“Just chill out why don’t you?”. Isn’t that like the most single infuriating piece of advice when you are actually stressed!
Let’s get real here. Stress is very much part and parcel of daily life these days. It’s become such a common watch word that I wonder how we all used to feel before the word stress came to be bandied around so much. Were we just struggling to keep on top of things, a bit tired and emotional, in need of a re-charge?
I spend a lot, and a I mean a lot, of time working on ways to actively minimize the white noise in my own brain.
For me routine is what works best and making sure that I can spend time exercising and more lately meditating too.
Now they might sound airy fairy when you have kids to manage, a household to run and perhaps even a full time job to hold down but prioritizing quietening down your mind will honestly help put everything else into perspective and it needn’t take as long as you think. You can accomplish a real sense of balance and reclaim your inner chi if you just spend 5 mins on a bit of focused guided meditation. Just set your alarm a few minutes earlier and do it in bed. That's what I've been doing.
If that’s really not your thing then here’s a few other relaxation hacks you might want to try out for yourself just in case that two-week yoga detox retreat in a 5-star villa in Thailand isn’t about to happen any time soon!!!
Increase your intake of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a super vitamin and proven to help regulate the stress hormones pumping around your body. It helps you feel less anxious. If like me your answer to stress is to indulge in a regular nightcap of a very large glass of red, then you will most likely be all too familiar with that morning after feeling of anxiety – coupled with a just a tinge of self-loathing as you fell off the Wednesday Wine Wagon yet again! Vitamin C is great at countering anxiety and naturally levelling out your blood sugar levels. We’re not just talking a glass of orange juice, get snacking on raspberries, strawberries and blueberries all of which are coming into season and get plenty of extra greens with your evening meal, broccoli, brussel sprouts and kale are great additions to your dinner plate.
Try and take a digital detox.
This is a hard one I know! How are you going to keep up with all the fabfitforty news if you’re not regularly checking in? I’ll still be here next week and you’ll be very welcome back my lovelies. Taking a screen break is not just healthy but really it should be mandatory. Screen time stimulates an already over active mind and if you’re already feeling down struggling to make sense of your life and your accomplishments, pouring over some insta account of someone 25 years younger than you in a bikini on a fully paid jolly to the Maldives whilst you’re wrestling with the ironing, then you might just be feeling inadequate rather than inspired right now! Maybe reconnect yourself with the printed word and indulge in a good book.
Amp up your bathing so that it becomes almost ritualistic
This sounds clichéd and again, I know what you’re thinking, “but I don’t have the time”. Well ladies, try and find the time. A good old soak is so cathartic and therapeutic. Take your book, light a scented candle, put on a hair and a face mask and you’ll be multi-tasking. I do a lot of exercise so a regular bath helps relax and release the tension in my muscles. I love to add some magnesium and epsom salts to my bath to really help with the detoxification process. I always feel more chilled when I emerge, mermaid like, from the inner sanctuary that is my sacred bathroom!
You’ve got to release the pressure….points
A quick tip here and one of my own tried tested and true techniques. Take your thumb, place it just below your ankle joint and put your third finger on the other side of your bone. Squeeze gently, count down from 60, take some deep breaths and I challenge you not to feel more relaxed. 60 second ladies and just your thumb and finger. Go on, give it a go.
Try some aromatherapy oils
Oils have been around for centuries and they really can help with a whole host of sensory issues. Jasmine and Ylang Ylang are natural sedatives and can help calm down that neurotic mind of yours! Lavender is great for easing feelings of anxiety and Neroli provides a feel good happiness factor. If you’re worried about the mess of oils and how you are going to administer them on the run, opt for a roll on version and keep it in your purse for when the commuters curse kicks in! #delayedtrainrage. Just role onto your wrists or neck for an immediate and essential pick me up.
Here are a couple that get a big old fabfit thumbs up.