Happy Monday lovelies!
The other week I was thinking about how far I’ve come in the last couple of years with anxiety, and would love to share a couple of techniques that have helped get me through difficult times.
Tense/relax muscles before bed
When I was younger, I used to stress about not being able to go to sleep, which in turn kept me awake and stressed me out even further. One great technique I was taught was to tense and relax my body as I went to bed. You should be lying down to do this. Start from the bottom, and work your way up. Tense the muscles in your feet (clench toes and bend your feet in), holding this position for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat this, then move up to your legs, torso, arms etc. Basically any part of the body you can tense up (without hurting yourself). Once you’ve worked your way up, tense your whole body, holding the position for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat this step a few times. This whole process helps release energy, and should physically tire your body out. While you may not feel sleepy, it does help you physically wind down (and if you feel like you’ve used energy, you’ll be more inclined to rest, and hopefully sleep!)
Peppermint tea has all kinds of health benefits, and nothing beats a warm cup of peppermint tea. The smell of the fresh tea helps settle me, and I find the steam that comes off the cup opens up my pores, kind of giving me a mini-refresher. (Bonus: put the tea in your favourite cup for extra comfort! Mine is my border collie cup).
Just like the tea, I find steam really does help relax my whole body, as well as clear my mind. I recommend having one after work to help refresh yourself, or just before bed to help you relax and settle in for the night.
Okay, this one is a little strange, but I honestly feel like moisturizing in the morning and evening helps me feel calmer. Moisturizing my face is like getting a mini massage, and keeps my skin soft and smooth. If you can, go for something with natural products in it, particularly ones with other health benefits.
My mum creates these amazing soy wax ones (so much better than paraffin candles!), and I love lighting one in the evening after a hot shower. The soft glow and the scent are calming, and I think it just adds to a room’s atmosphere. Just make sure you put it out before going to bed!
Adult colouring-in books
My friend recently introduced me to this latest trend, and I’m loving it. It feeds my creative soul, and time goes by really quickly – it’s hard to stop once you start a page! If you don’t want to spend money on a colouring-in book, there are plenty of designs online that are free for you to print off and colour.
Whether you have a pet that lives underwater or on land, these creatures are great for our health (unless you’re allergic!) At the moment I have two Siamese fighting fish in my apartment, and it’s nice to just sit and watch them swim around in the tank. There’s been studies conducted about fish and the way they make great pets in the office (de-stress workers, something to look after as a team etc.)
I also have two family dogs, so whenever I visit my parents I get to see them. Anyone who knows me knows I have a very special place in my heart for my border collie, as she has brought so much love and joy into the lives of so many. Both her and our labrador love their walks too, so whenever I get a chance I love taking them for a long walk. This form of exercise is known to combat depression/anxiety too.
Do you have a technique or natural remedy that works for you? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below.