Stress can be really overwhelming sometimes. It can end up causing you headaches, concentration problems, and some other serious issues. During those times stress becomes a real challenge. I've always experienced anxiety. Not just during an exam or a speech in front of the public, but also when I am alone.
Here are some solutions that I use when I feel stressed or overwhelmed:
1- Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is an herb that comes from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family. It has been consumed for centuries as a natural remedy for several health conditions. To make chamomile tea, the flowers are dried and then infused into hot water. Many people enjoy chamomile tea as a caffeine-free alternative to black or green tea and for its kind of sweet taste.
Also, chamomile tea is loaded with antioxidants that may play a role in lowering the risk of several diseases, including heart disease and cancer. The anti-inflammatory effects of chamomile tea may promote blood sugar control, especially when it’s consumed with a meal.
Chamomile has properties that may aid sleep and digestion, as well. Many researchers believe that chamomile tea may function like a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs that can reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia, or the chronic inability to sleep.
To make a chamomile tea, you can steep store-bought tea bags in hot water or use dried daisies to brew your own. Pour 1 cup (250 mL) of boiled water over 1 teaspoon of dried daisies, and let it steep for a few minutes.
2- Lavender Tea & Lavender Oil
This tea is thought to calm nerves, lead to better sleep, improve skin health, reduce menstrual pain, reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer and provide many other benefits.
Lavender is widely used as an aromatherapy agent and supplement to help with anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Studies suggest that compounds in lavender may stimulate activity in certain areas of the brain and influence the transmission of impulses between brain cells in ways that boost mood and produce a calming effect. Lavender tea gives the same effect too because of its scent. So, it is better to consider smelling the tea while drinking it.
In terms of lavender extracts, they’re available in oil and supplement forms. There are no standardized doses for supplements, and lavender oils should be used with caution. Lavender oil shouldn’t be ingested. Don’t apply undiluted lavender oil to your skin, as this can cause irritation and inflammation. It’s important to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil before applying topically.
To use lavender oil for aromatherapy put a few drops on a cotton ball or tissue and inhale. You can also use an essential oil diffuser.
You can easily make lavender tea at home or use lavender oils for aromatherapy and massage. However, speak with your healthcare provider before using lavender if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying health condition.
To make lavender tea, you can steep store-bought tea bags in hot water or brew your own. Pour 1 cup (250 mL) of water over 1/2 teaspoon of loose lavender buds, and let it steep for a few minutes.
3- Hot Mask
For this one, I prefer L'Oréal Paris' Anti-Fatigue Scrub. It is from the Sugar Scrubs Series of L'Oréal Paris. I met with it when I was looking for a peeling mask online. It is not expensive but of course, it depends on your country.
Outside the package, it was written that it gives your face some kind of hotness but I never believed it. So, when I first used it I was really surprised. Other than becoming hot on your skin and having coffee particles inside it, it is the same old sugar scrub we know.
Then why is it anti-fatigue?
The L'Oréal Paris Anti-Fatigue Scrub combines 3 fine sugars (brown, blonde, white) with the toning properties of Coffee Grains for instantly toned, energized, and baby-soft skin. At the heart of the formula are 100% naturally sourced exfoliants rich in essential nutrients, providing deep yet gentle exfoliation. Toning ingredients also work to boost radiance, including Coffee Grains known to reduce puffiness and smooth fatigue lines, Sweet Almond Oil is known for its energizing properties to help boost skin vitality, and Coconut Oil to smooth and soften the skin. (via L'Oréal Paris official website)
How to use it?
Apply a small amount with dry fingers onto your clean, dry skin and close the jar lid tightly. Add warm water and gently massage over your FACE in circular motions, avoiding the eye area. Once sugars have melted, rinse with warm water. Use 3 times a week. Also works on your LIPS to smooth and refine the lip line, improving the wear of lipstick.
BUT of course, there are other hot masks that are reusable (like the ones in the image) and that is way less expensive since you can use them again and again. There are various brands that produces these masks and you can easily find them on Amazon too.
4- Hot Bath with Essential Oils
As much as it may sound like a cliche, it also works perfectly well. While hot water relaxes the muscles, essential oils work as aromatherapy. Just fill your bathtub with hot water, add your favorite oil, if you want you can also use bath bombs and light some candles to set a mood. If you don't have a bathtub don't worry. A shower can also do the work. Put your shower head in massage mode, pour some oil on a cotton and again light some candles. You can also play some slow tunes. Voila! Now you are ready to relax.
