As the cooler weather sets in and more time is spent inside, it is a great time to focus on self care and de-stressing. It can often seem difficult to find time for relaxation, but even spending 10-20 minutes on these at home techniques can significantly decrease stress levels in the body. Relieving stress can lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as loosen muscles.
Lavender aromatherapy - Try a mist, lotion, or even a lavender scented eye pillow to naturally relax the body and mind. Lavender is also helpful to use before bed to promote restful sleep.
Deep breathing - Focus on your breathing for five minutes. Try to match the length of the inhale with the length of the exhale, and increase the count as you relax. Breathe all the way into the abdomen to fill up the lungs. Allow the breath to be slow and natural.
Visualize calmness - For five minutes picture yourself calm, peaceful, and relaxed. Perhaps picture yourself in a place that represents calmness to you. For example, visualize a beach, the mountains, or a quiet lake.
Increase circulation - Exercise releases endorphins and stimulates the mind. Take a walk, perform your favorite yoga poses, or join a class to get your blood flowing.
Listen to relaxing music or guided meditation - Gentle music or a soothing voice can calm the mind, clear racing thoughts, and lower blood pressure.
Incorporate one or more of these simple techniques when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Begin with a 5-10 minute practice and gradually build up to 20-30 minutes.