To live your best life, you must reconnect with the very best you—the one who can navigate stress and prioritize self-care. Here are eight ways to start.
Stress—it’s something we all have to deal with from time to time, yet there seems to be a general lack of knowledge about natural stress management options for the everyday person. A healthy amount of stress can be beneficial in encouraging someone to perform their best, yet too much stress can hinder spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being. There comes a point when built-up tension and pressure leave you feeling drained, and may start to affect other important aspects in your life. Being mindful of the ways that stress alters your life can help you gain a better grasp on pressure-causing stimuli, and help you respond to this tension more appropriately in the future. With that knowledge, you can start to better your personal growth and development with a renewed sense of self.
For a replenished mind and body, it’s necessary to look inward and evaluate what causes you to feel anxious or worried, and how you deal with those feelings. Once you’ve done this, you can work your way toward finding the best method of relaxation, restoration, and reconnection. I recommend these eight practices to aid in the cultivation of a healthier lifestyle—they’ll ultimately leave you feeling refreshed and prepared to handle any stress that may come your way.
Aromatherapy can have great benefits, and essential oil blends can be diffused throughout a room as a means to reduce stress, anxiety, and promote clarity. Certain scents are best for focus while others may be better suited for relaxation, but you can use aromatherapy in various ways to feel more refreshed throughout the day. When you go to sleep at night, using lavender or chamomile oils can help calm your mind and improve sleep quality so you feel rested when you wake up the next morning. Also, using lemon or peppermint scents in the morning can energize your mind and lay the groundwork for a productive day.
Practice Yoga or Meditation
Meditation and yoga are both designed to aid the mind and body in relaxation, and either method is appropriate for promoting clarity, reducing stress, and connecting with Self. When you meditate, it’s common to remain still while focusing on a particular point, like breathing, to help calm emotions and clear your head. Yoga concentrates a bit more on the body and can alleviate anxiety and improve mood as you transition through various poses.
There are a multitude of ways to spend time outdoors, and finding something that appeals to you may be easier than you think. Going for a hike, walking your dog on a nature trail, or practicing yoga on the lawn can be a refreshing and relaxing endeavor. Staying cooped up inside for most of the day is often boring and uneventful, and it’s important to get some fresh air for a natural energy boost—especially when the weather is in your favor.
When you feel anxious or tense, essential oils can be applied topically to loosen tight muscles or alleviate stress. It’s hard to perform your best when you don’t feel up to the task, but eucalyptus essential oils can promote blood circulation and rejuvenate your senses with its cooling sensation. Other beneficial options, like lavender or CBD oil, can reduce inflammation and anxiety, helping revive your focus after a long day. Please note: when using essential oils on the skin, it’s best to mix these potent plant extracts with carrier oils, like coconut or olive.
It’s hard to ignore notifications on your phone, but having constant access to email, social media, and calendar reminders at the touch of your fingertips can add immense amounts of stress to your life. Putting your phone on “do not disturb” and stepping away from other electronics is a healthy way to spend some of your time. By doing so, your eyes will have a chance to relax and you will free up your mind to focus on other things (like you).
Take a Cat Nap
While it may seem a bit unorthodox, resting your brain and eyes can revitalize your senses and make it easier to concentrate and stay present. That said, you have to be careful how long you decide to rest—trying to sleep for an hour or more will likely induce some groggy feelings when you wake up, but resting for 20 to 30 minutes will feel refreshing.
This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but many people are often unaware of the effects that food has on their bodies. What you put in is what you get out, so it’s best to supply your body with vitamin and nutrient-rich foods to improve your immunity and cognitive functioning. Also, try to skip the caffeine and alcohol—you body will thank you for staying well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
If you ever feel overwhelmed or mentally fatigued, there’s always the option of indulging in some quality alone time. You can find plenty of ways to unwind on your own—like sitting in a sauna or drawing a warm bath and enjoying a relaxing soak. If you’d rather have someone else pamper you, consider getting a massage or facial at a spa near you.
At times, it may seem as though stress and anxiety are taking over your life, but doing small things day-to-day may help you regain control. Feeling refreshed should be more than simply waking up with a boost of energy, or getting a good night’s sleep—it’s about nurturing your well-being to foster a balanced and healthy outlook on life. Your personal development is at stake if you rarely take the time to replenish your mind and body, so use some of these tips (or come up with your own) as a way to reduce anxious feelings and promote a mindful tomorrow.
About the Author
Vanessa Bermudez is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the co-founder and editor of Modern Girls, a collaborative digital space featured in Girl Gaze Project and Teen Vogue.