2016 has been off to a great start so far. I have been lucky enough to start the year off with some new job opportunities and could not be more happy. With an additional work load, as well as school course-work, I am revving up my stress-relief regimen to full force! Here are some of my favorite ways to keep stress levels at bay while also relieving some tension.
I am a big lover of essential oils, especially those that relieve some stress. Essential oils can be used in numerous ways but I personally love using them with my oil diffuser/humidifier so that the aroma fils the whole room. You don't have to spend a lot of money on these either. At first, I thought that I had to buy name-brands like Doterra but there are plenty of options on Amazon that will cost you half the price.
I use this essential oil diffuser/cool mist humidifier by Amir and It works great! It cost me less than $25 on Amazon and yes, I am a big Amazon.com shopper. The aroma fills up my entire living room and it works up to 7 hours. The light-up colors are also a cool bonus. For stress relief, I use either lavender oils or my stress-relief oils by Eden's Garden. It smells great and really helps to put me in a peaceful state. I also use their blend called "good night" before I go to sleep. The diffuser will automatically shut off after 6 hours so I just leave it on all night. I can go on and on about how great essential oils are and what each scent will help with, but I will save that for a later post.
These are my favorite stress relief oils from Eden's Garden, you can find them on their website for a very reasonable price. I bought the starter kit which was a set of 6 for $19.95 so you really can't beat that. You can also find these on Amazon for the same price.
You can vary the amount of drops you use in the diffuser depending on how strong you want the scent. I usually do 4-5 drops.
Belonging to the same family as the tomato, Ashwagandha is a plump shrub with oval leaves and yellow flowers. With the use of the Ayurvedic herb, Ashwagandha can help alleviate symptoms of stress and support an energetic and rejuvenating sense of wellbeing. I just began using this but can already feel the difference in energy levels and the relief of stress it has provided. I am all for using natural herbs and holistic healing because I certainly don't like the idea of putting foreign chemicals into my body. You can read more about this herb online.
Yoga & Meditation
When I'm feeling especially stressed out I crave restorative yoga, yoga nidra and guided mediations. This always does the trick in getting me back to a place of peace and calmness. I mentioned before that I practice at Willard Beach Studio in South Portland, which I love! I would recommend one of their restorative classes or workshops if you are craving that stress relief, but really, all their classes are great for that.
When I can't make it into the studio I put on a Youtube video, start up my oil diffuser, dim the lights, and crank up the heat! I did this the other night with candles when our power went out and I felt so ridiculously relaxed. Yoga with Adriene has some great videos for calm and gentle yoga and you can check her videos out on her Youtube channel.
During times of high stress, my sleep tends to suffer. Along with the yoga before bedtime and the "good night" essential oil in my diffuser, I use a guided mediation video before I go to sleep. There are tons of these on Youtube and even on Spotify. You can also use a guided mediation video during the day to calm the mind. Doing this has really helped with my stress levels and also in getting a good night's sleep.
I hope my stress relief regimen comes in handy. Stay tuned for more tips on self care and healthy living.