Simple Steps for Stress Relief

The everyday stresses of home, work, children, and life in general can catch up with you, causing stress and anxiety to build up, leading to stiff muscles, headaches, insomnia, or even illness.  Luckily, relieving stress can be simple, quick, and affordable.  Take care of yourself by taking simple steps to relax on a regular basis.

Relax

Baths
Bathing is an incredibly simple way to promote relaxation.  A warm bath, with or without the addition of luxurious ingredients like Milk, Honey, or therapeutic Essential Oils, can soothe stiff muscles, and provide you with peace and quiet, even if for only a short time.  Even a short, 15 minute bath can go a long way when it comes to relieving stress and anxiety.  Enveloping the body in warm water, and enjoying peace and silence for even a short time provides comfort to both the body and mind.  Bath time is also a great time to meditate, clear your mind, and become grounded.  To help make sure that you make it to your mini retreat regularly, try to schedule a time of night, or a day of the week exclusively for bath time. 

Meditation
There are many simple techniques available for meditation.  The first step, and sometimes to most challenging, is to find a silent, solitary place for meditation.  This can be especially difficult if you have children or a busy schedule.  Scheduling a daily or weekly time to meditate can be helpful, not only in making sure that you follow through with your plans, but also to help others get used to having you unavailable during your period of meditation.  Though there are many different techniques and purposes for meditation, one of the most common, and conducive to relaxation is the practice of clearing one's mind from all chatter, noise, and thought.  Simply sit down, breathe, and exist, clearing your mind of your thoughts, worries, and questions.  To learn more about meditation techniques, check out this guide from WikiHow.

Massage
A simple massage from your partner can help to relieve plenty of anxiety and stress.  Try using a simple Carrier Oil, such as Sweet Almond Oil or Fractionated Coconut Oil, and a simple technique, such as Swedish Massage, before bed time.  Massage your partner for at least ten minutes, and then ask them to return the favor.  This quick, simple ritual can help to relax both of you, while making you feel closer and more connected. 

Napping
A short nap during the middle of the day can do wonders for your energy and stress levels.  While reports vary, some say that even a short, 20 minute power nap can help to recharge the body and mind.  Set aside some time for your nap, then lay down in a dark room with a comfortable temperature.  Close your eyes, relax, and drift into sleep.  Even if you are not a "good napper" and don't fully fall asleep during these sessions, taking the time to lay down and relax can still help to reduce your stress level significantly.  It is a good idea to allow yourself at least 40 minutes to dedicate to your nap.  You'll need around 10 minutes to relax and fall asleep, and about 10 minutes to fully wake up again.  Keep this in mind when setting your nap time alarm.

Aromatherapy
Many Essential Oils contain actives that can help to reduce stress or encourage relaxation.  Some of the most commonly used for relaxation are Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Rose, and Mandarin.  You can easily incorporate Essential Oils into each of the previous relaxation techniques.  Add Essential Oils to Bath Salts, or Bath Oils to incorporate their aromatic benefits.  Using aromatherapy candles, or diffusers can help aid relaxation during meditation.  Herbal Sachets or Dream Pillows can help to induce sleep, essential for many nappers.  As always, Essential Oils must be used with extreme care due to their potency.  Make sure to check the warnings, proper dosage, and delivery method of any Essential Oil before using it.

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