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Ten Tips: Being Home for the Holidays

Ten Tips: Being Home for the Holidays

Holidays can be an emotional powder keg when the family gets together and all the dysfunction you thought you left behind creeps back into your life, but returning home isn’t the time to exorcise your inner demons. Here are some tips to help you to be more comfortable with the contortions of family drama:

1) Be discrete. Don’t give out too much information that you will later regret: not having seen you for a while, your family will be curious about your life. Provide enough detail to satisfy without offering intriguing lines of inquiry—about your sex life, for instance.

2) Don’t drink too much. See above. Not only will you feel terrible the next day but you might say things you’ll regret. Having a large glass of water between drinks may help.

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3) Don’t try to even up the score. This is a lousy time to seek revenge or get back at family members for past indiscretions. Doing so is liable to open a whole new can of worms and have unpredictable results.

4) Be curious. This is a good tactic to deflect attention from you: asking talkative family members about themselves will keep the focus off you. After all, you aren’t the only one who has changed.

5) Don’t take the bait. Petty arguments often arise when there is a lot of stress and many people in the room. Avoid taking sides or taking the bait when the bickering starts.

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6) Avoid boredom. Being back at home for long stretches of time can be dull. Plan activities with friends or family members outside of the house, as this time can be a great opportunity to connect one-on-one.

7) Check your expectations at the door. You may be dreading going home or you might even feel full of joy, but either way, you are bound to be disappointed. Keep an open mind and be with what is—just expect that things will be different from what you anticipated.

8) Find support. As supportive as your family might be, we still need a reality check once in a while. Have friends or family members on hand whom you can trust with your feelings to give you feedback and support. This might be through chat, via phone or in person. Introverts could spend time alone and journal if necessary.

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9) Take a break. Be good to yourself. Find time for activities you know you will enjoy like meditating, reading, listening to music, going for walks or exercising. Being back home can produce intense emotions, so give yourself time to work through them and replenishing your spirit. It will also give family members space.

10) Don’t take offense. You’ve been away and things have changed. You might be feeling left out or out of step with those around you, but remember that it’s not all about you—after all, you are the one who left. You want to be treated as an adult, so don’t expect the holiday to be the same as it was when you were ten.

Featured photo credit: Christmas Light display via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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