5 Tips to maintain Home/Work Balance in Isolation 

Working from home has become the new normal during quarantine. We’ve started zooming and binge-watching Netflix with equal gusto. But one of our biggest challenges has been drawing the line between work and home when it’s all happening under one roof. How do you turn off at the end of the day? How do you find balance when everyone needs you, the computer is your lifeline to the outside world and your living room is now your office?  

 

Here are 5 basic tips to help you find balance and peace as you continue to work from home. 

 

  1. Draw the line and know where “work” ends and “home” begins. That means employing physical strategies such as very specific work hours and a designated office space that is away from the home-center such as the kitchen and living room. Don’t lay on the couch with your laptop or take it to bed because you didn’t finish your emails. Set up a desk in a quiet room, preferably somewhere you can close the door when work is “over” and you can re enter home life.

    It also means setting internal boundaries too. Psychologically, working from home can be confusing. You may experience feelings of guilt from working while the kids are in the other room and conversely, have anxiety about an upcoming meeting while you’re with the kids. Have clear expectations and open communication with everyone in the family, make a calendar with play, work and personal time so everyone knows what to expect.  

  2. Keep active.  Since you can’t get to the gym or yoga studio, sign up for free classes at home. Set up an exercise zone and make the time to move.  You won’t feel balanced if all you’re doing is working and cooking and homeschooling. To maximize your mental health, take small movement breaks throughout your work day as well.  Five minutes an hour to walk or take a stretch/yoga break or even practice breath-work will do wonders for your sanity.

  3. Create a shutdown ritual. A few minutes before your “work hours” are completed, make a plan for the next day, make sure you’re not leaving any emails hanging that may nag at you and understand what your calendar is for the next day. You’ll give yourself peace of mind to close the door to reenter home life.

  4. Plan and prioritize social interactions. Right now, this means family zoom time or happy hour or a nature walk with close friends. The isolation factor is real and can quickly throw you into a depression unless you have some social interactions to look forward to. Remember, we are social animals.  Even if you think you’re okay on your own, the connection can help keep you grounded when things get rough.

  5. Give yourself grace. Working from home is hard and working at home during a pandemic is even harder. Our focus isn’t the same, because our brains are subconsciously pulling focus to our survival needs so we may feel like we’re in a constant state of brain fog. If you get any work done, you’re doing well. 🙂

Happy Memorial Day

Today we remember all the men and women who have bravely sacrificed so we can follow our dreams. For the selflessness and commitment to the greater good and country above all else. To all the veterans and active duty military men and women who have given us the precious gift of freedom. To all who have lost their lives in times of war and peace. This Memorial Day, we thank you, we honor you and we salute you.

This pandemic has given us all a little glimpse into what life would be like without all the rights and freedoms we often take for granted. It has given us a new perspective and has changed us in a multitude of ways. It has given us all a deeper respect and appreciation for the lives we have and the rights we enjoy. For the opportunities and privileges we have because of the warriors, fighters and peacemakers that have gone before us.

Happy Memorial Day in remembrance of our greatest heroes.

Love, Lotions & Lip Balm for Mom.

Mom is non-stop amazing these days. She’s cooking, cleaning and caring for everyone. She’s teacher, chef, stay-at-home worker, master puzzler and entertainer. She is amazing. Show her some love with some gifts that nurture her soul and care for her skin. Here are a few ideas on what to get the woman who loves you most.  

 

Special Mother’s Day Gift Sets (available at Target) 

More Sweet Ideas:  

 

Lip Love: Our Pineapple + Maqui Berry Natural Lip Balm is 95% organic and gives lips hydrating moisture with Macadamia Nut and Shea butters and nourishes them with an infusion of vitamin E and an intoxicating blend of virgin coconut, beeswax, maqui berry and pineapple extracts. 

 

 

For the sensitive type: 

Our Green Tea + Cucumber + Aloe Vera Sensitive Skin Lotion is clinically tested safe for sensitive skin so it will nourish, soothe and protect mom while making her feel loved and cared for.  

 

For a Mood Boost:  

Our Moisture Loving Watermelon + Fresh Mint Body Lotion is a burst of uplifting vibes and nourishing, organic extracts and Cold Pressed goodness.

 

Ways to Protect your Mental Health During a Crisis

The first weeks in quarantine might have seemed like a nice break from reality. But as time has gone on, mental health has become a much bigger concern as emotions like fear, anxiety, uncertainty, loneliness, isolation, depression and even desperation take hold.  So what are techniques or things we can do to help strengthen our mindset, elevate our well being and keep our thoughts from falling prey to those unwanted and unhealthy emotions?  

