11 Tips + Tricks To Unwind & Keep Your Sanity Till Summer
To be frank, stress plays a role in all our lives varying in degrees of severity given mostly our individual attitudes in conjunction with the cards life has dealt us. Jobs, family, politics, school, health, safety, finances, fear and even the weather (i.e. Nebraskan winters) are a few examples that barely scratch the surface on things that can cause stress to creep in our lives each day. That's why it's important to take time every now and again to realize and practice things that can help us re-charge mentally and physically - at least until summer, when we have the warm sun on our side, right?
The following is a list of simple, easy activities to get you back on track to control and confidence in leading a stress-lessened life.
What better to kick off this list than the age-old stress remedy of taking a hot bath. I'm a believer! There isn't much a relaxing hot bath can't fix for a multitude of reasons. Soaking in hot water is one of the easiest and simplest forms of a detox I can think of. Sweat releases toxins from the body, while using things like Epsom salts and aromatherapy can help ease muscle tension to soothe and assuage you inside and out. Things like Pinterest encourage getting creative with how spa-like you can get with your bath so do your homework and try something new. Bath bombs, essential oils, candles of course and even flowers can all get you right where you need to be.
You might think face masks leans toward the female sector, however, I've personally witnessed men try face masks and be equally, if not more impressed with the results. Any face mask will add a little slice of R&R to your evening, but here are a few that actually target stress. Get a face full of soft, supple skin and ease your mind in the process. Looks scary, does wonders.
YOGA | MEDITATION | STRETCHING | BREATHING TECHNIQUES
Yoga is infamous for relaxation and a means of bettering physical and mental health. However, if you think you might be a yoga-phobe there are other similar approaches that achieve the same effect. Meditation requires a little bit of space, a lot of isolation and therefore, an opportunity to clean your mind from daily stress and grime. Stretching before bed offers similar results by simply releasing tension in muscles throughout your body you may have not even been aware was there. Lastly, if stress gets bad enough panic attacks are a likely outcome. That's why learning certain breathing techniques can be especially helpful because they can be performed anywhere, anytime.
JOURNALING | MUSIC
If the thought of journaling "stresses you out" click here for techniques on bullet journaling that makes it quick and easy throughout your day. As far as music goes, I've said it before and I'll say it again: music is healing. Journaling and listening to music that feels good to you are two more ways to get the bad out and keep the good in.
If you like to read and it helps you decompress by getting your mind on something else than make time and do it! I'm a big advocate for this one, and just like anything else it requires commitment. Work hard, relax harder and stick to setting aside designated time for you. Another motivator to help you keep this goal is to create an inviting and comfortable space devoted to reading and reading alone - your very own DIY reading nook. If you have an actual nook in your home, kudos, and if you don't then all it requires is a reading lamp and comfy chair that pleads for you and a book - maybe a few bookshelves for added ambiance.
I can't say I'm a huge tea person in general, but Sleepytime tea is a proven miracle worker for me on nights when my mind just won't shut down. Taste wise I do occasionally have to add a little sweetener (honey) or fresh squeezed lemon juice but don't knock it till you try it. If you really can't do it, try banana cinnamon tea or steamed milk.
I touched on this briefly when talking about baths - essential oils are growing in popularity so what are they exactly. The very definition of an essential oil is described in the infographic below. The all natural oils have been said to have been used for centuries as one of the first forms of medicinal healing. They have multiple uses, rubbing directly on certain areas of the body, added to a hot steamy bath or even used to make your own bath soak mix.
It's not rocket science that when tension builds, it needs to be released in whatever ways work best for you. If you're too worked up for meditation or relaxation to do you any good, a solid hour or so in the gym might be just the fix you need. Boxing, running, lifting, cycling, or anything else you can do to literally work out the stress (especially to a nice ACDC tune) - just do it.
This is by far the least cost-effective item on the list, but some happenings in life just simply call for an hour or two at the spa. Relaxation guaranteed, plus can you put a price on a better quality of life? See for yourself. And if you're interested but don't know where to start, Gloss Salon & Day Spa has an extensive salon service menu and has been voted Best of Omaha.
We all know stress is an ugly cycle from little sleep to unfortunate eating choices to laziness and lack of exercise and back again. For this, many of us don't like to acknowledge that choosing to eat a little healthier can create that big of a change in our lives and the truth is it can, results just may not be instant. More energy throughout the day, feeling less lethargic and maybe even less internal discomfort can all encourage you to participate in other things on our list creating a newer and better cycle.
It's funny this is even on the list, but this is the day in age in which we live. There are a plethora of different apps out there all geared as tools to help mitigate stress. Click on this link to an article from Buzzfeed describing a few - some free and some for a few bucks.