Who isn’t stressed this time of year? Do these people exist? What’s their secret? Have they flown away from the cold to a warm beach somewhere or did they decide to live off the grid? Is it even possible to live without stress? How do we know this isn’t some big myth?
Stress might be inevitable but that unproductive stress that makes you feel tight in the chest and anxious doesn’t have to be a fact of life. Our experience is that a life without the level of stress that is detrimental to your health is possible. Living a more centered life is often because of a cumulation of small mindful choices instead of drastic life changes.
Here are 5 things you can do right now to chill out a bit more and feel more centered right now:
Stock up on some candles, sprays, or a diffuser so you can breathe in sweet lavender, rose, or jasmine. Lavender has been studied for its potential soothing and therapeutic qualities while rose oil has shown to balance hormonal levels while helping us de-stress. Head over to your local Saje to find some scents you love and will help you feel centered. Plus we think the act of doing something like lighting a candle or smelling something that calms you down is sort of meditative on its own.
Decluttering and tidying up the spaces you work or live in can be shown to make you feel happier. Cleaning the dishes, in particular, has been shown to make us feel more relaxed and happier. Cleaning up your room, house or office, can help you feel a little more in control of your surrounds and it can give your chance for your mind to wander a bit while working on a low-stress task. Guess that’s why Marie Kondo is so chipper!
Acupuncturists say that we have pressure points in the tips of our ears and doing something as simple as rubbing our ears can help relieve stress and make us calmer. Start at the tip of your ear and work your way down for 1-2 minutes or find someone else to do it for you while you hold a cup of chamomile tea!
Getting outside and being in nature makes us feel better. It’s a scientific fact. Taking some time to get the blood pumping, breathe in some fresh air, and clear your head at least once a day has been shown to lower blood pressure, increase your immunity, sharpen your focus, calm your mind, and increase your memory!
Back away from the screen (after you finish reading this, of course), even if you’re working on something urgent. Taking a break, even a quick one can give you some perspective, allow you to breathe, and feel a little more refreshed. It can also help you feel less achy from sitting all day and give you more energy to complete your pile of tasks.
If you’re looking to try something even bigger, experts advise taking a social media break. We’re often overloaded with things to get done and deadlines, so seeing everyone’s ‘best selves’ on social media often doesn’t help.
Looking for more on mental health? Read our next article on How I Overcame My Anxiety in a Year.