 

Care for yourself. Make sure you are practicing the simplest self care rituals by taking regular showers, baths, getting dressed, moving, cooking healthy meals and drinking enough water or tea to keep you hydrated.  Caring for yourself subconsciously speaks to your self worth and self love.  

 

Care for others. Sometimes pitching in to help others is exactly what we need to feel connected, relevant, useful and like we are part of a solution. What can you do during this time? Can you sew masks for neighbors and friends? Deliver food to an elderly neighbor or your local senior center.  Connect someone who is depressed or frightened with community resources. When you focus on others, your own issues melt away help you focus on the greater good.  

 

Connect. Schedule a family FaceTime, call your family and your friends instead of texting. Reach out.  Real connection and honest talk allows you to communicate and share in meaningful ways that have an uplifting effect on our psyche.  

 

Make a plan. In the case of emergencies, knowledge is power. Knowing what you will do if your reserves run out will do a lot to settle general unease. Write down essential emergency numbers and make a list of your state and city provisions as well as local charities for things such as meal assistance should you ever find yourself in need of it. Sometimes just knowing it’s there will give you confidence and reassurance.   

 

Limit News and Social Media. Turning on the news or scrolling through social media first thing in the morning is a direct way to depression. Keep the news off and just check in for the day’s highlights. Listen to music. Find things to “do” other than television and if you really want an update, call a friend to discuss the day’s developments.  

 

Gratitude Journal. Gratitude journaling has a profoundly positive impact on your mental state.  Just writing three things you’re grateful for each day refocuses your brain on what it good instead of what is bad. After a while, you look for more and more to be grateful for and, amazingly, you also have more and more to be grateful for.  

 

Meditate and breathe. Meditation and breath work are powerful tools for calming your mind, body and spirit. You can start simply by getting in a quiet spot, in a comfortable position and breathing deeply and slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. With every breath, inhale love, peace and abundance and exhale fear and negativity. Add prayer or visualization to your meditation if you wish. Visualize and feel in your heart what a perfect day is for you. Call abundance to you and picture what that means. Your mind is your most valuable tool in creating peace of mind and contentment. If you need help, there are apps with amazing guided meditations and many free online sessions during this time as well.  

 

Learn something new. Challenge yourself to come out of quarantine with a new skill or new knowledge, whether that’s learning to play an instrument, teaching yourself a new computer program,  mastering a new game, learning yoga, how to meditate, learning a new language or becoming an expert on one subject that interests you. If you are learning, you are growing as a person.  

 

Be in nature. Get out into the sunshine. Take your shoes off and walk in the grass. Take a hike. Bird watch.  Fresh air and being grounded in nature is a universal healer.   

 

 Be present. 95% of the things we worry about will never happen. Learn to let go of worrying or anxious thoughts and ground yourself in the present moment.  Take a deep breath. Explore your surroundings. Look at where you are at the moment. Ask yourself if you are safe. Do you have what you need at this moment? Put your full and mindful attention on where you are at your present moment.  

 

Get help. If you or someone you love needs greater attention, never hesitate to seek the help of medical professionals. A few online resources include: 

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline 

https://www.nami.org/help 

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/

When and how to wash your hands even in self-isolation

If you’re staying home, do you really need to be washing your hands as much?  

The answer is a resounding yes. Whether you are isolating alone or are in a houseful of people, washing at home needs to be a frequent activity that everyone partakes in.  

Simple things such as getting the mail, opening your front door, unpacking groceries, receiving packages all hold the possibility for the transmission of germs.  

 

There are no “official” guidelines on how often to wash when you’re staying at home, but even in non-pandemic times, the CDC recommends washing before you touch food, during food prep, after you’ve come in from outside, any time you go to the restroom, pet an animal, any time you touch another person and especially after you clean up or care for others who may be ill. During the pandemic add on to that any time you touch a door handle, take out trash, wipe down surfaces, touch clothing you wore to the store, bring packages inside, dispose of packages or had any physical contact whatsoever.   

 

A good rule of thumb is to simply wash every time you start a new activity of any kind or complete one. Following CDC guidelines on how to wash is important too. The longer this goes on, the less time we tend to spend with the lather, so don’t skimp or cut back on washing time now. Pump your soap into one hand, lather and wash vigorously for at least 20 seconds — or the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice — making sure you clean under nails, between fingers, both sides of hands and up to wrists. Then dry with a paper towel, and use that paper towel to turn off the water before you dispose of it.  

 

Following these general rules at home will help keep being “safe at home” truly safe. Stay healthy.  Keep washing.  

What My Dog Taught Me About Social Distancing

Last night my dog fell asleep holding in her mouth her most prized possessions: two tennis balls. I took a picture of it, and not just because the visual was so entirely endearing. I snapped the photo because of the realization that hit me moments before. Marli wasn’t hoarding bones or food or chew toys… or toilet paper. She was holding on to something that daily brought her joy—even while sleeping, just in case any human was suddenly inspired to play ball with her. At the end of the day, it was the positive connection with others that seemed to matter most.

