Guest Author - Aimee Wood
Nearly everyone can relate to the negative effects of stress. Stress can wreck havoc on the body and cause major medical issues when left unchecked. Take the situation into your own hands by using these very simple yet effective methods.
1. Set time every day for a little self care and pampering. Schedule it into your calendar or set a timer if needed. Change it up and do something different each day. The point is to make the time and stick to it.
2. Get a massage or foot rub. Whether it is a massage from your partner or from a professional, your body will be put into a state of relaxation and the stress will melt away.
3. End each day with a warm soothing bath. The warmth of the bath relaxes the muscles and melts away any worry. Use maybe 1/2 cup of Epsom salts with some lavender. The magnesium in the Epsom salts and the soothing oils of the lavender make an excellent combination.
4. Upon awakening or before bed try some restorative yoga. It doesn't have to be a long session, but it can be. Simple poses found on YouTube or some simple stretches combined with deep breathing can have a very relaxing effect.
5. Making tea. The simple act of slowing down, brewing some water, and steeping the tea leaves can melt the stress away. In particular, chamomile tea acts like Valium does, calming the mind down.
6. Journaling. Have a stressful day or moment? Need to get it out but don't feel comfortable sharing it with everyone? Write it in your journal, don't keep it bottled up. The act of getting out stressful thoughts provides a safe release of those emotions.
7. Creating art. Love to paint or draw? Tapping into your inner creative side can be relaxing. Even if you don't consider yourself an artist try some Zentangle, which has been called "yoga for the mind". The basic idea is to create repeating shapes and patterns to create a picture. Zentangle books can be found in bookstores and libraries.
8. Meditation. Sitting still and just following your breath while allowing your thoughts to pass over you can be deeply relaxing. Meditation is so powerful, many people make it a daily practice.
9. Herbs and Supplements. Always seek the help of a trained doctor but here are some supplements that are helpful for your nervous system. A list of some supplements are: B vitamins, passionflower, fennel, feverfew, hops, chamomile, valerian, magnesium, omega-3 oils, theanine, taurine, ashwaghanda, and GABA.
10. Exercising is not only good for your body but the endorphins that are released melt your stress levels away. So, put on your headphones and your favorite music and get running or walking. Don't pick an exercise routine that you don't enjoy, this will only create stress. Pick something you love and that provides joy.
It's unfortunate that stress seems to be so commonplace in our society and that people often look for that quick fix and turn to medication. Try out these alternative stress busters and implement them into your daily routine, always schedule some time for you!