I hope your weekend was fabulous and not too stressful! Mine was all about preparing for a rather busy week ahead. To be honest, I didn’t have much time to recharge or refocus. But there were some small things–things I often resort to–that made it all a bit more bearable. Having worked in a stressful profession for the past (nearly) six years, I’ve picked up a few personal centering and relaxation techniques along the way. Today I thought I’d share them with you. (:
1.) Have a Cup. Of tea, I mean. Or coffee, chocolate . . . it really depends on the situation. To relax and focus, I prefer Earl Grey (with the bonus of an added mood boost via bergamot) or green tea with jasmine. Lavender teas always tend to make me sleepy and spacey. Something to avoid when you need to concentrate on work.
Obviously, if you’re going for awake and focused, coffee or chocolate might be a better option. Lately I’ve been into Dagoba Xocotatl Drinking Chocolate. It contains chilli powder, which always wakes me up! Nick thinks this combination is gross, but I think it really works. Starbucks agrees with me!
2.) Get Cozy. There’s nothing better than wrapping up in a favorite cardigan or blanket (as long as it’s under 70 degrees or so). In colder weather, I also prefer to work in front of a cozy fireplace.
3.) Light a Scented Candle. This usually puts me in a better mood–even when there seems to be no end in sight to what I have to get accomplished. The best part of using any sort of room fragrance is that you can be fairly mobile whilst doing it. Great for lightening the mood during clearing up, housework, or even home exercise!
4.) Fragrance Oils. This point ties into #3, but is still worth a mention. Essential oils are wonderful for relaxation. There are loads of options, from pure oils to blend yourself, to pre-blended oils specifically designed to target moods. I like 21 Drops, mostly due to the convenient packaging. Amazon is also a great place to find all sorts of blends!
A great thing about essential oils is their versatility. You can use some directly on your skin (but read the packaging first–they can be irritating). A few drops in a bath can be divine. They are also great for scenting rooms–especially if you live in a dorm or other residence that discourages candles.
5.) Take a Bath. If time allows, a bath is always a good idea when feeling stressed. Honestly, it’s hard to stay tense whilst floating in hot water! My all-time favorite bath bomb is Guardian of the Forest from Lush. It has a fresh, green, scent–without smelling like a piney cologne. I was a bit disconcerted because it was nowhere to be found during my last visit to the local Lush store. Fortunately, it’s still in stock online. 🙂
6.) Furry Friends. Spend some time with your pets. Or let them
harass you for treats hang out with you while you work. Although at times distracting, pets can be great for decreasing stress levels. Some people have companion animals just for this purpose!
7.) Go Outside. Even if it’s only for a minute, getting some fresh air can do wonders for your mood! I find that I can think much more clearly after a short walk.
8.) Exercise! Although it may sound daunting, time-consuming, and even potentially stressful, exercising can be great for raising energy and decreasing anxiety. I try to go for a short run every morning. On the days that I don’t, I feel less focused and less energized. Decreased focus and energy go hand in hand with increased stress! Exercise (and specifically running) has also been found to be beneficial for depression. Google it, loads of articles come up!
This list certainly isn’t exhaustive and obviously, not every item is appropriate for all situations, but I find these things helpful. I hope you will too!
What do you do to relax/de-stress?