Stress can hit us at anytime, especially at that exact moment we don’t need it to! Here are a few of our favourite and easy ways to get the body feeling and coping as best as possible.
- Get the body moving!
Including some gentle exercise is a fabulous way to release stress and tension and make you feel good at the same time. It doesn’t matter if it is a gentle walk home from work, a run, a yoga or pilates class or a netball game, it all has the same calming effect on our bodies.
- Spend time outdoors
We spend so much time cooped up indoors, we can forget the rejuvenating effects that fresh air can bring us! Studies also show that Vitamin D from sunlight plays a vital role in the health of our nervous system and that natural scenery plays a vital role in human health and well-being.
- Bring nature indoors
Buy yourself some flowers. Not only have you acknowledged and done something nice for yourself, they also make any room feel brighter and happier.
- Take TOFU – Time Out For U
This is something that a lot of us forget to do and push aside for ‘more important things’. It doesn’t have to be a whole day or even a whole afternoon (although if you can go for that!). It can be treating yourself to a bubble bath, reading a book or a trashy magazine, listening to music, meeting your girlfriends for a coffee or sitting down for 10 minutes with a cup of tea.The idea is that you take the time to put yourself first and allow yourself to do something that makes YOU feel good.
- Essential oils
Have an oil burner by the bed with some lavender oil and you will notice a change on your sleep! Lavender oil can make you feel more active, fresher and more relaxed!
- Meditation + breathing exercises
Not only do these activities increase your immune function, improve your ability to control your emotions and improve your memory, it also decreases stress.
- Getting a good night sleep
What is better than recharging your batteries than a night of quality, restoring sleep. It is also one of the first things to go out the window when we are busy.
- Calming teas: chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower
These herbs are all delicious, they also help relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety. Add in the ritual of tea-making and the fact that you sit down to enjoy a cuppa, and you’re already feeling more relaxed.
Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system. You can find it in lots of foods including dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados and dark chocolate. Supplementation of magnesium is a great way to help relax muscles (as is soaking in an epsom salt bath) and to help relax tense nerves. A dose of 300-400mg a day will give relief.
- Herbal medicine
We always advise visiting a practitioner before buying herbal medicine, to make sure it is suitable for you and to double check it won’t interact with any other medications or supplements you are taking. You may like to ask your herbalist about:Passionflower: a relaxant that helps to soothe mind and body and to promote quality sleep.Withania (or Ashwaghanda): a traditional Ayurvedic herb that helps the body respond and adapt to stress.Rhodiola: helps to enhancing physical performance and combat mental fatigue.
In a liquid herbal tonic, licorice root can be effective at promoting adrenal function and balancing cortisol levels which can become unbalanced when the body goes under long periods of stress (amongst other actions).
- Flower essences
Bach Rescue Remedy is a combination of five Bach Flower Remedies especially designed to be taken in moments of stress or pressure. Just a few drops on the tongue as needed helps. This one isn’t proven, but is worth a try.
Lastly, it is so important to be gentle and kind with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling stressed, it is a natural process, but remember there is so much available to us to make sure they don’t overtake our lives.