moods vary so greatly, one kind of bedroom lighting simply isn't enough; to create a great Feng Shui energy in your bedroom, therefore, you should ensure you have a wide range of lighting options. Install a dimmer switch so that you can adjust your overhead lighting options, and purchase several toxin-free candles, as these are the very best form of Feng Shui lighting. [5] Light and Feng Shui go hand in hand, so getting your lighting right is the most important thing you can do to create a positive Feng Shui energy in your bedroom.

Just a few small tweaks can help to improve the Feng Shui energy of your bedroom and this will have a massive effect on your mood and energy force. Once you start the process of improving the Feng Shui energy of your home, you'll find that you love the way it makes you feel and you'll quickly want to do the rest of your home too. 



Additional Reading

[1] “Feng Shui tips to turn your bedroom into a retreat”, Health.com, http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307149,00.html[2] “The perfect Feng Shui bedroom”, Feng Shui and Beyond,
http://www.feng-shui-and-beyond.com/feng-shui-bedroom.html[3] “15 houseplants for improving indoor air quality”, Mother Nature Network, http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/photos/15-houseplants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality/a-breath-of-fresh-air[4] “5 Tips For Improving Self Compassion”, Recovery.org,
http://www.recovery.org/5-tips-for-improving-self-compassion/[5] “Lights in Feng Shui”, World of Feng Shui,
http://www.wofs.com/index.php/tip-of-the-month-regularfeatures-48/150-lights-in-feng-shui