Stress — the unwanted plus-one that seems to accompany every event in life. Around the holidays it’s found in bulk, and when January arrives many people experience stress and pressure they find nearly overwhelming.
But there is no need to schedule an appointment for an expensive massage or acupuncture, say experts in stress management who advocate easier ways to find relaxation and stay within budget.
Essential oils have been gaining popularity in recent years as a way to relieve stress and relax naturally. Jennifer Schai, owner of Oil and Vine located at The District at Green Valley Ranch, has been educating customers about the benefits of essential oils for nearly two years. She says her customers are always surprised at how quickly the oils seem to work.
“You can see almost immediate results,” Schai said. “It kind of comes down to the fact that essential oils are lipids (common naturally occurring cells containing hydrocarbons) . . . so they’re able to penetrate our cells with no trouble because our cells are lipids. They work. They’re able to help you relax, help you with a headache or whatever it might be.”
In the search for stress relief, lavender is the best option, according to Schai, as it is known to bring relaxation and help fight insomnia. She suggests applying lavender oil on the crevasse underneath the ball of the foot, where the biggest pores of the body are located and from where oils can be absorbed within one minute.
“The benefits of essential oils are just monumental,” she said. “Lavender came into my life three or four years ago, and I feel like I can finally sleep.”
Schai sells DoTERRA essential oils in her shop, and can point customers to an assortment of oils for their needs.
But if essential oils are not your style, there are many other options to choose from, including yoga.
The Mayo Clinic recommends yoga as “a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation.” According to the institution, yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate.
By slowing down and focusing on a single thing, your brain and body have a chance to recover from stress and anxiety, enabling you to handle things one at a time, rather than feeling bombarded all at once. Yoga uses breathing techniques called pranayama to help bodies slip into a restful state for increased relaxation.
For those who find clean to be relaxing, decluttering your home can be an effective way to relieve stress while also tackling a daily chore.
Sandy Chisholm, who specializes in moving, organization, and interior design, suggests approaching decluttering with a simple four box formula: throw away, donate, consign and keep.
“You take those from room to room and you fill them up, and make them go away,” she said. “And for the most basic decluttering, I would say just get rid of things like newspapers and magazines.”
While decluttering, Chisholm usually asks her clients questions about items to help determine in which box or pile they belong. Where does it come from? From whom? Does it have sentimental value and if so, why? If those questions can’t be answered, or the answer is no, donate it.
Chisholm believes the state of a home is a representation of a person’s mind.
“What you see before you, in a huge mess, is up here too,” she said, pointing to her head. “It comes from here. That’s why that (space) looks the way it does, because this is all cluttered up here.”
“Stress is relieved when you do these things,” she said. “When you’ve spent a day doing one room, and you’ve done it the best you can do — and it was a lot of work when you did it — but you’re going to stand back and be unstressed looking at that room (and what you’ve accomplished).”
Whether you try essential oils, decluttering a room in your home or taking a yoga class, seeking practical ways to relax your mind and body can lead to real stress relief.
You may find the results last even longer than a massage. | iH
This piece was featured on page 12 of the January 2016 issue of Inside Henderson Magazine.