Wellness tip: tips and tricks to better manage stress associated with back to school season
Back to school is a busy time of year. The return of the fall routine causes, for the most part, a lot of stress. To help you go through the next few weeks calmly, here a few tips and products that help me relax.
3 WAYS TO RELAX
1. Determine when to spend energy vs. when to relax
Endorphin is the best natural antidepressant. Indeed, exercising on a regular basis can release tension, clear your mind and help you sleep better. However, know that it also energizes the body and mind! That’s why it’s important to listen to your body to see wither you need to move or to rest. Did you know that physical activity can be as beneficial as a yoga session or guided meditation to lower cortisol levels (stress hormone) in your body? According to my Ayurveda profile, my “inner fire” is very active and I like to do both: move first, then rest. I built this routine by listening to my body and through trial and error. I invite you to do the same to determine what is best for you: physical activity, spiritual discipline, or maybe a combination of both.
2. Take time for yourself
One of the things that you should automatically do when you’re busy is taking time for yourself. By the time the dishes are done, the lunches are prepared and the last emails are sent, all we want to do is to go to bed! I invite you to break this vicious circle with some me-time. Whether it’s 5, 10, 15 minutes or 1 hour … make it a point to plan an activity that is fun and good for you: going for a walk, reading, taking a bath, giving yourself a manicure … This time belongs to you will allow you to relax and help you to alleviate this feeling of non-personal achievement that tends to weigh on our shoulders. For my part, I like to put aside some time in the morning. It allows me to start the day off on a good note without rushing. That said, it’s a personal choice. Have your me-time when most appropriate for YOU (according to your schedule, your family situation, etc.).
The side effects of mobile devices are becoming more widely known. These are a direct source of stress because they make us reachable and connected at all times. A simple trick – and oh so underrated! – to reduce stress levels is to look at your phone only at key moments during the day, and same goes for emails. Thus, we are stimulated only a few times during the day and not every 5 minutes by a text message, a Facebook message, an Instagram photo, etc. In addition, since mobile devices are a stimuli for the brain and the nervous system due the blue light they emit, it is important to stop using them 2 to 3 hours before going to bed, and to put your own body on sleep mode.
3 PRODUCTS THAT HELP ME RELAX
Just like exercise, meditation and breathing, dry brushing is a wonderful tool for well-being. How does it work? Using a brush, light brushing movements are made to the skin areas where lymph nodes are present, in order to flush out the toxins. The benefits: it relieves the body and it calms the nervous system. I personally do it every night. It is part of my pre-sleeping routine and it makes me feel so good that I could not do without it! To learn more about dry brushing, read about dry winter brushing and detoxifying lymphatic brushing, both available on blondstory.com.
As aromatherapist Marie Dionne says in one of her articles on blondstory.com: “Essential oils have different properties due to the molecules they contain. In terms of stress remedies, choose essential oils that have soothing, relaxing, and anti-anxiety properties such as true lavender and/or lavender officinale, sweet orange, mandarin, bergamot, marjoram, Roman chamomile, lemon balm, ylang-ylang, rose and orange blossom.” Either by themselves or combined, applied directly to the body or using a diffuser, essential oils are beneficial. For my part, I love the Vivia Aromatherapy vaporizer (ideal on the go or for those who do not have a diffuser) and the Anti-stress, Breathe and Zen Meditation essential oil blends by Divine Essence.
Magnesium is a very effective mineral when it comes to stress management. As I already mentioned in my article on this topic, it plays a role as much on the nervous and digestive systems as on the muscles of the body. Indeed, it is essential for maintaining a regular heart rate, good lipid metabolism, regularization of blood sugar levels and relaxation of body and mind. Magnesium helps me greatly, as I have digestive problems and an anxious temperament. Although it is available in capsules, I prefer to take it in powder form. The product I buy is the Natural CALM blend that I dissolve in a cup of hot water in the evening. In addition to being soothing and comforting, this formula is more easily absorbed by the digestive system than capsules (especially if yours is easily irritable).
I hope that my tips and recommendations will help you go through back to school season more smoothly. If you have any suggestions, do not hesitate to post them in the comments below!