Stress is common amongst everyone and yet is rarely talked about as a concerning issue. For starters, it is important to know that it is in fact a disorder and influences disease. For that reason alone, it is vital that we find remedies that can reduce stress and help us relax. But where does one start? For Solace Sunday, we came up with some tips to help you relax and some items you can use to help you unwind when the world becomes a little overwhelming.
This may be the most common answer to helping the mind and body relax and it is with good reason! According to a John Hopkins University study, practicing meditation – mindfulness meditation to be exact – helps to relieve stress and stress-induced behaviors like anxiety. What is so great about meditating is that it can be done whenever and for as long or short as you like. If you’re new to it and can’t fathom the idea of clearing your mind, there are some apps to help. Meditation Studio is an app with over 250 guided meditations to serve all different relaxation needs. Other apps that you should take into consideration are Headspace or the Muse headband that pairs with your smartphone.
2) Go for a walk
We don’t mean around the house or around the office. We mean go outside! A change of scenery does the body good along with a breath of fresh air. According to many studies, walking outside is linked to reducing stress, and improving memory and alertness. No matter the weather, taking a walk outside for at least 15 minutes can help you relax. You can step it up a notch by being mindful of your breathing while walking. Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has a very helpful book titled How to Walk, which helps those to remember to be mindful while on their journey.
3) Get some alone time
If you need to relax, it’s time to shut down and reboot. Having some alone time helps you to unwind, helps your brain to think deeply and increases productivity. If you need to find some time alone, create it! Try things like waking up earlier and having a quiet moment to yourself, or scheduling set times where you turn off your phone, do not check your emails, or anything else that keeps you engaged with everyone else but yourself. During your down time, do things that are therapeutic like writing and journaling or reading a new book.
4) Use your creative hands
If you want to wind down and relax, find a hobby that involves the hands. Drawing, coloring, or even cooking helps to offer tranquility and makes you resilient in your choices. The next time you’re stressed and want to relax, get your hands dirty!
5) Take a bath
When you really want to unwind, take a nice bath. Make sure the water isn’t too hot, which can put your body under heat stress. You can add bath bombs, candles, herbs and florals, and/or essential oils to your bath for a boost of relaxation. For example, chamomile, lavender, and frankincense are great essential oils for a night-time bath to ensure a good’s night rest. Rose oil, frankincense, coconut oil, and a handful of sea salt is another mixture of oils that helps the mind and body to relax.