Picture this: You’re sitting in a beach chair, the ocean is before you as expansive and welcoming as ever, you’re shaded by the leaves of a palm tree, a cold drink is in your hand, shades are on, and the world is off.
Sound beautiful? I know it does, and I cant tell you how many times these past 2 weeks I’ve wished I was right there. Because for many people, the reality is that we have lives, commitments and duties as citizens, parents, and human beings that don’t allow us to simply jet off to forget our cares in a tropical destination. Even so, how are we certain that doing that would solve them anyways?
Stress is something, that if internalized, can consume you whole. Last summer, due to too much stress, my Mum had an autoimmune reaction and broke out in hives that lasted for 4 months.
I don’t want anyone else to have to endure what she had to. Preventing something as extreme as that begins right now, at our desks, in our car, wherever you’re reading this right now; I am going to guide you through simple steps to release the everyday stresses of life.
These are tips that don’t require endless amounts of money, a tropical climate or someone to do your laundry for you. They’re practical, personal and I sincerely hope that they can help you like they help me. (Side note: My driving exam really tripped me out.. the weeks leading up to it and afterwards both caused me some stress. The verdict? I may or may not have small clusters of hives on my arms and legs right now.. Oops.)
The best thing we can do is simply begin, so here we go..
One of the most important things that I’ve learned from yoga is to control my breathing. I cant begin to tell you how important it is to take a step back from a stressful situation, inhale and exhale through your nose, and then assess what’s going on and what the best way to handle it is. Once you can accept the moment for what it is, and give yourself those valuable seconds (or minutes) to stabilize your breath and go inwards, you are already on a better track to dealing with the situation in a healthy way. Don’t save mindful breathing only for stressful situations, try and do it throughout the day to constantly bring yourself back to a state of mindfulness (what my blog is all about). Want some tips on how to breathe like the yogis do? Click here.
When you exercise your body creates endorphins and endorphins, well they make you feel pretty darn good about yourself. See what I’m getting at here? My favourite way to burn off some stress is to get a serious sweat session in, but I realize that though I may love to crush some burpees to feel better, that might make the matter worse for someone else. The good thing? There’s an endless amount of different exercises that you can do to reap the benefits of endorphins, and it all starts with what you enjoy doing! Go for a hike, do some yoga (another fave of mine), hit the squat rack, go for a swim.. really you can do anything that gets your heart rate up and gets your booty a movin’! Bonus points if you do it outdoors – which leads me to my next point..
3. Head Outside
One of the best things we can do for our minds, bodies and souls, is to go back to our roots and connect with the earth around us. Multiple studies have shown the benefits of something called “Grounding” (click for an amazing article from my favourite health magazine) and I stand by the fact that sometimes the only way to find ourselves is to go back to Mother Nature and spend some quality time appreciating the constant cycle of the earth and the harmony of how it works to take care of everything within it. So next time youre feeling pressured, stressed out and simply depleted, go for a trail walk, head to the beach or just kick your shoes off and wiggle your toes on your front lawn. The fresh air and green around you will have you feeling better equipped to deal with the situation in no time.
4. Look to Plants!
Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a passion for plants.. whether its eating the, growing them, smelling them – whatever.. I just love them, and I’m happy to report that they love us, too. Incorporating a healthy diet into your everyday lifestyle will give you more energy, a clearer mind, radiant skin and hair.. all things that are completely stress-free and can also help you to deal with stress when it comes along. Another way to further reap the benefits of some green matter is to start using Essential Oils! I buy all of my essential oils from a North American company called Saje – and I recommend you look in to some of their healing oils, particularly stress-reducing ones such as lavender, etc. Click here to be directed to their website where you can take a look for yourself.
Try and set at least 10 minutes for yourself every day when you can simply step back, meditate, make a cup of tea, have a hot bath, read a book.. Anything! Giving your brain and body time to rejuvenate, and restore is essential to your wellbeing, so make sure to get in the recommended hours of sleep at night, too! Do something each day that makes you laugh, that you enjoy, or that makes you glad to be alive – you deserve it!
Wishing you above all Health & Happiness
– Miranda xo