We all have our down days, and I am not going to put up any front and say that I don’t. Of course I share on my blog a lot of the positive highlights in my life, but I also want to be able to be completely transparent with you all, and share every aspect of it, including both my ups and my downs. I don’t want to ever say that I would have not wanted something to have happened, or to remove any experience from my life, because I believe that all happenings in our life are for a reason. The reason why I am so firm about this mindset is because of my past history with an eating disorder and lack of self love. But I also keep in my mind that my life will go in the direction which I guide it, in the sense that if I stay positive about any event I view as negative in my life, I can steer myself into a better direction, mediate the pain, sadness, or distress that I feel, and make better choices/moves for the next time.
I wanted to share with you all 12 things that I do to relax and destress, and hopefully these can give you some ideas 🙂
1. Close My Eyes, Breathe and Meditate
I only recently started incorporating meditation into my life, because honestly the practice was intimidating for me to get into. I want to let you know that it really does not have to be! I used to look at meditation as a specific practice, meaning that there were correct and incorrect ways of meditating, but it is not! Meditation techniques are not one size fits all, and you must explore the practice to figure out what works best for you, which is the beauty of it all. The journey to YOUR ultimate relaxation is a learning experience, and I was able to find what worked best for me.
I like to set up my essential oil diffuser in my room (#5 on the list), find a comfortable seated or laying position on my bed, and close my eyes. Some days it’s 10 minutes, some days its 5. I know that it may be hard to clear your mind, it is sometimes for me too, so in those cases I like to repeat a statement of positivity that is relevant to my life at the moment, listen to some music, or try simply closing my eyes and taking deep breaths. You can even count the breaths if that helps you find focus and clearing your mind.
2. Talk It Out
Now talk it out, now talk it out, now talk it out. Haha I am sorry, I just had to.
Sometimes all you need it another set of ears, to vent to someone you can trust and are comfortable sharing your feelings with. Regardless of whether or not the other person can provide insight, feedback, advice, etc., sometimes it just helps to verbally express your feelings, to get it off of your chest. It brings a sense of release and relief in a way, and can be very therapeutic. The sheer fact that I have someone there to listen to me, regardless of whether or not they have much, if anything, to say, I feel supported and no longer alone in the stress that I am experiencing. Of course, it is a plus if the person you are venting to has feedback. Better yet, they may even have had experience with what you are going through. Don’t be afraid to open up and turn to others for help, because sometimes that is what you need!
3. Enjoy Some “Me-Time”
Sometimes all it really takes is some time to myself to regroup, reflect, and relax. There are moments in my life where I need to vent and connect with others to relax, but there are also other times where I just need to do me and be alone for a little bit. Just remember that alone time is OKAY! It is nothing you should be ashamed about, but it is something you should embrace and enjoy 🙂 Get to know yourself better during this time, and I promise you it will help you feel more grounded and in tune with your mind.
4. Listen to Some Music
One of the first things I do when I am out in public or at school and feel a sense of stress or unease is to pop in my headphones and listen to some soothing music. And I want to add in here that “soothing” is whatever you define it to be. What I mean is whether you choose classical music, hip hop, jazz to calm you down, turn to that! But I also encourage you to step outside of that comfort zone and try out something new as well, maybe there is a calming genre that you have not yet discovered. Spotify has a ton of playlists, and they even have a mood board where you can pick and choose set playlists based on how you are feeling, or how you want to feel! I have been utilizing this a ton lately and something as simple as that has helped me IMMENSELY! My spotify profile is public and you can follow me for ideas if you want! 🙂 Find me here: SSimpleV
5. Turn to Essential Oils & Utilize My Diffuser
I started using a diffuser after Chris introduced me to it in his apartment and I have been in love with it since.I usually do this in combination with either mediation or listening to music, or sometimes both. I recently tried out the Oregon Scientific Earth Aroma Diffuser from The Grommet and love it! 🙂
All you have to do is fill it up with water, and a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil, and just kick back and relax. It is a form of therapy that targets a sense often overlooked, and that is smell! Isn’t it interesting to think about how certain smells can take us back to specific memories, emotions, etc. growing up? I grew up drinking fresh lemon grass tea from our plant in our garden, and the smell and taste of lemon grass always brings me back to that time and brings a sense of comfort and a home-y feeling. I realized that this is why my favorite essential oil is lemongrass essential oil. I place a few drops in my diffuser and it not only refreshes the air in my room but also brightens up my mood. Lemongrass is actually a natural antidepressant, so it makes sense now to me why I love it so much and I will continue using it to help the positive energy flow <3
6. Go on a Staycation
It isn’t practical for us to drop everything and bounce when we are in a stressful situation that we want to escape from, so I suggest you temporarily/momentarily step away from the environment/situation that you are in. Go somewhere outside of your home, library, etc. for a few hours, or a day if you have it, and take a day trip to a close and practical location to clear your mind and relax. You can go to the beach, go get a massage, or even lay out on your back lawn and watch the clouds/birds/etc.
