Every now and again I find myself overwhelmed with the tasks of everyday life. I’m sure you guys have felt this way and maybe haven’t known quite what to do. Throughout college I tried several methods to clear my head and relax but failed many times. I found that I was not one of those gals that could go for a run and come back relaxed. I was also, sadly, not into hot yoga. If you are one of those people, please teach me your ways! If you are not, or are, here are some methods I have found that help clear my mind and ease the back tension just a bit.
Aromatherapy Himalayan Salt Lamp
Salt lamps absorb water and its attached pollutants from the air. The nasty particles the salt collects from the air remain in the salt and, once heated (turning on the lightbulb in the lamp), the lamp releases cleansed water vapor into the air. Cool, right? Every so often clean your salt lamp with a damp cloth to rid it of the negative particles so it can start fresh.
-Aromatherapy salt lamps: These lamps are cool because they have a dish in the top that sits above the lightbulb. You can pour essential oils in the dish and let the lightbulb osmosize the oils throughout your house. If you can’t find an aromatherapy salt lamp, I highly urge you to buy a regular Himalayan salt lamp.
If you aren’t feeling the salt lamp idea you can get what I call an aromaglobe or an oil diffuser. These things have been top sellers recently! I have had mine for a year now and have used it to no end. You simply put water in it, drop in some essential oils and turn it on. The water diffuses the oil throughout the air and you are satisfied by the delightful aroma of the essential oils.
I’ve already mentioned essential oils twice so I’ll cover what they can be used for. Essential oils are useful because they can be used topically or you can inhale (diffuser). Your skin absorbs the oils and by inhaling the oils they have direct access to the brain. For more information click here. There are several different scents of essential oils. I use peppermint oil to relieve headaches, lavender for relaxation at bedtime and rose oil for when I’m feeling down. If you need some more information on what oils to use check out this website. If you enjoy essentials for topical use, you can find oils in rollerball tubes so you can carry them in your purse. I enjoy this because I get migraines often so I carry peppermint oil wherever I go 🙂
Miniature Essential Oils for Baths
Now that we are up to speed on essential oils, adding them to your bath routine is also a great way to relax. As if a bath wasn’t relaxing enough, adding eucalyptus oils or lavender oils to your warm bath water amps up the relaxation by 10,000. Adding these oils turns your bath into a giant oil defuser and your body can instantly soak up the oils. Doesn’t that make you wanna grab cucumber eye patches and dive right in?
Plants are air purifiers. Like a salt lamp, they rid the air of toxic particles and supply you with new, clean air. House plants also make your space feel lush and green. Being outdoors is always good for the soul so why not bring some of that feel indoors? Some great plants to begin with are the Split-Leaf Philodendron or a Spider Plant.
My family focuses a lot on Feng Shui. According to RealSimple.com Feng Shui “is a practice base on the idea that our homes are a mirror of what’s happening inside us. The purpose of Feng Shui is to get your environment in alignment with who you are and where you want to go- to harmonize your energy with your home’s energy.” For example, in the practice of Feng Shui, there are specific places to place your bed based on the way your room is arranged. To find out more information, click here.
Headspace is an app that you can download for free or purchase. It is an app that makes meditation and mindfulness simple. The app explains that it will teach you how to meditate and the skills of mindfulness in just a few minutes. I recently started using this app for help sleeping and I am a major fan. A quick description: a calm, soothing voice talks and tells you simple directions. Lie on your back, breathe through your noise and feel your body weight relax into your bed, etc. I have fallen asleep to the app every time! If you are skeptical try out the free version.
I have started reading about how to meditate but have yet to master the art. I have friends who love meditating so I suggest this as a relaxation method. There are videos, books and Spotify playlists out there to help teach you how. Complete meditation can’t be learned in a day so if you are feeling stressed right now try Headspace ^^. However, look into meditation because it is an art that, once successfully learned, can be rewarding for your mind and body.
No electronics around your sleeping space
This is something that I, personally, find hard. I have read several articles that suggest no phones, no computers or televisions anywhere in your room. I’ll be the first to admit I have all of these in my room. But! I have been trying to decrease my phone usage before bed and to charge it away from my sleeping space. I have noticed some positive changes in my sleeping patterns. Anything you can do to get “blue light stimulation” away form your sleeping space will help your person be more calm at night and, in turn, be able to shut down at nighttime, creating better sleep habits.
Adult coloring books
If you are having trouble figuring out a way to calm down, adult coloring books are a fantastic method. Why do you think we give children coloring books? Anyway, I have a coloring book called “Zenscapes” and it’s pages on pages of patterns to fill. There are books of garden designs, mandalas, animals, etc. Turn on some music, grab your coloring book and you will be set. There is absolutely no shame in coloring as an adult.
This method is a bit different in the fact it requires all your senses. Find a quite space, close your eyes and the choose a peaceful, serene place. This place needs to be one that is specific to you and that you would want to go to. Once you have decided, imagine this place, its sounds, its smells, etc. Let your mind guide you. It may sound silly but if you choose the right destination, you should end up more relaxed than when you started.
Open up those windows!
Sometimes we are stuck inside from the cold so much that once it is warm out, we forget that our windows open. As soon as it is warm enough, open those windows! Let all the old air in your house out, and let new, fresh air in. Also, put that salt lamp outside to rid it of the yucky toxins 😉 You will be surprised at how relieved you feel. Get your oil diffuser running, open your windows and enjoy the freshness.
Drink less caffeine
I put this at number 13 because it is unlucky for me. I have been trying, since college, to ween off the caffeine. It is a nasty habit. We don’t need to quit entirely but if we cut down our entake, our bodies will thank us greatly! We will be less jittery, stressed and definitely more healthy. Drink more water in its place. (Not as fun but what can I say)
Create a bedtime routine
This is something I have started doing now that I have a more common routine in my everyday life. This also sounds like a simple method but it is an important one. The more our body and mind become used to a bedtime routine, the more in tune with our surroundings we will be. A bedtime routine creates balance and empowerment within your home. Whether it is you or you and some kiddos, a bedtime routine will be helpful for everyone.
Whether you read a book, magazine, articles, newspaper, what have you. I suggest you start reading. Whatever you read, try to make sure it’s in paper format. I’m a bit old fashion and prefer paper-back books because it’s easier on my eyes. Also, I’m buried in my phone or computer all day so when I can get my hands on paper I get excited! Even if you read for 20 minutes, I am sure you will forget about what was making you so stressed in the first place. (Unless it was something that a book can’t treat 🙁 )
I used to make collages all the time as a kid and now I realize why: it was fun. Find old magazines, glue, stickers, paper, etc. and get to cutting. Cut out fun pictures or sayings and start collaging. You don’t have to save the end product by any means but it is a fun project to do that releases some steam. Sure, you may be a 25 year-old making a 12 year-old project, but I won’t judge you (I’ve made 3 already). You could even get crafty and make inspirational collages, fashion icon collages or even cooking inspiration collages. Whatever you need to relax, do it.
I have tried 98% of these methods and swear by 100% of them. If you are stressed, anxious, tense or just need to catch a break try, one of these. If one doesn’t work, try another one or mix a multitude of them together and try them all. Let’s face it: we can’t function well as humans if we are stressed, so I urge you to run if you’re a runner, yoga if your a yogi and oil up if that is your cup of tea. 🙂