5 Ways to Relax
Mental clarity is extremely important when it comes to your health. If your mind is stressed, your body is stressed. Science has shown that stress can lead to a variety of illnesses. This guide is for you to use if you're ever feeling too overwhelmed with life and you need to take a breather. There are lots more ideas than what I have listed here, but these are the ones that I've tried and that I do often.
Bath: I love using a cup of Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender essential oil when I take a bath. Lavender is known for its relaxing aroma and it smells really good, too. I turn all the lights off and have one candle burning. If I want anything extra, I will put Youtube on my phone and listen to meditation music. There's a great channel that I follow called Meditative Mind and it's perfect for releasing the built up tension that I have after a hard week.
Chamomile: I love hot tea! Hot tea seems to relax me, no matter what type it is. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the warmth? Chamomile is known to help release melatonin and seratonin which makes it great for relieving stress. I like to drink a cup of hot chamomile tea before bed some nights to help calm me down for a good night's rest.
Breathing: Breathing properly is key for relaxation. Ever noticed how meditation focuses on your breathing? Our minds are overloaded with information and we're continually adding more and more information. Our brains are on data overload, which causes us stress. When you first try to relax and focus on your breathing, you immediately become aware of how hard it is to focus because your thoughts are running haywire. Don't let that frustrate you. Try to stick with it for a few minutes and it should get easier. Practice this regularly and you will eventually become a pro!
Creativity: About this time last year, I decided to paint two of our rocking chairs that are on our front porch. They just needed a little sprucing up. So I gathered my paint, turned on the radio and started painting. I can't tell you how relaxing I found that to be. It could have been the weather, it could have been me singing to pretty much every song that played or it could have been the act of painting itself, but either way, it released the stress and anxiety that I was feeling. So if you're artsy (or not), find something that will take your mind off your anxiety. It could be painting, journaling, reading a book, gardening..the options are endless.
Social apps: I spoke about the Youtube channel in the above infographic so I won't write about that here. I would like to talk about an app called Pacifica. Over a million people use this app! It's the app to go to for anxiety, depression and stress. It helps you track your moods, to become mindful of your thoughts and practice meditation. It gives you daily goals to complete and each day asks you how you are feeling. You rate your mood for that day and you can choose to write about why you're in this said mood. It also has a peer chat where you can speak to others that are on the app, even though I haven't tried that yet. You can always track your health - how many glasses of water you've had - how much caffeine you've had to drink. This is beneficial because the lack of water or more than one cup of caffeine can affect your mood and the way you sleep (which can also be tracked).
If you find yourself being stressed, find whatever it is that works best for you to de-stress and become centered with yourself. If you have anxiety and/or depression, I would love to know what works best for you!