Jan 15, 2021
7 Stress-Reducing Relaxation Rituals
Everyone deals with stress- it’s an inevitability of life. Fortunately (and contrary to popular belief), stress is not inherently bad. Read below to learn more.
Start managing your stress.
We say stress is not inherently bad because oftentimes (if managed well) it can motivate you to make a positive change in your life or push you to get that project at work done on time. Stress becomes bad when it is prolonged due to poor stress-management.
The National Institute of Mental Health explains that chronic stress can lead to a myriad of health issues like heart disease, dementia, and diabetes. Finding ways to effectively manage stress is extremely important as research has shown a correlation between chronic stress and earlier onset of age-related diseases. Luckily, there are many ways that you can manage stress and prevent stress-related diseases. Below are some relaxation rituals that will melt away your struggles.
Stress becomes bad when it is prolonged due to poor stress-management.
1. Slip Into Something Cozy
Cozy clothing to wear around your home is essential. This is a pillar of a concept Danish people call “hygge” and advocates for having comfort all around you to create a more relaxed atmosphere. So go ahead, relax and put on a soft plush robe and some fuzzy slippers. Maybe even cuddle up to a comfy throw blanket and a herbal neck or back wrap on your couch and read a good book (or binge a feel-good show –– we're not judging!) to take your mind off your own life for a while.
Meditation is something you can do on a daily basis to center and calm yourself. Focus on a quiet place, deep breathing, and tuning out stressors. No smartphones allowed! This is a time solely for you to bring a moment of peace and block out negative emotions. Mindful meditation even for just 10 minutes per day can do wonders for your spirit and your ability to relax.
3. Wrap Up
Herbal wraps and eye packs are some of my favorite "de-stressing" tools. They can instantly transform my mood, reduce tension in my muscles, and help me be more present. My favorite products? Kozi.
Kozi products are designed to distribute weight and apply pressure in ways that foster ergonomic health and deep relaxation. Each one is filled with a physician formulated herbal blend for aromatherapy, and flax seeds for weight and contouring. Created with longevity in mind, Kozi wraps, masks, and pillows feature ultra durable fabrics and expert craftsmanship.
Whether you're walking, cleaning the house, playing tennis, or practicing yoga - studies show moving your body may make you more resistant to the negative effects of stress. Thirty minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day is recommended to ensure you reap all of the benefits!
5. Escape With a Hot Bath
Bathing can be the ultimate way to step outside of your worries, clear your mind, and melt away any tenseness in your body. Try using an herbal soak (like this one from Moor Spa) or a hydrating bath milk (like this one from Cannafloria) or simple add in a few drops of essential oils like ylang-ylang or roman chamomile to your bath and soak for at least 20-30 minutes. Maybe even dim the lights and light a candle.
6. Sip Some Herbal Tea
Feeling stressed or anxious? Consider swapping out your regular coffee for a cup of tea to help you relax.
Herbal teas like chamomile, lemon balm, and honey lavender are geared towards relaxation and stress relief. Even the ritual of making tea can be very calming. Engage all your senses in the preparation. Breathe deeply while waiting for the water to boil. Take in the fragrance of the steeping tea leaves. Inhale the aroma while you sip and feel the warmth of the mug. All of this surrounding the tea experience can be very helpful in calming down a stressful day.
7. Get a Massage
Massage is a perfect way to relax. It allows you to step outside of your life for a little while and focus on your body. How does your body feel? Are your shoulders practically pressed up against your ears because you are holding yourself so tightly wound? If you are getting a massage, the goal is to relax and soothe away possibly painful areas in your body that are tied up in knots or holding onto stress.
While this has been difficult to do over the past year due to the pandemic, you do have some options! Try doing massages with your partner or if you're comfortable, find a massage therapist who provides mobile services and could come to your home!
Practicing regular relaxation rituals will help bring tranquility and peacefulness back into your life (not to mention they're really easy and to do!)
Written by Kara Montgomery
Kara believes the small choices of what we expose ourselves to on a day-to-day basis have a profound impact on our overall health. As a published neurotoxicology researcher, Kara has participated in studies that examined the link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease, which have garnered around $1 million in NIH funding. With this knowledge, Kara takes a critical eye to the products and habits all of us engage with on a regular basis. She holds a BS in Neuroscience from King University.