DE-STRESS

I always find myself looking at articles on how to de-stress. Stress is a killer. Unfortunately, more often than not the advice isn’t entirely practical. Sometimes, taking a vacation ain’t always realistic. And who actually finds getting their hair done to be relaxing? I certainly don’t. Sitting in those chairs for an extended period of time hurts my butt cheeks.

Not to mention that these are things that need to be planned. Need to be paid for. Things that you can’t necessarily get done the day you feel you need to de-stress. So here are ten ideas on how to easily de-stress that you can do today.

Ten Ways To De-Stress Today:

Have sex.

Sex is awesome. It’s fun. It releases tension as well as oxytocin. Oxytocin is nicknamed “the love hormone.” You guessed it – it promotes feeling of love and trust, thus revving up it’s anti-stress benefits.  Sex has also been shown to lower blood pressure and boost the immune system. Plus, it’s a workout, which releases serotonin (serotonin makes you happy!).

Get a massage or acupuncture.

Both massage and acupuncture are deeply relaxing and remove toxins. I can’t express how much I love getting a massage. They feel so good and totally put the brain at ease.

Not enough money to get a massage? Don’t have time?

The good thing about a massage is that you can get your partner to give you one. Setup a massage night where you massage each other for twenty or thirty minutes each. You can also get a friend to do this. My friend Sara is really good at massages. Which is why I frequently ask, “Dude will you massage my shoulders really quick?”

Read a book.

I find that a lot of times I’m stressed because I have something on my mind, or more likely I have an entire to do list full of items I’ve been neglecting for weeks. Take your mind off of your constant to do list! Get engulfed in a story.

Take a detox bath.

I wrote all about detox baths here. Don’t be fooled by the humble bath, there’s science to back up it’s de-stressing properties. Yes, sitting in a big bowl full of warm water with nice scents is great. But you can amp up this bath by adding epsom salt, which is rich in magnesium. Most people are deficient in magnesium, which is unfortunate considering how vital this mineral is to mood.

Magnesium promotes feelings of relaxation and can ward off depression, anxiety and stress. Stress actually depletes magnesium so it’s important to make sure you’re regularly getting magnesium either through something like a magnesium lotion or a bath containing magnesium.

Watch your favorite movie.

Like reading a book, sometimes you just want to plop down, turn off your brain and watch a movie. Funny movies are my favorite. Watching Get Him To The Greek or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Knocked up always helps me de-stress. This is why movie nights with homemade pizza are always a great option.

Take a friggin’ power nap.

Take a twenty minute nap. There’s no need to take a two hour nap, you’re not a toddler. Long naps interfere with your circadian rhythm and can throw off your sleep schedule. Power naps, which are usually around twenty minutes, actually boost your energy. They can be incredibly relaxing. If you’re having a busy day, didn’t get a good night of sleep, can’t focus and are feeling stressed – just take twenty minutes to yourself. Close your eyes, set a timer on your phone and just sleep.

Get a pedicure.

Or give yourself a pedicure. This works for dudes too! Having someone pamper and rub your feet is always a good option. Veg out on a trashy magazine or a good book while you’re getting your feet beautified.

Eat a long, leisurely dinner with a loved one.

Did you know that eating dinner with your significant other can also release oxytocin? Yup.

Spend the night cooking your favorite foods together or order in (try to get healthy options when ordering take out!). Don’t rush through your meal. Chill out. Go slow. Eat an appetizer. Talk. Eat dinner. Talk when eating. Enjoy your food. Savor it. Then have sex!

Help someone. Make them happy. Spend time with them.

Recently my grandmother and I visited an elderly neighbor from our old neighborhood. We hadn’t seen her in years but still considered her a good friend. She was always so kind to me growing up and never judged me as a kid, even though my family did drugs and always had the cops at our house.

When we showed up she immediately recognized us and invited us in. We all had an awesome time catching up and even though before visiting her I was stressed about all the things I needed to get done for work, I felt amazing. No stress. My soul felt happy. I’d made two old ladies happy, what’s better than that?!

This is one of the most important things you can do for your own well being. Help others. Spend time with them. You don’t need to make it some grand gesture. You don’t need to spend money. Just visit someone. Offer a friend a ride. Help someone through a tough time. Just do something, anything, for someone else.

Have a dance party by yourself.

I do this regularly. I literally turn on rap music really loud and dance. This is also a great workout.

Essential Oils

Of course, I have to include my beloved EOs. When I’m feeling stressed out and I have a ton of stuff going on, I always reach for my essential oils. Depending on the time of day and the type of stress, this is what I recommend:

In the morning when you have a busy day ahead of you and you feel stressed about it, use Citrus Bliss.

During the day when you feel stressed, anxious or frustrated, use Balance.

At night when you’re stressed, going over your to do list in your head and just need to shut your brain off, use Serenity.

Find out how to buy essential oils here.

Photo courtesy of the good ol’ EPA.

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