Unexpected bills, car problems, sick kids, the weather, deadlines and so on, daily life can drag out our energy and stress us too much. Balancing ambitions, family life and work as a mother can get us all stressed out and feeling like we have no time to relax. But guess what? You have to! Stress can hurt our health and our family’s well-being.
Chronically stressed moms tend to be more insensitive to kids. Studies also show that a parent’s ability to manage stress is a strong predictor of the quality of her relationship with her children and how happy her children are. Don’t feel bad if you’ve been stressed out lately, no one’s life is completely stress-free. How you manage it is what’s important because negative stress can keep you from feeling and performing at your best — mentally, physically and emotionally. “When stress is excessive, it can contribute to everything from high blood pressure, also called hypertension, to asthma to ulcers to irritable bowel syndrome” said Ernesto L. Schiffrin, M.D., Ph.D., physician-in-chief at Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, and professor and vice chair of research for the Department of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal.
There is no need for you to take a lot of time out of your day to unwind. There are many things you can do to de-stress. These four relaxation tips we share here can really pay off, if you make them part of your daily routine.
Practice Positive Talk
How many times do we focus on the negative side of things? More than we should, right? That needs to change. Negative self-talk increases stress, while positive self-talk can help you calm down and control it. It’s not an easy bad habit to change, but if you have it in mind and practice it everyday, you will shift your thoughts to positive ones.
Instead of saying: “I can't do this" “I hate it when this happens” “I can’t believe I screwed up”
Shift to: “I'll do the best I can. I’ve got this” “I know how to deal with this; I've done it before” “I'm human, and we all make mistakes. I can fix it”
Take a warm bath or shower
Who hasn’t taken a hot shower after a rough day? It can be a great time to clear your mind, since you’ll be alone for a while. Hot showers or baths have even been proven effective against arthritis and muscle relaxation as they can help resolve inflammation and improve circulation. According to Minneapolis-based dermatologist Bailey Lee, MD, the ideal temperature of a healing bath is warm, not overly hot. The heat will help your muscles to relax so you’ll release some tension in your body. Scented candles and essential oils can definitely add to the experience of relaxation. Joie Power, Ph.D., director of The Aromatherapy School in Fairview, North Carolina says that “There is much research now showing that essential oils can affect alertness, arousal and mood through stimulation of the olfactory nerve.” After drying off, apply a moisturizer like GOLD BOND® Ultimate Radiance Renewal™. It combines ultimate triple-blend of Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter and African Shea Butter to deliver nourishing, extended hydration for up to 24 hours.
You only need two to five minutes to help you clear your mind and relax your body. If you have never done it, don’t be afraid there are many free apps now, that can guide you through it. “Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress,” says psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman, PhD, a Chicago health and wellness coach. As you try it everyday, you will not only find your focus increasing, you’ll look forward to those moments of peace in your hectic day.
For example: Lay down, close your eyes and count down slowly from 10 to 0. With each number, take one complete breath, inhaling and exhaling. For example, breathe in deeply, saying "10" to yourself. Breathe out slowly. On your next breath, say "nine", and so on. If you feel lightheaded, count down more slowly to space your breaths further apart. When you reach zero, you should feel more relaxed. If not, go through the exercise again.
Give yourself a massage or get one
Between carrying babies, groceries, moving furniture, cleaning, texting, typing, working at the computer and cross training, among others, life can really take a toll on your body. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels after massage. Massages can relax your muscles, relieve stress, headaches, can improve circulation and boost your energy, but you don’t need a professional masseuse to reap its benefits. You can do it yourself everyday when you put lotion on! You’re probably going to start in the place that’s bothersome, but don’t forget other places that could really benefit daily with a massage: your feet, hands and neck.
First, take a warm bath or shower. This will loosen up your muscles and will make them ready for a massage. If you decide for a bath, soaking in some Epsom salt alone will help to alleviate soreness. Any massage oil, lotion, or sports balm will help break down knots and loosen your muscles. To apply just place a drop of the oil in the palm of one hand and rub your hands together for at least fifteen seconds, until you've heated up the lotion.
Massaging your neck and shoulders can help relieve headaches, firmly work your fingers in small circles, starting at the base of your skull and working down towards the shoulders. If you’re still in pain, apply Aspercreme® which is clinically proven for minor Arthritis, joint & muscle pain relief. It is odor free, non-greasy and doesn’t irritate or burn. Clasp your fingers together and rub the bottoms of your palms together in a circular motion to target the bottom of your palms. Use your thumb to rub the area under the thumb of the opposite hand, work outward in circular motions toward the center of your palm.
To end up with happy feet be sure to squeeze each toe and gently pull it upward and ease tension in hands working outward in circular motions toward the center of your palm. GOLD BOND® Ultimate Pedi Smooth Foot Cream besides moisturizing, keeps your soft smooth pedicure feeling lasting up to 2 weeks longer.
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