7. Get in the Kitchen & Cook Up Something I Love
Cooking is very therapeutic for me, and I love to get into the kitchen and clear my mind for a bit and focusing on something other than what is stressing me out for a moment, whether it be 10 minutes or an hour, I also feel so much calmer when doing so. I draw inspiration from all over (Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Etc) and get creative in the kitchen. Have fun, experiment, or make yourself something you already know you love!
8. Get Moving!
My choice of physical activity will vary depending on the day and time, but I love to: lift weights, do yoga, run, or sometimes even just go for a walk. Believe it or not, exercise actually fights fatigue and boosts energy. There have been days where I feel stressed and lethargic, but I use all of my might to get myself to do something active and once finished, I feel 10x better than when I started. Getting the blood flowing and that adrenaline rush when I am owning a workout uplifts my mood, and allows me to more positive, strong, and of course, happy energy and thoughts!
9. Spend Time With My Kitty Goji
One of my favorite things to do to relax is to cuddle up with my baby girl. I can go cuddle with Chris or give someone I love a big hug, but it just isn’t the same. There’s something about Goji, and all animals, that is coming to me in times of stress. It seems that she gravitates towards me during these times in order to soothe me, and she helps me cope in a way no other can. I honestly believe Goji can feel my energy, and sense distress or negativity. One long cuddle with her and I always feel so much better.
10. Write in My Journal
Writing my emotions out has been a huge outlet for me lately, and so effective. I am a very introverted person, and although I do like to talk things out with my close friends and family, there are times where I feel I can’t properly articulate how I feel as they are not fully aware of ALL that is going on in my life.
I also want to add that writing in your journal is not solely for times of stress or angst, it is also a place for you to record moments of gratitude, happiness, anything you want to write down and remember (or not). Your journal can be something that you turn to to write emotions out and discard, or you can look back on it in the future — it is anything you want to make of it. Your journal should be a sacred place for you to connect with yourself, especially in times where you feel you need to keep things personal.
I use a book called Start Where You Are, which is an interactive journal of self-exploration and takes it things to a whole new level. It is a reminder to take time to get to know myself, explore my dreams, and set positive intentions so that I can achieve what I desire. Each page has either thought provoking and inspiring quote, prompt/exercise/activity and it allows me to reflect on different aspects of my life that I would not otherwise. This book was included in my “Items of Positivity” round-up a few months ago, which is another resource for you to turn to in times where you need just a little bit of a push to keep you up and grounded.
If you don’t have access to this book or any similar, or simply just don’t want to spend the money on it, you can of course use a regular journal or even a piece of paper. When I write down how I am feeling, I also try to include the why of the moment as well, so when I look back at it in the future, I will understand the full situation, and choose to either avoid similar situations to rid of that negativity from my life, or to incorporate more of what I was feeling/doing to include more positivity in my life (depending on what the situation is).
11. Remember “As Within, So Without”.
What this means is essentially that your outside physical world is an exact reflection of that within you. Our homes, rooms, and any sort of personal space is a reflection of what is going on within us, and vice versa. Growing up, my mom always used to emphasize the fact that I could only ever be relaxed and at peace in my mind when my physical space is cleared. I used to think she was just trying to find ways to get me to clean my room (maybe half true haha), but I now have come to realize how right she was. My room has looked like a tornado hit it these past few
weeks….okay okay months….and once I finally started to really put things away, organize, and clear my space of unneeded material, I began to feel free, calm, and my mind cleared.
I’m not sure if any of you are familiar with Dara Dubinet on youtube, but she was actually the reason why I started to pay more attention to this fact, and utilize the action of clearing my space to clear my mind.
12. Do Something You Love
Do something you you know will make you smile, and bring you to a more positive mood. Whether it be painting, photographing, ceramics, making kombucha, anything you could possible see bringing yourself up 🙂 Take actions that will help clear your mind, and better yourself as a person all together in the end.
+ always remember to “Love Yourself, Choose Health”!
Your health is all encompassing of your mind, body and spirit. Show yourself love in every regard, providing yourself the best possible nutrient dense plant-based foods, clearing your mind of negative thoughts and mindsets, tell yourself you love YOU and show yourself you really do mean it by actively living this out each day.
I hope that this post was of some help to you, thank you so much for allowing me to share myself here with you. Comment below if you have any experience with these or suggestions of other techniques and I will definitely check them out.