There’s no doubt that life can get chaotic. Family dramas, unexpected bills, pressure at work. It can all creep up on you and before you know it you’re left feeling frazzled and positively overwhelmed. Not only is this unpleasant, but over time it’s bad for your health too. When chronic stress is linked to stroke, diabetes and heart problems it’s really not something to take lightly. While there’s not much we can do about the trials and tribulations that life throws at us, we do have some control over how we respond to them. Sometimes taking a little bit of time out for yourself and de-stressing is just what you need. It can give you the energy and motivation to get back out there and tackle life head on. Here are just a few things you can do to relax and avoid burnout.
Exercise in general is a great stress buster. But if you don’t fancy sweating it out in the gym, yoga is a great low impact activity which can make a genuine difference. It allows you to breathe, clear your mind and stretch your body- perfect for easing tight knotted muscles! There are loads of yoga tutorials on Youtube you can follow along to and it can be done from home too- great if you have time or budget restraints. All you really need is an outfit that you can stretch and move properly in, some yoga leggings and a loose vest top will do the trick. Yoga helps to improve flexibility and allows you to gain strength too as well as reduce stress.
Meditation allows you to enter a deep state of relaxation, clear your mind and dramatically lower stress. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just your bed or a comfortable chair. There are free apps you can download to listen along to, or you could find a soothing sounds compilation online. When you’re feeling really stressed and overwhelmed, give yourself twenty minutes. Meditate, clear your mind and tap into that inner peace. Afterwards, you’re guaranteed to feel a lot calmer and more positive,
Forget quick showers, treat yourself to a hot pampering bath instead. Essential oils can help you to relax, and the hot water eases tense muscles and lowers blood pressure. A lot like meditating it’s a quiet place where you can clear your head and forget about your troubles and stresses for a little while. Invest in some scented candles, some hydrating hair and skin products and some nice fluffy towels for when you get out. It gives you a little bit of ‘me’ time which is much needed when life gets chaotic. You could go a step further and invest in a hot tub, or jump into the jacuzzi at the gym or spa if you live locally to one.
Sipping on a cup of warm green tea has been said to promote feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. There’s significantly less caffeine than black tea (and far less than coffee) which is good since caffeine can lead to stress and exacerbate anxiety. Incredibly, green tea even provides an amino acid shown to promote a state of calm awareness called L- theanine. Along with all of this, green tea also contains tons of antioxidants that are beneficial for health too. Making the switch can make a world of difference, so it’s worth giving it a go. It’s less expensive than many other types of drinks and could be just what you need to help you wind down when you’re feeling stressed.
You could either rope a partner in to massage you or go to a spa and have a massage done professionally. It’s one of the best ways to relieve sore muscles, and can also massively reduce stress levels. Massage has been shown to release endorphins, the brain’s ‘happy chemicals’ so it really does have an impact on mood and wellbeing. Research has shown that even a single session can significantly lower your heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol levels and insulin levels. All of these together mean you feel much less stressed and feelings of relaxation increase. You can even practice self massage techniques which have been shown to be very effective. The hands and feet are linked up to nerves elsewhere in the body meaning massaging them can provide fantastic benefits.
Do you have any stress busting tips for when times get difficult?