This past week was one of the longest work weeks of my life! From one job to the next... from yoga pants to work pants. Being an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist and Yoga Teacher can be taxing. Most days I don't know what office I'm going to, what studio I'm going to, am I teaching yoga? or am I doing therapy? Life is stressful.
Stress is one of the biggest health concerns in the world. It's been connected to the common cold, the flu, headaches, anxiety and depression. So, how can we decrease stress and increase our over all HAPPINESS and HEALTH?
1. Create a "ZEN" space in your home.
Having a peaceful, calm home is very important. There is nothing more relaxing than walking into a clean home that smells like heaven. I recently moved out of my "sacred" apartment and into a space with 2 male identified men. Creating a space for myself was important. Even if it's simply my bedroom and my bathroom, it helps to come home to a peaceful space that is just for me.
2. Take a moment to Breathe & Meditate.
The breath is our Prana, our Life Force. Something so simple, yet something often forgotten. Take a moment to simple notice your breath and really breathe. Inhale and Exhale for a count of five, close the eyes, and find stillness in the mind and body as you follow the breath in a simple meditation.
3. Do Yoga (Exercise).
Yoga is my saving grace. Yoga is like giving your body a self hug and massage; it is a mind-body practice that connects physical movement, controlled breathing, meditation and relaxation. Yoga helps to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and reduce your heart rate.
4. Leave your "clients"/work at the office.
How can you relax and de-stress when you bring your work home? Leave it at the office. Creating good boundaries for yourself is an important step to managing your home and work life. Even so much as checking a single e-mail can send you back into the stressful spiral of life. I know, I've been there. So, leave work at work.
5. Take a hot bath or shower.
Soak off the stress with a nice hot bath or shower. Bathing is sometimes seen a cleansing and clearing ritual. Wash away the stress and warm the muscles into ultimate relaxation.
6. Spend some time in nature.
There is nothing more relaxing to me that sinking my toes into the sand at the beach, smelling the salty air and feeling the ocean breeze on my face. What is your sacred space in nature? Go there and simple be there.
7. Spend time with family or friends.
There is nothing quiet like laughing with friends and family after a long work week. Find some time to hang out, laugh and simply be silly.
8. Drink a cup of tea.
Unwind, kick back, relax, and sooth the soul with a warm cup of tea. My favorites are Honey Lavender Stress Relief by Yogi Tea and Trader Joe's Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea.
9. Listen to calming music.
Music can be powerful. Not only is music a way to express your thoughts and feelings, music also help clear the mind. Research has found that musical vibrations floods the part of the brain that is associated with emotions, reward and arousal.
10. Cuddle up to a lighthearted movie.
Get your mind off work. Cuddle up... solo, with friends and family or a significant other. Turn on a lighthearted film or your favorite TV show and let your imagination run wild.
How you live your life is a choice. There's going to be stress in everything you do. How will you choose to react?