In these crazy times of social distancing, hoarding and negative newsfeeds, I wonder if many of us are holding onto things that don’t bring us joy. And I’m not talking things like toilet paper or hand sanitizer or zinc lozenges, but the toxic stuff like distrust, fear, selfishness and anger. I wonder if as we close our eyes at night that our minds marinate more on what we don’t have, instead of who we have.

Yes, right now we need to socially distance from each other, but that doesn’t mean we have to emotionally distance ourselves. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to people walking past (or away from) me, their eyes lowered with no acknowledgement. But I do know that I am especially grateful to those who smile at me and say “Hi.” That one ounce of human connection can turn the we’re-all-in-this-together cliché into a comforting reality—even for just a moment.

Most of us are sheltering at home, and full transparency, it’s been challenging for me as my over-achiever self is still acclimating to shifting priorities and plans. But then I look at my dog who is probably living her best life right now, with my family playing fetch with her throughout the day. It’s a reminder for me that you have to let go of things like anxiety and fear so you can hold on tightly to everything—and everyone—that can inspire joy, even with six feet between us.

 

 

Source: Cori Linder, Forbes Communications Council Member

Self Care while Self Quarantined

More self-love. Practicing Self Care may seem like a given when you’re around the house all day, but if you’re focused on news and taking care of kiddos, it can be difficult to squeeze in or muster the energy to get out of your jammies and brush your hair, let alone take a shower. The psychological effect of being in isolation is hard. It takes incredible will and mindfulness to stay positive and productive in this unprecedented time. So how do we care for ourselves during a pandemic? I think we’re all figuring it out as we go, but here are a few suggestions that may help you in your quest to keep yourself peaceful, present, centered and cared for.  

 

Keep a Schedule. 

The most important thing you can do to care for your wellbeing is stick to some sort of routine or schedule. If you maintain healthy sleep patterns, exercise, work times and block out periods for self care you won’t get to the end of the day wondering where all the hours went. If you’re quarantining with kids, you can even give each person a block of time in solitude. Even if it’s a half hour. Everyone gets refreshed and is better able to handle a household if you are given a few minutes of peace.  

 

Practice Meditation or Breathwork.

Some of the biggest brain boosts and mental health benefits come from meditation and breathwork. Both practices will ease the body, calm anxiety, increase happiness and help you find peace of mind. Meditating on, or repeating a positive mantra is also really helpful when you feel overwhelmed, such as “I am calm. I am safe and protected and I have everything I need.”

 

Treat Your Body.  

Give yourself some serious love during this time and make taking care of your body a priority.  Soak in healing, detoxifying baths, enjoy steamy showers, pack on some hair masques and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. All the cleaning can leave your skin feeling dry so keep some deeply hydrating hand creams and body butters on hand to give yourself some lush, beautifully scented skin rejuvenation. Feeling clean and caring for yourself is a huge boost to your mood, self esteem and feeling of contentment. 

 

Turn Off the News. 

Being informed is one thing. Having the TV on 24-7 is rough psychologically and can really have a negative impact on your productivity, happiness and feeling of well being.  

Make a point to get updates, but go about your day without the news and watch how your energy shifts to a more peaceful and positive place.  

Give Yourself Grace. 
Be kind to yourself because, OMG, the quarantine snacking struggle, low energy dips and moodiness is real. Give yourself so much grace right now whether you’re feeling sad, carb loading or just can’t check in to that online exercise class –it’s all okay.

Helping Hands

Here at Raw Sugar, we are on a mission. A mission to lead with love and pay it forward.  

The very heart of our organization is our philanthropic cause, The Raw Sugar Initiative.   From day one, our Co-Founders Ronnie Shugar and Donda Mullis have been inspired to give back and express love and kindness through the accessibility to wholesome, clean products for every single person regardless of race or socioeconomic background.   The unshakeable belief that every person deserves to feel clean and beautiful is the driving force of everything we do.  

 

The Raw Giving program is centered around our message of self-love and paying it forward.  For every product sold, Raw Sugar Living donates 1 bar of soap for families in need, up to 5 million bars yearly. Every person deserves to feel clean and beautiful. Everyone deserves to feel loved whether it’s through a bar of soap, or a kind word. Let’s all pass it on.   

 

We thank all of you– Every Raw Sugar Babe and Raw Men out there buying our products, giving us a helping hand and being a part of this important mission. We appreciate you.