5- Hot Feet Bath
A feet bath is an easy technique that helps to calm your body and provides an overall treatment to the body. In general, soaking the feet in warm water relaxes the body and reduces insomnia, headaches, and stress. This therapy has been in practice all over the world for centuries and is even very popular in present times. It is way easier than taking a bath, that's for sure.
All you have to do is fill a cup/bottle/teapot with hot water (NOT boiling). Put your feet in a cup that is big enough to fit both of them. If you want you can add some essential oil to the hot water. Start slowly and carefully pouring the water on your feet. When it gets colder add more hot water. repeat this until your cup is full or until your water is fully poured. That's all!
6- Mandala Sketching and/or Coloring
Both coloring and drawing/designing mandala is relaxing activity. This has been something I've done for a while now. I even sketch little mandalas on my notebooks during class when I'm stressed or bored. If drawing is not your thing but you also want to have an empty design with you during your day, you can always search for some free creations online, print them out, glue them on your notebook and carry it with you easily.
I'm putting some of my own designs here. If you are lazy like me you can use these to do some coloring :)
7- Listening to Slow Songs
This one is no big surprise. Listening to slow songs slows your heartbeat which makes you calmer.
As you might know, there are various types of yoga such as:
Hatha yoga is a yoga style that combines breath work with physical postures. Typically involves a gentle introduction to basic yoga postures for beginners or those who prefer a more relaxed style. You probably won’t leave a hatha yoga class sweaty and tired, but you should end up feeling more relaxed and stretched out.
Vinyasa-style yoga combines rhythmic breathing with a series of flowing postures for a vigorous mind-body workout. Since it links breath to movement, vinyasa yoga is fluid and quickly paced – perfect for those looking for something athletic and dynamic. Expect to sweat and burn some calories in this type of yoga.
Iyengar is a style of yoga that gives emphasis to proper form in a yoga pose. An Iyengar class will usually provide yoga props – blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets, etc. – to help each student find proper alignment. This style of yoga is best for those with an injury or chronic condition.
Kundalini focuses on repetitive movements synchronized with the breath, along with chanting and meditating. The practice focuses on awakening the energy at the base of the spine in order to draw it up through each of the seven chakras (areas of energy throughout the body). Expect to chant mantras such as “Sat Nam” (meaning “I am the truth”) and practice more simple poses, while focusing your energy on awareness of both body and mind.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style that is meant to be meditative and relaxing. The focus is to lengthen the connective tissues – the tendons, fascia, and ligaments – in order to improve flexibility and increase circulation in the joints. This class is great to unwind after a long week or weekend and suitable for everyone looking to feel rejuvenated and relaxed.
Now that you have some basic information on some types of yoga (the ones that I've mentioned above are not all of the types) you can choose the one that suits you the best for a relaxing session. Then again, if your goal is to relax and let your stress out I would recommend Hatha, Kundalini, or Yin for you.
Also, there are many simple yoga asanas like Balasana (Child Pose) and Makarasana (Crocodile Pose), Cat-Cow Pose, Legs up the wall pose that can be immensely relaxing to the mind and body. Just choose any one pose hat you are comfortable with and do it for around 2 to 3 minutes.
9- Journaling/Bullet Journaling
This has been something that I've been doing for a really long time (this year was my third year) and not only that it is calming it also gives me the opportunity to look back easier. It helps me be organized a lot. But this article is not about that, right :)
Writing down your day can help you see things clearer and help you move forward with a calm mind. It doesn't matter whether you create a simple or a complex design, a messy or a neat page, a black-white or a colorful theme... It is your journal! Here are some BuJo designs that may inspire you:
10- Stress Relief Gadgets:
Even if it is a big cliche, it still is the fastest and the easiest way to reduce stress, especially if don't have the time or space you need for other activities. You can try and find which one suits you best. Here are those gadgets:
Fidget Cube / Giant Stress Ball / Magnetized Balls / Fidget Spinner / Squishy
All right... They say that every article has its ending, no? Even if your answer is no, ours has an ending. Sorry :(