5 easy ways to de-stress and find inner calm
To help you feel good and reduce anxiety in these difficult times, here are some great ideas from Christina Salcedas, wellbeing expert at Aromatherapy Associates.
Create a calm environment
Now that we’re spending so much time at home it’s important to create an environment that makes you feel happy. It may be a good chance to declutter and make room for your family to work, play and rest. Easy improvements could be putting a favourite pot plant in pride of place, finding that beautifully scented candle you were saving for a special occasion, pushing back the curtains to let the sun in and opening some windows to fill your home with fresh air.
Try using an oil burner to diffuse different essential oils at different times of the day to help set your mind into a relaxed routine. For example, use frankincense oil to get you focussed for the day ahead and then after lunch try a reviving citrus oil. Later, when you’re ready to wind down, switch to a relaxing blend like Aromatherapy Associates Relax Room Fragrance.
Stick to a routine
It’s been proven that keeping to a routine can help keep us upbeat. Waking up at our normal time, taking a shower and changing out of our sleepwear signals to the brain that things are as they should be. It may mean you need to create a new routine but that’s fine too. As I currently have a little more time in the mornings, I’m indulging in daily body brushing in preparation for sunning my legs on the balcony in the future. In the shower, I regularly use a capful of relaxing aromatherapy shower oil and cup my hands over my face to enjoy three long and slow deep breaths of the calming fragrance, to comfort both my mind and my body. My favourite is Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Mind oil, which is a soothing blend of chamomile, frankincense and petitgrain.
Stay connected and informed
It’s important and natural that you’ll want to keep informed. However, if you find anxiety kicking in try to minimise your news intake to just a few sessions a day in order to avoid being overwhelmed. I’ve found switching off news notifications on my phone helps. I’m also focussing my social media time by keeping in touch with friends and family, we are social beings therefore it’s important to keep in touch and not feel alone. Technology has dealt us a helping hand from phone calls and video calls to text message and emails so we have the power to make it happen. Organising virtual coffee breaks and lunches with your friends, family and colleagues via video can really lift your spirits. The options are endless!
Find a place of calm
A quick way to feel centred is by using easy breathing exercises and being more mindful. Breathing exercises are great to ease stress and worry and to find some inner calm. Whilst practising your breathing exercises try inhaling your favourite essential oil. This will stimulate your brain to recall the calmness of the time you last used that scent.
Try breathing in deeply for four seconds, holding your breath in for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds, and holding your breath again for another four seconds. This technique is known as box breathing, it’s easy to master and can really make a difference to how you feel.
Try to keep active
We all know that movement is key to keeping well. Short, high intensity workouts or stretching routines, can be done in the comfort of your own home. Star jumps, squats, knee hugs, back taps and shoulder circles are all easy to do. Try teaming up with other members of your household to make this a social activity. If your exercise routine is fun, you’re far more likely to stick to it.
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