When was the last time you took a “time out” and really made self-care your number one priority?
(And when I say “self-care,” I’m not talking about lying in your pajamas all weekend watching Netflix…although there can certainly be a time and place for that too!)
Many of us feel like we’re constantly going, going, going with very little time to do what we actually want to do. Waking up early, racing to the office, multitasking all day long, running errands, busying ourselves with family obligations after a full day at work, making dinner, cleaning up and then flopping into bed completely exhausted.
Phew. It can be hard to find a moment to breathe sometimes. We may even crave a way to push the pause button on life so we can get a few moments to catch up with it all.
But I want to remind you, life is far too precious to spend your moments feeling stressed out all the time. And there are many quick and easy ways you can support yourself to relieve stress naturally!
I discuss my own method for rapidly relieving stress in The CALM Method, but I also want to give you even more tools and practices for stress relief…ones that take very little time to do, but offer very big results.
Here are my Top 10 Tools for Relieving Stress:
1. Lavender Oil
Scents like Lavender help to calm and relax your nervous system. You can use this calming scent in your bath or shower, apply it topically or diffuse it in your bedroom. Essential oils promote physical, mental, and emotional healing. Just a drop or two of high quality essential oil can quickly boost your mood and relieve stress.
2. Himalayan Salt Lamp
Himalayan Salt Lamps support daily stress relief and help to increase your sense of calm, due to their ability to release negative ions (what we get when we spend time in nature) into the air. These lamps are not only beautiful, but they also help to promote increased energy, boosted immunity, increased concentration and better sleep.
3. Epsom Salts
Epsom salts are perfect to use for a stress-relieving bath or foot soak. The salts (magnesium sulfate) help to relax your muscles and draw toxins out of your body. You can amplify these benefits by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil too!
4. Chamomile and Valerian Root Tea
Herbal teas like chamomile and valerian root are wonderful and soothing to have before bedtime. According to research, drinking chamomile tea is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative. Valerian root tea may also help you ease into a sound night of sleep more quickly.
5. Scented Eye Pillow
Eye pillows aren’t just cute little pillows that lay across your eyes…they actually rest on acupressure points, so they help relax muscles around your eyes. Calming scents like lavender in an eye pillow may help reduce stress and anxiety, support more sound sleep and give you a chance to relax and rejuvenate, even if it’s for a few minutes!
6. Cooling Gel Eye Mask
Stress can often manifest in the form of tension headaches or pressure around your forehead and soreness in the eyes. Cooling gel masks can be placed over your eyes and provide relief in areas you are feeling tightness and discomfort. Laying down for just 5-10 minutes with one of these masks over your eyes can help you to feel refreshed and restored.
7. Adrenal Support Supplements
Chronic stress can lead to hormonal depletion, exhaustion and adrenal fatigue. Although it is beneficial to incorporate other stress relief practices into your day, supporting your adrenals with supplements like Vitamin C, Magnesium and B-vitamins with help your body heal from adrenal fatigue.
8. Flower Essences
Flower essences are helpful to stabilize emotions and release tension, overstimulation and overwhelm. They help us relax, become more focused and increase a sense of calm. Flower essences can help promote harmony between body, mind, and spirit.
9. Smoky Quartz
The smoky quartz stone helps to absorb negative emotions and energies and relieve stress and fear. This stone is known to be very comforting, calming and protective. You can hold it, meditate with it, carry it with you, or place it somewhere in your home, where you’ll be surrounded by its energy often. To cleanse it, place the stone in distilled water with sea salt or Himalayan salt.
Writing out your “to-do” list or journaling in the early evening helps release these thoughts and clears your mind. Doing this allows you to shift into relaxation more easily later in the evening. So whether it’s a notebook, journal or calendar, organize your plans for the next day before you start your wind down routine.
Take a quick moment to reflect on all of these tools. Close your eyes and breathe. Begin to tune in to your intuition. Which one resonates with you the most?
Remember, you don’t have to do them all at once. Pick one, maybe two, of these practices to incorporate into your daily routine and see how you feel. Then slowly layer in additional ones, moving at your own pace.
The most important thing is to stay consistent in your actions and be patient with yourself as you establish new stress-relief habits in your life. Big changes are the result of small steps repeated consistently over time. If you aren’t sure where to start, just pick one and go from there. Allow your intuition to guide you.
And I want to leave you with one final tool…it’s one of my favorite and most effective stress relief practices…
Deep breathing and meditation.
These two practices can help your nervous system move from “Fight or Flight” (the stress response) to “Rest and Digest” (the relaxation response). In fact, deep breathing is the quickest way to calm your nervous system.
When you incorporate meditation and breathing exercises into your daily and nightly routine, you help your body turn on the “Rest and Digest” part of the nervous system. These calming practices also rewire your nervous system, so you can spend more time feeling relaxed and at ease.
If you are looking for a quick and effective way to get started with meditation, you can get access to my free, guided 10-minute stress relieving meditation below.
Give yourself the gift of self-care today. You deserve it! When you fill your own cup first, you have so much more to give to everyone else around you. And I like to think that in our own small way, taking care of ourselves helps to make the world a more peaceful and gentler place.