Stress can make us nervous, irritable and angry; it gives us headaches, saps us of energy and keeps us up at night. More than 75 percent of Americans cite work and money as their main stressors, according to the American Psychological Association, and 69 percent of highly stressed Americans say their stress levels have increased in the last 12 months.
Nobody wants that, especially at this time of year. The holidays are supposed to be joyful, not aggravating. Try these 10 natural ways to zap stress:
Wash Your Face
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By washing your face, you affirm that you are no longer working. Purchase a gentle cleansing lotion in a pleasant scent turn a routine face wash into a relaxing, rejuvenating experience.
Enjoy a Healthy Snack
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Instead of reaching for cookies or cake, choose a healthy snack like fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts or granola. All of these healthy snacks have a positive impact on your body. You can find health snack ideas at realsimple.com.
Change Your Clothes
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One of the first things you should do when you get home is take off your work clothes. Find something comfortable to wear. It signals work is over, and also helps decrease the spread of germs from the office.
Avoid Using Electronics
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Checking your email and reading social media do not help you relax. Don’t use any kind of electronic device when you first arrive home. These devices may inhibit your ability to relax, because they stimulate your brain.
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You can add essential oils to your bathtub or purchase an essential oil diffuser. Many of these oils have the ability to soothe your nervous system.
Some of the essential oils you should consider:
- Juniper berry soothes your joints and muscles
- Basil clears your mind, helps eliminate stress
- Geranium stabilizes your mind and body to balance your emotions
- Mix lavender, sandalwood and chamomile together to help eliminate harmful emotions and stress
Soak in a Hot Tub
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Sleep deprivation is another factor that contributes to your daily stress. The National Sleep Foundation recommends soaking in a hot tub before bed to help you sleep better. If you have neglected your hot tub and want to get it back up and running, you can order parts, cleansing agents and a properly fitting cover at hottubworks.com.
Take a Leisurely Swim
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A leisurely swim soothes your muscles and increases your brain’s production of endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals that make you feel happy.
Spend Time with Family
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Family members may help distract your mind so you can forget about the stressors of your day.
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Gently stretch to relieve the stress that has settled in your shoulders and back. You can do shoulder blade stretches, shoulder shrugs and neck rolls. You should stretch several times throughout the day. Make it a routine by stretching every time you take a bathroom break or grab a cup of coffee.
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Meditation using aromatherapy and soothing music is a good way to activate your body’s relaxation response. Meditating regularly can reduce your stress level and elevate your mood. You can learn different meditation techniques at how-to-meditate.org.