In this thing called life, we strive for health and happiness, however stress and anxiety have taken over as demands and uncertainties have increased. With the start of a new year, we are given the opportunity to renew ourselves and leave behind the past stressors and anxiety provokers. We may be feeling emotional or physical tension, anger, frustration or nervousness. Turns out these are all typical signs of stress. It’s a natural response in the brain and these physical responses can powerfully impact our whole beings. In reaction to feeling more stressed, our bodies feel drained and fatigued. This is so common for many and know you’re not alone.
While this last year may have looked a lot different than any year prior that we have experienced before, it doesn’t mean there’s no room for the looming stress to sneak its way into our plans. However, remember you have the power to say good-bye to stress and anxiety for good! With less time worrying comes more time for you to focus on fun, rewarding tasks and activities.
Sounds good to me, but how can I make this happen?
I’m so glad you asked! It’s about making lifestyle changes and creating new healthy habits to release the stress and increase your energy for the beautiful moments life has to offer, especially during this next year!
Today, I want to share with you some simple, practical and natural ways to reduce the mental mess and anxiety that creates hindrances in our daily lives.
Make some time for YOU
Over the next two months plan at least a few times for you! Maybe take yourself out for a coffee date and get your journal out. Write about anything on your mind. Treat yourself to a spa day (if possible) or make your own day at home. Take a few long walks outside enjoying the cool, crisp air and take in the scenery around you. This can have tremendous impacts on your mental and spiritual health, ultimately leading to a less stressed you. One of my favorite ways to enjoy time alone is by taking a warm bath with a few drops of essential oils. Below are some great options of oils to use:
Lavender- This is by far the most sought after oil for relaxation and anxiety reduction. The smell provides a soothing and peaceful aroma promoting balance and mood boosting benefits. Did you know it can also be used to help treat headaches?
Eucalyptus- While this oil has a strong very distinctive scent, it’s well known in the world of aromatherapy and widely used in spas. It has a refreshing and stimulating effect that not only helps one feel calm, but also energized and refreshed.
Bergamot- Many don’t realize the amazing powers bergamot oil provides. Maybe you’re a fan of earl grey tea. Then it turns out you’ve already befriended this wonderful oil! The tea is blended with bergamot (food grade) which is the wonderful aroma you smell when sipping on a cup of Earl Grey! It’s harvested from the rinds of citrus fruit and is famed for its soothing scent. Furthermore, it’s a popular ingredient in many candles and air fresheners. To use, add 2-5 drops to the bath water or burn a candle nearby that contains bergamot.
Not only are these three oils so beneficial for providing stress reduction and promoting relaxation, they smell absolutely delightful!
Fuel, rest and move your body
In addition to making time for you, this also means keeping your body healthy inside and out. Load your meals with veggies and fruits with lots of plant proteins. Eating consistently will help your energy levels and blood sugar remain stable, in addition to your mood. Getting enough sleep is something I’m sure we could all be better about. Sleep overall helps your brain and body function more effectively throughout the day. And lastly, when it comes to being consistent in your health, make some time for exercise. Figure out something you actually enjoy doing. Maybe you like to play tennis, go for a walk in the neighborhood, sweat it out at the gym or bike on some local trails. The goal here is movement, getting your heartrate up and don’t forget enjoyment! Yes, you can enjoy exercise; it’s a matter of finding what you like!
Stay off technology when possible
We live in a techy world. Whether we are marketing, answering emails, zooming for meetings, building a brand, in one way or another it involves being on our laptops or phones. While we can be very productive when using them, they can also be quite distracting and even lead to negative mental spirals when mindlessly scrolling through social media. How many times have you caught yourself doing this? I know I sure have….many times. We see what others are up to and start comparing our lives to theirs, etc. This is not helpful at all to our mental wellness. I suggest setting a limit or alarm on your phone to turn off your social media at certain times. Further, one of the best things you can do is turn all devices off 2 hours before bed. This will help your body prepare for sleep by producing melatonin naturally. Remember sleep is imperative for reducing stress and anxiety! When we use our devices, the blue light actually hinders the production of melatonin which means we will have a harder time falling asleep and prevent us from sleeping soundly. Our goal is a sleep we wake up from in the mornings feeling energized and ready to take on the day. There is a time and place to technology and it’s not before bed!
Laugh and have fun daily!
This is one of the best ways to really let stress go. I personally like to plan fun into my week so I can ensure it happens. Yes, that’s right, I schedule fun! I encourage you to do the same. Plan a family game night, zoom date with friends, take a new class on something you’ve always wanted to learn like a dance, art or yoga class. It may take you out of your comfort zone at first, but I can assure you, you’ll be glad you did it and who knows maybe it’ll become something you look forward to every week!
While following these ideas above won’t eliminate all stress, they will certainly aid in reducing the existing anxiety while jointly creating healthy new habits that will allow you to enjoy life with a greater capacity for fun and enjoyment. Even if you just start incorporating one of these ideas into your week, it can make all the difference. Remember I believe in you, you’ve got this!