It seems like every week, some new stress-inducing headline appears in the media. It’s hard to keep up with a war, inflation, changes to reproductive health laws, and everything else going on today. When business must continue as usual, this can make us all feel a little…crazy. This month’s blog will explore some stress relief techniques you can add to your health practices to relax and remain calm in a world that is anything but. While it’s important to stand up for what we believe in, it’s also important to take breaks and protect our personal peace!

We’re going to start out with an obvious one for a Spa.

Massage therapy!

We store trauma in our bodies, and massage therapy is our favorite way to help release it. Most people who regularly receive massage therapy report relief and a sense of peace or increased relaxation. However, some people may also experience a sudden rush of powerful emotion while receiving bodywork. The phenomenon is known as an emotional release, whether it is grief, euphoria, anger, fear, or sadness. It can be a bit scary, but storing these energies in the body leads to chronic illness and pain.

Our massage therapists at Life Essentials Day Spa are trained to help you with stored trauma. When working around an area of stored trauma, we often notice an energetic shift in our clients. Immediately upon seeing this shift, our therapists will stop the massage therapy and check in on how our client is feeling. We understand it is crucial to validate the trauma and acknowledge that it is there so that when we continue with the massage, the brain will begin to allow its release.

Up Next…

Exercise!

I know, I know…this one is not everyone’s favorite way to relieve stress, but it actually works! It might even work the best out of everything on this list! Sometimes I find that I am guilty of only exercising for weight loss. Low-impact exercising daily has helped change my thoughts around exercising, and I end up slimmer than I would be with only  a couple high-intensity workouts a week. Never underestimate the power of a walk around the block to relieve stress and decompress!

People who exercise regularly have better mental health, emotional well-being, and lower rates of mental illness. It not only boosts our mood, concentration, and alertness but improves our cardiovascular and overall physical health! Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous, structured, or take a long time to have benefits. Any activity is better than none!

We are fortunate to live in a beautiful place where exercising outdoors is not only possible but incredible. So take that hike up emerald, go rent some paddle boards on the lake, or however you prefer, just move that body!

Our next trick is also an exercise but more specific to your mind! Sitting with yourself and asking yourself deep and personal questions might seem like a stressful activity to some, but the science is here to back up this week’s stress reliever.

Practice Mindfulness

Both meditation and journaling create an open-hearted space of discovery. Stress can melt away by letting things be as they are—not changing, not critiquing, but simply observing and noting our thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they arise.

The best advice someone ever gave me about meditating was, “It’s not how you feel during the mediation that matters; it’s how you feel after you’ve taken the time.”

Mediation can be messy. It can look like your mind racing. Taking the time to acknowledge and observe your thoughts without judgment helps you experience the world in a more mindful way. I always start my meditation off with a couple long, deep breaths. Then, if a thought arises, I notice the thought and let it drift away like a passing cloud in the sky. Guided meditations are available online and are an excellent tool for beginners.

I try to journal immediately after my meditation practice. I usually start with some gratitude and list five things I am grateful for. Starting with gratitude helps to remember all the beautiful things in my life instead of the mounting anxieties I get from current events. After my gratitude list, I write whatever comes to mind! Over the years, it has been so interesting to see the patterns and trends in my journal. Revisiting old journals makes me proud of my progress and the person I am evolving into.

Once you feel grounded through mindfulness, it might be time to focus on our next stress-relieving tip!

Be Assertive 

Or, as I like to steal from the DARE program, just say no!

Just say no to too many plans! Especially in the summertime, it’s hard to say no to all the fun things, but if stress levels are high, it’s time to assert yourself and put your self-care first! Saying yes to every kid’s activity or social obligation usually means not showing up as our best selves. When life gets busy with family, work, and all the endless responsibilities, it’s important to take a break and ask for help. You might be surprised how letting go of a couple commitments can lead to an improved sense of peace!

When we don’t advocate for our needs, we create a well of exhaustion and resentment. It is ok to say no to plans, even big ones. Your absence will be forgiven, but your body might not forgive so easily. Don’t forget that asking for help is another excellent way to assert yourself. Maybe only the husband and the kids make it to that toddler’s birthday party, and you can take some rare and deserved me time.

I have found that if you are honest about where you are mentally with the people that love you, they are usually more than willing to help you carve out some sacred rest. And maybe while you take some much-needed time for yourself, you can practice our next stress reliever!

Create Something!

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at something in a new way. This process does wonders for creating new neurological pathways in our  brains and helping us with problem-solving. As a writer, whenever I can’t think of my next topic, or the words won’t flow the way I want them to, I turn to simpler forms of creation to get my juices flowing. I keep some colorful markers and a sketchbook close to let my brain break free of any barriers I might have subconsciously created through work, chores, or social obligations.

Being creative can increase positive emotions, reduce depressive symptoms and anxiety, and improve the function of our immune systems. Whether it’s through written words, dance, painting, drawings, or playing music, all of these techniques help us access the powerful tool of our mind and the part of our imagination that can heal ourselves. So even if you doodle for five minutes, a little creativity can bring a lot of healing!

 

Go To Therapy 

On a slightly more serious note, sometimes the things we go through in life can be life-altering. Quick doodles or a morning jog might not relieve your stress if the thing that is causing the stress is monumental. In this case, the best thing you can do for yourself is to seek professional help. Therapy also may be a good idea if you feel overwhelmed or trapped, worry excessively, or have trouble carrying out daily routines or meeting responsibilities at work, home or school.

Professional counselors or therapists can help you identify sources of your stress and learn new coping tools. A few years ago, after losing a few close family members, I found a therapist that helped me get back on my feet. The best thing to remember when searching for a new therapist is that the first one you find might not be the right fit! So take your time in finding someone who you truly connect with!

Here at Life Essentials Day Spa, we understand the world is freaking crazy right now. It is more important than ever to take care of yourself so that you can better show up for the people in your life that need you. You can’t drive a car on empty! If you think we can help relieve some of your stresses through massage therapy, a new haircut, or a cleansing facial, don’t hesitate to call us at (970) 871-9543 or at massagesteamboat.com!

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