Everything you need to know about gratitude journaling

We’ve all heard how grateful thinking can shift our mindset, but keeping a daily gratitude journal has actually been scientifically proven to have huge benefits.  Why is writing a few words of thanks so powerful? In a nutshell, writing in a gratitude journal forces us to pay attention to the good things in life we might otherwise take for granted. In that way, we start to become more attuned to the everyday sources of pleasure around us — and the emotional tone of our life can shift in profound ways.

 

In Ariana Huffington’s book Thrive, she writes that “Gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions. It’s like white blood cells for the soul, protecting us from cynicism, entitlement, anger, and resignation.” But that’s not all. Here are some other meaningful ways gratitude journaling has been proven to help. Take a look and get out your pen to start journaling, because this is powerfully good stuff.  

 

    • Lowers Stress Levels 
    • Helps you gain a new perspective of what is important to you and what you truly appreciate in your life.
    • By noting what you are grateful for, you gain clarity on what you want to have more of in your life, and what you can cut from your life. Having that vision is the first step to achieving the reality of it.  
    • Helps you focus on what really matters.
    • It helps you learn more about yourself and become more self-aware.
    • When you make your gratitude journal a safe zone, for your eyes only, you can write anything you feel without judgment. 
    • It Increases Positivity – When you take the time to focus on the good things in your life you naturally become more positive.
    • It improves self-esteem – Keeping a journal is a very personal activity and allows you to be present with your own achievements.
    • It helps you sleep better – Spending just 15 minutes before bed writing down a few grateful sentiments can help you have a much better night’s sleep.
    • Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist has shown that negative thoughts actually change the brain chemistry and structure. Gratitude causes your brqin to release neurotransmitters and neurohormones that will boost mood, focus, clear thinking and activates a flow of quantum energy through the brain and body, enhancing both mental and physical health. 
    • It makes you happier – Showing gratitude means you are acknowledging the goodness in your life and by writing these things down you are able to feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, and build stronger relationships.

 

  • On days when you feel blue, read back through your gratitude journal to readjust your attitude and remember that you have great people and things in your life.

 

 

Our Raw Sugar Living Daily Ritual

You only need to do a cursory google search on daily rituals to get some really interesting ways successful people structure their day and stick to a set of rituals — or habits — that ground them and give their day structure. Daily rituals can be anything you do on the regular, from mindset to self care practices. Benjamin Franklin started his day day with the question “What good shall I do this day?”. There are serious dry-brushing devotees, but here at Raw Sugar Living, we have our own little routines that help us face the day feeling beautiful, refreshed and good-to-go.  

 

Generally we like to wake up before the sun so we have a sense of peace and a little extra time to nurture our bodies. And before we hit the shower, have warm water with some lemon or tea and spend 10 minutes deep breathing and or doing gentle stretching to wake up our bodies. 

 

Shower. Here’s where the good stuff comes in.  

—We start the shower with whatever our favorite smelling Body Wash is for that day. We keep a few in the shower so we can match our mood to our scent. The Cold Pressed essential oils and botanicals in our products turn the shower into an aromatherapy and mood lifting experience. Our current go-to is the new White Grapefruit + Rosemary scent for days when we want that spa-like, uplifting and fresh feel. 

— Use a Sugar Scrub to exfoliate. Especially now when skin is dry from winter weather. It gives our skin a smooth, refreshed look and leaves the most velvety veil of moisture on our skin so it has that dewy glow to it.  

— We keep a lip scrub in the shower to exfoliate our lips too.  

— Detox the hair. Our new Scalp Therapy collection helps us remove all the junk thats accumulated on our scalp, like product build-up and pollution residue that hinders the growth of long, strong hair. The activated charcoal and tea tree extracts, lift that out, leaving our hair and scalp super clean and totally revived without stripping it of the essential oils we need for shine and vibrancy.  

— Out of the shower we moisturize. Hydration is a biggie with us. Both internally and externally. Right now with the weather, we’re all about Body Butter to make us feel extra moisturized and protected against the lack of moisture in the air.  

— Hands get a little extra love and attention with our Micro Algae Hand Cream, made with a progressive blend of Algae, Sea Kelp and Ashwaganda Root extracts plus skin plumping hyaluronic acids and nourishing plant peptides for an anti-aging and skin softening boost. 

 

—Before we head out the door, and all throughout the day, we swipe on our current favorite flavor of Natural Lip Balm, like the yummy Raw Coconut + Mango to soften, soothe and protect our lips with their 95% organic formula.  

 

Our daily ritual gives us the confidence of a totally clean body, a beautifully fresh smell and feel and revived spirit to take on our day.  

A little Raw Sugar Love

Crafted and produced in sunny SoCal, Raw Sugar Living is a natural lifestyle brand on a mission to promote clean and healthy living through products that are good for the body and nourish the soul.

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