In this world, stress and tension can seem inescapable. From the charged political climate, to fighting for recognition at work, to struggling with the balance between self-care and the myriad of daily obligations, a sense of overwhelm can easily set in.
Luckily, there are many ways to find even just a moment of solace during the day. And in these moments, when we take a deep breath and settle back into our bodies, into the moment, the fog clear and we can start to remember what is most important in our lives.
So, how can you squeeze in new habits to your already-overloaded schedule? Start small: a few moments every day can start a snowball of wellness effects that will quickly improve your day to day life.
Aromatherapy is a wonderful, easy way to improve the environment of your home, office, car, or wherever you happen to find yourself. Essential oils work with the limbic system, transferring the beneficial properties of plants directly into the brain and bloodstream, and creating an internal environment that’s conducive to healing.
You can incorporate essential oils into your daily routine by utilizing candles made with relaxing oils such as Cedar, Lavender, and Orange, or room sprays made with invigorating oils such as Rosemary, Lemon and Eucalyptus. You can also make your own skin moisturizing oil using olive oil, jojoba oil or coconut oil and adding your favorite essential oil to it – Rose and Geranium are favorites for skin care, and are also very comforting and supportive of the emotional system.
Before you head to sleep at night, spray your pillow with lavender essential oil to help induce a restful environment. When you’re at work and feeling a tension headache coming on, try rubbing a drop of peppermint essential oil on your temples and wrists to improve blood flow and bring fresh oxygen into your system. There are countless ways to use aromatherapy to reduce stress and promote wellness in your life, wherever you happen to be!
CBD, also known as hemp extract, is an excellent natural product that is becoming more readily available, and offers many possible benefits for overall health and stress relief. Many users report decreased symptoms of stress and anxiety, better sleep, and an overall reduction in inflammation and chronic pain.
CBD is also non-psychoactive, so it does not create unwanted symptoms like other cannabis products, such an anxiety, paranoia or feelings of impairment. And, it’s easy to incorporate into your daily routine. CBD can be consumed through CBD joints, oils, gummies, and more, all of which are accessible in many natural health shops and online stores.
Cultivating self awareness is an important first step in reducing stress and achieving overall wellness, as there are so many detailed factors that come into play in our daily lives. Once you are able to notice subtle changes in the feeling of your body, mind, or emotional state, you are well equipped to make choices that support the system most in need.
Meditation is a wonderful tool with which to cultivate self awareness. Setting aside just 10-20 minutes per day, to sit in a tranquil space and connect with self, can reduce stress levels, promote healthy digestion, and deepen your sleep cycles.
Individuals from all walks of life have utilized meditation and mindfulness techniques to connect with themselves, their communities, and enhance their well-being. Time spent focusing on the breath allows you to see what’s really important – and let go of what’s not. The daily grind of our fast-paced world can make it difficult to tell the difference, wreaking havoc on the health of our bodies, minds and spirits.
There are many resources for meditation available today, from books and courses to apps and online webinars. And they are tailored to every schedule and lifestyle. Whether you have just a few minutes or an hour to spend some time connecting with your inner self, it will be time well spent.
Another easy way to improve your overall health and well-being is to start a journal. It can be anything from a list of dreams and goals, to a reflection on what you’re grateful for, or even a place to safely let out disappointments and frustrations. For emotional health and stress relief, it is paramount to allow yourself to experience the full range of your emotions, even the “negative” ones.
Pressuring yourself to “just get over it” or hold in your feelings creates a toxic environment in your body and mind, and impacts the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Try setting aside just 5-10 minutes every day to check in with yourself and ask yourself how you’re feeling. Then, just observe what arises.
Your journal is a great place to allow your feelings to come out in their natural way, whether it’s through drawing, doodling, free-writing or making lists. You deserve some time to be free of judgement and let your mind peacefully exist, just as it is.
Finally, sunshine, fresh air, and the energy of nature can be extremely powerful healing properties for the mind, body and spirit. Even if you don’t have much time in your busy schedule, you can find ways to benefit. Just try eating your lunch outside, or taking a short walk.
If you’re feeling stressed in the evenings, a short walk or even sitting on the porch and enjoying the sunset can make an incredibly positive impact on your mood. And if you can spend a whole day outside, hiking or paddling or just sitting in a field, you can really allow your emotions and your body systems some time to unwind.
At the end of the day, always remember that you are deserving of time and space to reconnect with who you are. To allow the amazing mechanism that is your body the nourishment and support it needs to keep you going. The results will be far-reaching, gentle, and powerful. No matter where you start, peace will be the result.