As women we have been given charge of so much, but we have to be in a good place in order to give good things. With so much swirling around us, pulling us in a million different directions, it’s imperative to find ways to create balance. But because we live in a world where everyone feels their needs are the most important – be it your boss, your mate, or your kids, this balance can be hard to come by. Here are six ways to keep all your balls in the air AND de-stress.
1. Self Massage
Having a self-care ritual is how we bring on healing. One of my favorite tools is massage. If I could afford to have someone lay hands on me everyday I definitely would. Even though that’s not in my budget today, I can still receive the benefits by doing it myself, and it’s simple enough that I can do it every day.
The simple practice of massage has amazing benefits:
- Detoxifies the body
- Increases circulation
- Enhances relaxation
- Hydrates the body with fresh oxygenated blood
- Promotes better sleep
- Boosts the immune system by draining the lymphatic system of wastes
With just a couple of tools you can relieve so much tension from your body in just 10-15 minutes every day. On this video I use a foam roller and tennis ball to release my very tight back. Watch video…
For too many of us, stress causes us to have horrible eating patterns. When this is true, I have found that the perfect remedy is to grab a green juice. It’s like receiving an IV infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. By drinking my green juice first thing in the morning, I get a natural energy boost and that’s just the beginning. There are numerous health benefits:
- Because stress impairs our digestion affecting our ability to absorb nutrients, juicing allows us to receive most of the nutrition from the vegetables because they are now in a more easily digestible form
- It’s an easy way to guarantee we receive the right amounts of fruits and vegetables
- If you’re not adventurous with your eating, juicing allows you to add a wide variety of vegetables to your diet which is important since each offers different benefits
- Juicing boosts our immune system by giving us a supercharged concentrated amount of phytochemicals that heal and revitalize us
Nourishing the body with the proper vitamins and minerals calms the nervous system allowing us to de-stress more efficiently. One of my favorite juices is green apple, kale, spirulina, ginger, lemon, and turmeric. I suggest making a small investment in a high quality juicer. It’s one of the best steps you can take towards phenomenal health. I use this one…
3. Become A Naturalista
Immersing yourself in nature is more than just folk wisdom. There are numerous studies that show the healing power of nature walks.
I am lucky enough to have lived in Southern California, only minutes from the beach for many years. I took full advantage and made sure that I spent a part of everyday with my bare feet in the sand. There’s no better way to release stress than ocean waves crashing around your ankles. But now, living in Atlanta – the city within a forest, I am able to boost my immune system with the healing power of trees.
It’s impossible to have a healthy body without a healthy mind. By practicing meditation, stresses and anxieties drop away which has a positive impact on the physical body. It’s important to not get caught up in what you think meditation is supposed to be or how you think you’re supposed to feel. That in itself is stressful. The simple act of focusing on your breathing is all that’s required. Hear your breath as it enters your body, feel the expansion of your lungs, and enjoy the release of breath as it takes tensions with it.
Try to fit in at least 10 minutes every evening for a more deep sleep.
5. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Most of us have a tendency to take ourselves too seriously. Then when ‘life’ happens, this seriousness makes us less effective in dealing with the situation. Instead of exacerbating the problem, step back for a moment to see if you can find a better way to navigate. A little chuckle in this moment goes a long way to create some distance between you and the issue at hand, and allows you to see the situation in an offbeat way.
Don’t turn your nose up at laughter. A good belly washer, as my father likes to call them, releases endorphins – a miraculous little chemical that makes us feel good, decreases stress hormones, increases our immune cells, and can leave your muscles feeling relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. How awesome is that?
6. Let’s Talk About Sex (maybe this one should have been first!)
Too much stress can make it almost impossible to think about sex, let alone enjoy it. But the truth is, having a great sex life has enormous health benefits. Luckily, you can still have great sex even when you’re stressed by using a few techniques which all involve being present.
- Slow down – Most would probably think that a quickie is the way to go in order to rid ourselves of the stress. But we want satisfying, full body enjoyment. This requires us to almost take a meditative approach to sex by focusing on our breathing and allowing the body to calm down before we even touch each other. When this is the focus instead of the sex you’re anticipating, it allows you to remove the pressure and enjoy all the sensations.
- You can do this alone or even make it a practice with your partner with both of you going into it with the single thought of relaxing. Not about the sex, just unwinding. This act alone strengthens your bond and opens you up for a more passionate connection.
- Hone in on your sensations – The key is to not project ahead pursuing the goal of orgasm, but to notice what’s happening right now. By bringing your full attention to the moment, you intensify your sensations.
Life is all about balance and most of the time, keeping it all together seems almost impossible. I believe the main key is to remember how important your overall health is and to do whatever you can to keep it tip top. So even if you don’t have an hour to spend in your favorite workout class, remind yourself that it’s not ‘all or nothing’ and 10 minutes of you time before bed still does your body wonders.