Stress can either be, all consuming or just under our radar, but it’s usually an unavoidable part of modern life. How we deal with it, though, to me at least, is the key to our health, happiness and sanity. I don’t profess to be any type of wellness expert, but I’ve had my fair share of stress over the years and have either found my own ways to de-stress or watched others.
There are small things that we can do daily, to instantly calm worry, over worked nerves and mental or even physical fatigue. There are also some bigger things that can be done to alleviate stress in the future, like saving money, removing negative influences or even making life changes. For most of us though, especially moms, its more about trying to manage the after effects of a jam-packed day of running from errand to errand or a long day at work. Here are just a few ideas, most are no-brainers, but work none the less:
A Bubble Bath: A long soak in the tub, with scented bubble bath or even just a few drops of essential oils can ease away tension and muscle aches, too. Lavender, freesia or eucalyptus are my favorites but any scent you like will work. Epsom salts are said to remove toxins as well as aches and pains, adding them to a bath would be great, if you can.
Music: Soothing music can lift the spirit and take your mind to another place.
A Chat with a Friend: Sometimes just getting things off your chest, with a friend can help relieve worry and of course laughter has been known to relieve stress. This is assuming your friends make you laugh, mine do 🙂
A Book: This, of course, is my personal favorite method of de-stressing. Books allow you to escape those everyday worries as the storyline unfolds, so do the tense muscles in your body and your worried brow. Sometimes, stepping away from your problems, if only for an hour, can help your subconscious mind work on a solution to what’s worrying you.
A Pot of Tea: This seemingly magical elixir can warm your soul from the inside, like no other food or beverage can (at least without ruining your liver). A cup of tea, while breathing in the steam from the cup will soothe away the stress and drinking it will giving your body a much needed anti-oxidant boost. I think herbal teas are the most calming. No need for expensive blends or loose teas if you don’t already have them. My tried and true favorites are Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer and Honey Vanilla Chamomile, among others.
A Long Walk: Fresh air and some exercise can help clear the mind, lower blood pressure and boost endorphins (that “feel good” hormone).
Sunshine: Vitamin D, if you want to feel good try getting a small boost of vitamin D each day the good old fashioned way: outdoors. Even in the winter, the sun struggles through and a walk in the snow can be invigorating.
Massage. There is tons of literature out there on the health benefits of regular massage so, I won’t bore you with the details, but I do have first hand knowledge of how well it can truly de-stress the body and mind. I do work for a massage studio, the best in my opinion, (Elements Massage), so, of course, I’ll be a bit biased on the subject. Let me just say this, after watching people day after day, go into their massage a hot mess of tension and come out, glowing wet noodles: it works!
Some days I feel like, if I were a car, my “maintenance required” light would be on and flashing red. For days like those, I might have to try all of the above to calm down, but I do. How do you de-stress?
There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. ~Bernard-Paul Heroux