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Three Natural Stress Remedies

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Let’s face it, 2020 is proving to be a pretty stressful year for most of us. Given that there’s no shortage of financial, social, familial, and work stress for many of us, what can we do to support resilience in the next few days, weeks, and months? Along with getting good sleep, eating well, cutting down on stimulants and anxiety-inducing screentime, you might also want to turn to some tried and true natural stress remedies.

Exercise!

That’s right, exercise is one of the best natural stress remedies, and it’s free! Whether it’s a short walk before or after breakfast, a mid-morning jog, or an afternoon bike ride, exercise outside is great for mental wellbeing and physical health. And don’t worry, even if you’re staying home to stay safe, you can still get your blood pumping and your muscles working. Dust off that old exercise bike or rowing machine if you’ve got one or make yourself some easy free weights from old laundry detergent or juice bottles filled with water. If you live in a home with stairs, get your steps in that way. And, if you have a garden or yard, get your body moving by mowing the lawn, tidying up the shrubbery, or digging some new vegetable beds. You might even get creative by making a badminton net with some rope and deer fencing!

Relaxation techniques

A whole host of great relaxation techniques exist to help with acute and chronic stress. Even just pausing for a moment several times a day and taking a few deep breaths can help settle nerves and calm the mind and body. Even better, do this outdoors and take note of five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can smell, and two things you can feel (such as the breeze on your skin or the ground under your feet).

More ‘active’ ways to relax include:

Taking a bath, Reading a good book (escapist fiction is a good bet!), Practicing yoga, Meditating (even for just a minute or two at first), Gardening, Crafting, Walking the dog, Playing with the cat, Going for a run, Taking a bike ride with the family, Wild swimming.

Use aromatic plants to lift your mood

Smell is a powerful sense that can have immediate and strong effects on your mood. If you’re feeling low, stressed out, or anxious, aromatic essential oils can give your mood a boost by stimulating your olfactory receptors in your nose that link up to the emotional centre of your brain.

Here are a few great choices for uplifting and relaxing essential oils:

• Bergamot: Spicy and citrusy, bergamot can lift mood and calm nervousness

• Chamomile: A well-known calming herb, chamomile promotes relaxation

• Clary Sage: Floral and uplifting, this is a popular essential oil for anyone experiencing the stress of childbirth!

• Lavender: Long used to calm nerves and lift mood, put a couple of drops of lavender oil on a tissue and tuck it in your pillow to help you sleep

• Orange: Zesty and sweet, orange gives your mood a good old dose of sunshine

• Peppermint: A great choice for calming down stress-related hotheadedness to help you relax and focus

• Rose: Sweet and floral, rose essential oil can promote a happy and content feeling

• Ylang Ylang: A little tropical and sweet, this oil boosts positivity and is like a mini vacation in a bottle!

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