My Benefits of a Weighted Blanket

*This post contains links and product suggestions. I have not been paid for these – this is purely my own experience and review.

 

I heard about weighted blankets a long time ago because a friend of mine had purchased one. She said she absolutely loved it and after that I completely forgot about them until recently. I don’t remember exactly how(probably an online ad) but I started becoming interested in them. I read reviews and posts about them and how life changing they were for some people. I also came across an article that someone wrote about their child who has AD/HD and how beneficial the weighted blanket was for them.

In my post about my mental health, I mentioned that a lot of changes have been happening in my life the last few months. I’ve been switching between a few medications and had a new diagnosis that I was trying to work through. Just recently I had another doctor appointment where they are questioning another diagnosis for me and the potential for another medication switch. Basically there’s still a lot going on for me and my health and I’ve been doing my best to find my coping mechanisms.

And now we get to the weighted blanket! After reading several articles about how they’re very beneficial for people with mental illnesses I was hooked on wanting one. There are many different kinds out there but the one I have is The Calming Comfort Weighted Blanket. From their website, here is how they explain how the blanket works: The Calming Comfort™ Weighted Blanket applies an even amount of pressure over your body to help the production of serotonin and melatonin (the body’s primary sleep hormones), simulating Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation. It feels like a warm hug, immediately sending you into a state of comfort and relaxation.

Knowing this and the information I found from the articles, I was very eager to get one. I have a few mental illnesses and I also have a hard time sleeping. The sleeping part I always struggled with, even as a baby! It always takes me a long time to fall asleep and when I do, I constantly wake up throughout the night.

Okay, fast forward to actually getting the blanket. *This is not an exaggeration* It literally feels like heaven. I immediately snuggled up with it on the couch and having all that weight on me felt so good. Not to mention it’s extremely soft too! My first night sleeping with the blanket was one of the best sleeps I had had in a long time. I woke up feeling refreshed and actually well rested. Now I know you’re probably thinking, ‘Well Kait, how do you REALLY know that it was working?’. One night I went to bed without the blanket. I had it nearby but was just too lazy to grab it. Nothing changed during my day or in my normal routine. I did everything as I normally would have, took the same medications, and had my same bedtime routine. I had also been using the weighted blanket for about a week every night already as well. That night I felt SO distressed! I couldn’t get comfortable and when I finally fell asleep I was awake maybe 30 minutes later. This went on for a few hours. I eventually grabbed my weighted blanket and fell asleep shortly after – and stayed asleep.

Ever since then I have used my blanket every night and the occasional cuddle on the couch. I have been falling asleep faster and staying asleep the entire night. I wake up feeling well rested and comfortable. It’s been very rare that I wake up without anxiety anymore! I highly recommend you give the weighted blanket a try. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or AD/HD then this blanket is truly a great gift. It’s also helpful for those that have an issue being touched by other people. Some of my friends, myself included, don’t necessarily prefer to be touched when we’re having an anxiety or panic attack. Some don’t like to be touched in general. For them it’s not a great way to get them to calm down; it only amps up their anxiety. This blanket could be an option for them as it will stimulate the pressure stimulation without having to feel another person on them.

Check out their website and find more testimonials about the blanket!

Minimalists + Gifts

We’ve reached the first week into the new year! By this time all gifts have been exchanged between families, friends, and coworkers. Decorations have been put away and you’re starting to get back into your work mode. I can assume that there are gifts still lying around that you haven’t put away quite yet. Perhaps it’s because you don’t necessarily need the gift. Being a minimalist can be tricky business when it comes to receiving gifts. You may like the item but not need it or you simply don’t like it. So what do you do with it? In previous years, if I received these kinds of gifts, I would stash them in a place where they’d “belong”. Received some lip gloss? It went in a random bathroom drawer. Article of clothing I didn’t like? Shoved it in some corner of my closet only to be seen again in a few years.

minimalists and gifts picture

So what are we supposed to do now? Get rid of the gift. 

Okay, that came off a little harsh but it’s true! You appreciate the gift but it unfortunately serves no purpose in your life or fits your lifestyle. So why keep it? Why let it go to waste and collect dust? There are plenty of options out there and all of them are okay! Let’s begin.

 

