Feng Shui tips for your bathroom

Feng Shui is the art or harmonizing the energies in any give space. To put it simply, arranging your home properly can bring good fortune to those who live in it, while “bad Feng Shui” can potentially bring misfortune.  But these basic principles of Feng Shui are certainly nothing new to you. What might surprise you, though, is that there is a room in your home that could greatly benefit from the positive energy… and it probably does not. Many articles and Feng Shui books completely ignore the bathroom, which is considered to be somewhat a negative place, where energy gets lost, and which should best be isolated from the rest of our home. Through the pipes the energy can drain, and Feng Shui aims at recirculating the energy throughout your home, not let it go to waste.

Well, this might have been true in the past (and keep in mind that Feng Shui is a thousands of years old art), when the bathroom was only used for our daily necessities. Lately, though, it has become a room for relaxation and wellness, the place we go to when we want to unwind – either by taking a long hot bath, enjoying a hydro massage or pampering our skin with a nourishing amazingly smelling mask. And, before running to buy a bathroom chandelier and a Swarovski engraved lavatory, first think about the best ways to minimize the loss of energy and transform your bathroom into a vibrant space, dedicated to wellbeing and relaxation. Here are some useful tips and tricks:

Save the energy!

How to prevent energy from draining out of your bathroom? It’s quite simple! Use a drain stopper for the bathtub and the sink. If you have a shower curtain, keep it closed at all time. The toilet lid should also stay closed – for Feng Shui reasons, but also for health reasons. According to Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor of microbiology at University of Arizona in Tucson, quoted by www.webmd.com, flushing the toilet with the lid up is not wise. “Polluted water vapor erupts out of the flushing toilet bowl and it can take several hours for these particles to finally settle — not to mention where,” he says. “If you have your toothbrush too close to the toilet, you are brushing your teeth with what’s in your toilet.”

Also, if your bathroom door is facing the entry door, keep the bathroom door closed at all time. The energy you have when entering your home is extremely important and should not be lost whenever you walk through the door.

The bathroom door should also stay closed if you can see the toilet from your bed. Watching the toilet is never pleasant and it’s important that you focus on something nice/inspiring/relaxing before going to sleep.

For obvious reasons, you should also keep the bathroom door closed at all times if your bathroom is very close to your kitchen.

Balance the water element with some earth

In the bathroom the water element predominates, through the water in the pipes and the mirrors (which also represent water), so you need to balance it by adding the earth element. You can do that by using darker, earthy colors, terracotta accessories, fluffy towels and carpets in the colors of earth.

Hang a crystal from the ceiling

Now is the moment to think about that chandelier. However, if a crystal chandelier is too much for your taste, just hang a simple crystal from the ceiling. It will help guide the energy upwards instead of letting it drain down the pipes. Also, crystals are used in Feng Shui to bring balance.

Light candles

It’s a great way to bring the fire element to your bathroom, fire being believed to have the ability to keep negative energies under control. For instance, you can use a ceramic diffuser and enjoy your favorite essential oils at the same time with harmonizing the energy in your bathroom by bringing together all the elements.

Fight negative energy

Place wind chimes in the North-Est and South-West areas of your bathroom. The sounds they produce help dispel negative energy. However, do not overdo it! Avoid buying wind chimes that are very complex, colorful or painted with various symbols. Opt for the simplest ones you can find.

Other useful Feng Shui tips:

  • The bathroom floor should not be higher than the rest of the house.
  • Besides earthy colors, the best colors to use in your bathroom are blue and green. They attract peacefulness and prosperity.
  • Decorate your bathroom as you would any other room. Use paintings, decorative items and anything that makes you want to spend more time there.
  • Keep your bathroom clean and organized at all times. Use baskets, wooden boxes and anything that helps you better organize the (usually) small bathroom space.

10 Tips for Amateur Gardeners

“Gardening can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get physical activity, beautify the community, and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables.” And though we completely agree with everything, it’s not us who said it, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (check out their page on Gardening Health and Safety Tips).

If you’re reading this article, you most likely by now know about the benefits of gardening for the health of your body and mind. But let’s go through them one more time. According to several studies, gardening has mood-boosting benefits, it is a healthy form of aerobic exercise, it decreases the risk of dementia, it increases hand coordination and strength (which is important especially in older people), it boosts the immune system and gets you that necessary daily dose of vitamin D. There is even an article from NASA focusing on the beneficial effects of gardening on improving feelings of isolation, loneliness and stress, which are common in astronauts who are part of long-duration missions in space.

Ready to get back to your plants? Just hang on for a few more lines. We’re going through some useful tips and tricks that every gardener should know and use.

  1. Be creative with your pots

You don’t have enough pots for your seedlings? No problem! Improvise! You can use citrus peels (cut the lemons or the oranges in half and use a spoon to remove the pulp without breaking the peel; you can also use pomelo peels as permanent pots for smaller plants), any metal or plastic cups, or even egg shells. Pierce a hole at the bottom of your pots to drain excess water and you’re good to go!

2. Protect your tools

Don’t let your tools get rusty – literally. To protect your gardening tools, put them in a clay or terracotta pot filed with sand mixed with mineral oil.

3. Protect your plants while you’re away

If your plants are planted directly in the ground, they will probably be just fine for a week or so, even if it doesn’t rain. The roots can reach the deeper soil layers of the ground. If they’re in pots, you can improvise a simple homemade system to keep the soil moist. Roll a paper towel and put one end of it on the ground, in the pot, and the other one in a glass of water. The paper towel will gradually absorb the water and distribute it to the plant.

4. Get more plants for free

You can grow more plants from basil, thyme, mint, oregano, lavender, lemon, sage or rosemary simply by cutting some branches and holding them in a glass of water until they grow some roots. Then just plant them and you’ll have a new bunch of plants without any extra expense!

5. Repel mosquitos and house flies

If you want to get rid of mosquitos and house flies, plant basil, lavender, mint, rosemary, citronella, lemon balm, marigolds, peppermint and geranium! They smell and look great and they are the best known natural bug repellents.

6. Contain your plants

Some plants tend to grow large roots, which can affect the other plants around them. A simple solution for this is to remove the bottom of a plastic pot (use one that has some depth), put your plant in it and bury the pot in the ground. This will give you control over the size of the root system of your plant.

7. Use milk as a fertilizer

The proteins, vitamins, calcium and sugars in milk are beneficial for plant growth. Just be careful when you “feed” them! Milk can stimulate the growth of bacteria and it can stain the leaves. Mix a cup of water with a cup of milk, spray your plants with it, wait for a few minutes then wipe all the leaves that haven’t absorbed the solution.

8. Prevent mold

To prevent mold from forming in your pots, all around your plant, mix together some crushed eggshells and coffee and sprinkle them on the ground.

9. Try a homemade fertilizer with egg shells, banana peels and Epsom salt

Banana peels contain potassium, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, sodium, and magnesium, which are essential for plant growth. Epsom salt is also rich in magnesium and sulphur and the egg shells contain high quantities of calcium. For this recipe you will need 4-5 banana peels, 2-3 egg shells and 1 spoon of Epsom salt.

Leave the banana peels and the egg shells in the sun and let them dry. When they’re completely dry, crush them into a fine powder. Add the Epsom salt. This quantity is sufficient for approximately 33 fl oz of water. Put the water and the powder in a spray bottle, mix thoroughly, and then fertilize your plants. Do not spray the leaves, but just the soil around the plant.

10. Keep it clean

To prevent the soil from escaping the pots through the holes at the bottom of your pot, you can put a coffee filter inside each pot, underneath the soil. This will still allow the water to drain, but will keep the soil in.