Self-care can often feel uncomfortable or selfish, but it is in fact essential for your overall health and wellness. Studies have shown that there are many health diseases and complications linked to stress. (Don't believe us, read extracurricular articles cited below). However, you can avoid that by not allowing stress to have control over your mind and body. Stress is totally manageable and there are many ways that you can relax your mind, heart, and soul. Since April is National Stress Awareness month, we thought it appropriate to share about how stress can affect your health and tips to help manage it.
So, here’s just a brief lesson for you about stress and what it does to your body. We feel it’s so important to understand a little about the physiology of your body and the cause and effect of the impact stress has on you. When an individual encounters a situation, your body sends a signal to the brain to determine whether or not the situation is stressful. This is judged by sensory input, processing, and stored memories (a similar situation and how you dealt with it before). Once the situation has been deemed as stressful, the hypothalamus is activated, which oversees the stress response. These stress responses essentially trigger the release of hormones in your body. A concept that you're probably familiar with is fight or flight response, which is fueled by the release of the hormone cortisol. This hormone provides fuel and energy so that your body can act. That’s of course not the only hormone released. There are many others that are released that lead to further health issues such as an increase in anxiety, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.The list is pretty numerous, but we will keep this science lesson short as promised.
We live in a world where busyness is praised and seen as successful, so unfortunately stress is inevitable. On the flip side though, stress can be managed with a plan and some practical steps. We hear you when you say, “How is it even the slightest bit possible to add self-care time to my plate when I’ve got five kids’ schedules to manage, loads of laundry to do, a social life to maintain, or whatever it may be?” No drastic changes need to be made, but there needs to be some intentional time put aside to provide tools to prevent stress from spiraling into something chronic. Here are a couple small steps to take to get you started:
5 Ways to Observe Stress Awareness Month
Plan! Get yourself a nice little planner from Target or Amazon (very cheap and practical!) and schedule some self-care time along with all your other activities. If you have it written down, it keeps you more accountable to follow through.
Quiet, relaxation time: meditation, prayer, reading a book, journaling, go on a walk, or do whatever you find relaxing. It’s important to have some time to be still, even if that is only ten minutes, anything helps.
Diffuse essential oils to create a peaceful environment while you’re doing chores, cooking, or honestly, anytime. Some of our favorites for setting a relaxing space are Lavender, Bergamot, and Stress Away. Some oils you can try blending together are Lavender, Frankincense, and Orange; Bergamot, Patchouli, and Ylang Ylang; Bergamot, Geranium, and Lavender; and Stress Away and Ylang Ylang. Experiment and mix your own, it’s so fun to create and try something new!
A relaxing, calm bath: Adding some Epsom salt and essential oils will allow you to calm your mind. Again, Stress Away, Lavender, or Bergamot are some of the best for setting the right mood. Light a candle and you’re all set! Also, if you’re into DIY, making your own bath bombs with essential oils is SO MUCH FUN! (see recipe below! Or you can always just buy Young Living’s pre-made essential oil bath bombs 😉)
Take time to do something you love: It’s important to keep up with hobbies, whether that be cooking, painting, dancing, hiking, or whatever it may be for you, it’s important to continue to be inspired.
What are some way you help fight stress? Share with us at #theoilyhomecompanion. 💛
DIY Bath Bombs
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup citric acid
4 tsp coconut oil
1-2 tsp. water
15-20 drops of your favorite Young Living Essential Oil
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk all of them.
Then add coconut oil, 25-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Stir until ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Then add a little water, but do it slowly, because it’ll cause the mixture to fizz. Whisk vigorously to reduce fizzing while adding water.
When the mixture starts to stick together in clumps, press the mixture firmly into your bath bomb molds (or round them out in balls) until molds are filled.
Let sit for 5-8 minutes, then carefully remove bath bombs from the molds (if you’re using them).
Let bath bombs dry for 24 hours, and ta da!