I’m tired of wearing busyness like a badge of honor.
I’m tired of trying my hardest to work a full-time job, maintain relationships, handle chronic illness, work out, read my Bible, nourish my marriage, and look good while doing it.
I was not built for this.
And neither are you.
Ultimately, I believe that God is the only source of perfect peace and no amount of healing crystals or essential oils can mimic a lifelong practice of surrendering our burdens and our dreams to our Creator. However, I do believe God allows us to destress and manage our anxiety through things like medication, supplements, and what I like to call “extra help” routines.
Today, I’d love to share 7 of the ways I de-stress with you. My “extra help” routines. The things God uses to help me divert daily from the distractions and relax to be able to come back to Him and feel like myself again.
It’s my hope and prayer that one or more of these routines would help you take a load off, be still, and rest.
1. Take an Epsom salt or bentonite clay bath.
Unless I stay in a luxurious hotel resort, I’m not a bath person. It has always grossed me out to sit in dirty bath water, but my functional nutritionist kept pushing for me to take Epsom salt baths.
A few months later I scrupulously cleaned the bathtub and I had one.
I won’t say it was life-changing, but it was definitely more pleasant than I was expecting.
Being loaded with magnesium, Epsom salt is a wonderful muscle relaxer and stress reducer. If you’re against taking a bath, you can skip the bath and try a foot soak or a magnesium supplement. Magnesium taken internally is usually a great way to make you “regular” as well.
Just thinking about having to get a workout in after a full workday is enough to make me fall asleep in my office chair.
But there is a ton of research to support the use of exercise as a stress-reducing technique and even to cope with anxiety and depression. Exercise doesn’t have to look like going on a run, lifting weights at the gym, or getting a Cross Fit membership. (If you’re into those workouts, that is awesome!)
Personally, I have the most success with consistency in my exercise regimen when I do things I thoroughly enjoy doing like yoga, dance, or swimming. And I always try to grab a buddy with me if I can because it’s way easier to work up to getting up and moving together.
3. Use lavender essential oil.
Lavender is king.
Seriously, I love this stuff so much because it is inexpensive and has SO many different uses. One of the MAIN uses of lavender essential oil is that it works for the purposes of destressing and to manage anxiety.
A 2013 study by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice showed that taking 80 milligrams of lavender essential oil, internally, alleviated anxious feelings, feelings of self-doubt or sadness, sleeplessness, and improved memory difficulty that comes with aging.
I’d always check in with a practitioner before considering taking oils internally, but a great way to start using lavender oil could be diffusing it at your desk or at home. When I’ve had a strong emotional reaction, I’ve also placed a few drops in my hands and inhaled until I calm down. It has been extremely effective for me.
4. Drink tea!
If you’re not drinking tea, you’re doing it wrong.
Tea and herbs are loaded with tons of nutritional value and different healing properties that support our body’s health as well as helping us destress.
Some of my favorite tea flavors to help de-stress after a long day or week of work are:
A 2016 study showed that long-term use of chamomile extract significantly reduced moderate to severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
Do notifications stress you out?
If they do, you’re not alone. 4 out of 5 American adults who constantly check their phones reported having higher stress levels than those that did not.
Communication is becoming more fluid than ever, but at what cost?
It’s our job to set boundaries and prioritize our health. To decide that our e-mail and work can wait after 5 and on weekends. Or even noticing that you may be comparing yourself to others on social media and deciding to take a break for a bit.
6. Try journaling.
I love that I still have journals that I wrote in as a 3rd grader.
Even though the content in them is mostly filled with how madly in love I was with Jeremy Sumpter, there is some profound stuff in there too. Stuff I don’t even remember writing.
That’s what I love about journaling. It is a great way to process how you’re feeling in that moment. Stuff comes out that you don’t even realize you were feeling. And it can even be such an effective coping method for dealing with trauma, anxiety, and depression.
Even if you’re not a huge writer, I’d encourage to just try your hand at writing down exactly what you’re feeling when you sit down to write. You never know what’ll happen when pen hits paper.
7. Dry brush your heart out.
Have you heard of dry brushing?
It’s a practice where you basically brush your skin just like you would brush your hair. You don’t use water or soap (although you can use essential oils if you’d like to) and you brush in the direction of your heart.
Dry brushing stimulates your lymphatic system, exfoliates your skin, and it feels like a dang massage.
I typically do this right before I get in the shower. Here’s the dry brush I use.
You could just skip the dry brushing and get a massage, but dry brushing has some added health benefits and it ends up being a more affordable option if you can’t get weekly or monthly massages.
Is there anything you’d add to this list? How do you like to de-stress daily, weekly, and annually? Let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you.