Let’s just jump right into today’s subject. Stress! How do you manage stress? Do you manage it at all, or does it eat away at you? Stress seems to be a major topic of discussion lately, as more research about the negative effects of stress comes out, and as people become more wellness/me-time focused. Has anyone else noticed how it has become trendy to take time for yourself to just relax and regenerate? This is definitely a trend I hope sticks around for a very long time, because it is so important to take care of your mind/soul/body in any way that rids you of your stress.
Chronic stress can lead to increased risk of illness (and once you get sick, symptoms stick around longer), fatigue, headaches, overeating, depression, and increased cardiovascular disease risk. It leads to a higher mortality rate and accelerated aging, too. The list goes on. Nothing good comes from chronic stress. Of course, short-term stress, like the kind you feel before a big job interview, is actually beneficial. But the long-term stress that builds up day after day and just sort of festers? That kind of stress can be deadly. Literally. So we each need to find out own way to deal with that stress. For me, de-stressing involves spending some time in what I like to call my “Zen Space”.
Your Zen Space can be a whole room, or it can be a little corner like I have. One of my favorite features of my Zen Space is my diffuser. (It’s that glowing genie bottle). I just drop some essential oils in, and prepare to float away. Essential oils are so great for so many needs. Feeling stressed? Lavender works wonders! Need to get energized? Try a citrus blend. Need to be refreshed? Drop in the peppermint essential oil! Speaking of peppermint essential oil, this scent works wonders for headaches. I swear by it when I get a migraine. I even dab a tiny amount on my temples, and the headache literally melts away.
Another element that is perfect for a Zen Space are candles. Whether they are the real thing, or little battery-operated ones, candles are instant relaxation mode. I put a little tea light in this gorgeous rose quartz candle holder. I have always loved the look rose quartz, so I was very stoked when Rose Quartz was announced as one of Pantone’s Colors of the Year. Plus, rose quartz is known to have a calming, peaceful energy. Perfect for de-stressing, right?
This next tip is not for everyone, but I also find it soothing to journal. If you find peace in journaling, go for it. If not, don’t fret. I either write down my feelings/worries/fears, what I’m grateful for(major mood-booster), or sit down with my Bible and journal that way. For me, writing is very therapeutic. I don’t think about it, I just write freely.
Every Zen Space needs some greenery! I’m sure you know how mind-clearing it can be to go out into nature and just be. By bringing some nature into your space, you get an extra boost of relaxation (and maybe some air purification, too). It’s kind of funny, but I treat my air plant kind of like a pet. Her name is Airy, and she likes sun-bathing, sushi dates, and watching the Bachelor. 🙂 Did you know that air plants blossom once, and never again? I have been savoring this gorge pink blossom. So far its been about 2 months, and the blossom is still going strong!
My final tip for creating a Zen Space is to find an activity that soothes you. Meditation, deep breathing, and stretching have all been shown to dramatically decrease stress, reduce inflammation, and improve mood and mental clarity. So get to it! Even a few minutes can be beneficial! As a final note, I have never been a super-yogi, but in 2016, I really want to work on my flexibility. I’m gonna try to stretch it out every day, and manage my stress! Tell me, what do you do to de-stress? I’m always looking for more de-stressing tips!