  1.  Return it. Did you receive a gift receipt? Awesome! This is the easiest way to take care of an unwanted gift. This gives you a chance to go to the store and either find something you like/need or gives you an opportunity for store credit that can be used in the future.
  2. Sell it. This one can make you feel a little guilty but I promise it’s okay! Let’s say you received a jacket that didn’t fit you. There was no gift receipt and the person who gave it to you no longer has a receipt for it. There are plenty of apps, websites, and stores you can go to to sell any unwanted items(not just presents!) You can either get something in return or get cash that can be used elsewhere! An added bonus? This item will eventually be purchased by someone else who will love and appreciate it! Win-win!
  3. Re-gift it. Make sure to use this one wisely. You may already feel guilty about not wanting to get rid of this gift so make sure you aren’t re-gifting it to the person who gave it to you. I am 100% a fan of re-gifting. Throughout my many moves I’ve found so many things that I never opened or used. I’ve sold or given away things but I’ve also re-gifted some items! It does help save you some time and money but it also lets you bring happiness to someone else. The item was not useful to you and just sat in storage for who knows how long!? Now it has a chance to be out in the world and appreciated by someone who really needs or wants it!
  4. Save it. For minimalists, this kind of goes against what we want to work towards but I cheat with this rule every now and then. If you know it’s something you’re going to need in the future and will use it, save it! I’ve stated in a previous post that I have some tupperware and other kitchen items saved in storage. Is it taking up some space? Absolutely. Am I going to need these for when I move out? DUH. I was reading a minimalist post once where they said to go ahead and get rid of them because it’s an item that can be purchased in the future when you actually need it. Look, I get it. It eliminates some space but some people are not financially able to do that. Why would I donate a perfect condition tupperware set just to buy another one in a few months to a year!? Madness. You know what else I have in storage? Plates. My brother and I went in on my mom’s Christmas present together this year and got her a new dining plate set. So what did she do with the old sets we had? She gave them to me and my brother. They definitely aren’t the kind of plates I aspire to have but they’re free and that’s one less thing to worry about when finding a new apartment! Into storage they went and it’s another thing I can cross off my list.

 

There you have it! I have used all 4 of these tips since becoming a minimalist and dealing with the birthday and holiday seasons. If you’re anything like me, I know you’ll have some guilt at first. You’ll just need to keep the positive thoughts in your head! The item was meant to be used and loved. If you’re not going to be that person then it deserves to find the perfect owner!

6 Christmas Tricks and Gifts on A Low Budget

Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays. Growing up in Minnesota, I loved being out in the snow and seeing frost on the trees. One of my favorite traditions was going out to a tree farm to get our beautiful Christmas tree.

Even with the beautiful weather, amazing traditions, and fun events, Christmas is one of the most expensive holidays. Depending on your family size, friends, or your co-workers, gifts you want to give start to multiply quickly! In order to help prep you for the holiday, here are some tricks and gift ideas that I’ve used!

Christmas Budget

 

Trick #1 – Ebates. I swear by this website. I had seen commercials about it all the time but never really thought much of it. Then last year around Thanksgiving, a coworker of mine was telling us how she uses Ebates and loves getting money back for her purchases. After I signed up I became hooked. I do a majority of my shopping online anyway and they even offer in-store cash back as well! It’s easy and free to use! Newest additions: Get cashback for Lyft rides and Doordash orders!

Use my code here to get a free $10 to you!

 

Trick #2 – Buy early. It doesn’t seem like much of a trick but trust me it will help you in the long run! I’m not a fan of large crowds, especially at the mall. I dislike being at the mall and avoid it as much as I can. When holiday season rolls around the crowds only get worse. I start my Christmas shopping about mid-November. I start planning who I want to get gifts for and budgeting. I also scope out any deals I can. This includes preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a no-brainer that this is a great time to buy your Christmas presents. Almost everything is on sale and for amazing and unbeatable prices. Want to hear something even better? Pair these sales with Ebates and you’re bound to save the most money and get money back while doing it! Not to mention you’ll have your Christmas shopping done ASAP and take away some holiday stress off your plate. Win-win-win.

Trick #3 – Take online surveys. I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again because it’s a great way to earn some fast money! There are many survey website out there and each offer different rewards. Most rewards are gift cards to major retailers(ie Macy’s, Amazon, Target) but other rewards can include airline points, spa gift receipts, and physical possessions. This comes in handy to either give to other people or use to get the gifts.

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Christmas gift #1 – Putting together a holiday bundle from the dollar store. There’s no shame in it! You can find so many great gifts especially around the holiday season. One year for Secret Santa at work, I went to the dollar store and created a cute little Christmas bundle. I took a Christmas mug, some chocolates, a Christmas themed pen, and a small amount gift card to Starbucks and put it in a fun bag. It’s extremely easy, has that wonderful Christmas feeling, and inexpensive!

Christmas gift #2 – Homemade sweets. Food is the best way to someone’s heart! Last holiday season I made so many sweets at home that were good for my low sodium diet. I brought many to work with me and they were gone in a day! I had coworkers requesting I make them again for them. You can get very creative with it too! One recipe I had was for spiced nuts. It took less than an hour to make and they can go in a fun, decorative tin and be given as a gift. Christmas cookies are always a big hit and there are so many different kinds out there. Baking is inexpensive and the fact that they’re homemade brings a warm and special touch to the gift.

Christmas gift #3 – Re-gifting. There are a lot of opinions on whether or not it’s okay to re-gift. I personally don’t see a problem with it as long as you don’t re-gift to the person that originally gave it to you! With all the moves I’ve had in the past several years and now being minimalist, I’ve found plenty of unused or unopened items that had been sitting around doing nothing for months. I knew I was never going to use any of them and there were some items that I knew would make perfect gifts for some people. With this method, not only are you saving money, but you’re also getting rid of clutter from your home. Those gifts deserve to go to a person that will love and cherish them instead of sitting in some corner of your home collecting dust.

 

Hopefully these tricks and tips will help ease some of your holiday stress this season! Keep the conversation going in the comments below!