Saturday, June 28, 2014

6 Ways to Naturally Relieve Stress

This week, I noticed some of my telltale signs of stress - shallow breathing, holding my breath, feeling anxious. Maybe it was that my 14 month old son has started waking up in the middle of the night on a regular basis again (at least once per night, plus waking up earlier in the morning). Maybe it was all of the discussions my husband and I have had over the past 1.5 weeks with relation to family items. Maybe it was the extra strong coffee I made.

I was running around feeling productive because I was getting so much done around the house, yet I could not stop feeling anxious when I sat down for 5 minutes. After a few minutes of reflection on how I arrived at this point, I focused on how to relieve stress at home. Here are the 6 ways to naturally relieve stress that I use on a regular basis.


Running

A good cardio workout helps to get the blood moving through the body, oxygenates the blood and the brain, and gives a rush of energy. Running helps me to reflect, process and clear my mind. Running on a regular basis helps me to stay calmer and be more patient with my toddler.

Going Outside

Breathing fresh air is always good for our bodies! A walk around the walk for 5 minutes has helped me many times to calm down, relax and regroup. There is something about nature that is calming. Going outside can be a walk around the yard, the neighborhood, or running an errand.

Cleaning and Organizing

Organizing clutter, like piles of clothes, toys and other random things lying around, by putting it away in its rightful place is therapeutic. Cleaning out weeds in the garden or the yard helps to focus my mind on one task instead of my mind running in many different directions. Scrubbing dirt helps to get some of the aggression out.

Talking

Keeping emotions bottled up can increase the stress level. A quick call or text message to my husband or a friend to let them know of an aggravating situation eases the tension. No details need to be given, just the point of acknowledging the stressful situation helps my mind to refocus on moving forward.

Prioritizing

Being a full time stay at home mom is a 24x7 (plus more) job. Keeping the toddler changed, fed and happy while keeping the house clean and in order is a monumental task on most days. I constantly have to tell myself that the game has changed and I need to change my expectations by prioritizing. Focusing on one room per day or spending 5-10 minutes cleaning up clutter is more realistic.

Taking a Bath

Taking a bath with calming essential oils like lavender is a great way to unwind the mind and the body. After the running, the cleaning and organizing and carrying around a 24 lb toddler, my body aches. A hot bath is the perfect solution for my achy body. The quiet time helps me to reflect and the hot water relaxes my tired muscles. I am always ready for sleep afterwards.

These are some of the techniques that I use to help myself relieve stress naturally. Though an adults-only all-inclusive beach vacation or a regular massage at a spa sound heavenly, they are not always possible or feasible. Techniques that can be used on a daily basis to keep myself calm and sane work better in the long run. I can assess how stressed I am and if I need to do anything about it. Remembering to focus on myself for a few minutes every day is a great reality check.

>> What are some of the ways that you relieve stress on a daily basis??
  


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