Monday, October 27, 2008

Create an Oasis at Home to Combat Stress in Fifteen Minutes or Less

Stress is no stranger to the average mom. Day in and day out it tries to enter our lives through busy schedules, a messy home, and screaming children. Here are a few ways that moms can reduce their stress levels fast.

Remember that commercial for Calgon bath soap? Calgon would seem to whisk women everywhere off to exotic locales. Too bad that that can’t actually happen—or can it? Light some scented candles and climb into a nice hot tub filled with lavender bubble bath, and try this quick visualization technique while you enjoy a spa experience at home.

Imagine the place you would most want to be if you could. See the sights. Smell the air. Feel the breeze. Let the scene take you away along with the stress. It’s simple but effective. You can do it anywhere and at anytime.

Do you own an IPOD or MP3 player? If not, get one. You can load music, videos, and pictures on them. My IPOD has a great selection of relaxation music that I listen to in the tub or while flying on an airplane. I also created a CD full of relaxation music for EclipseSpa that has received wonderful reviews.

Music that reminds us of happier times is a stress reliever. The memories that are conjured up relax our mind and return us to more peaceful times. Concentrating on these things leaves no room in our mind for stressful thoughts.

Laughter truly is the best medicine. Watch a comedy on television or rent a comedy movie if you have more than 15 minutes to spare. Alternatively, you can read the comics in the newspaper or check out YouTube clips of political comedy and such. A good laugh works your abdominal muscles. You can get in shape and have a good time while doing it.

Maybe your stress is a result of low blood flow to the brain. You just aren’t thinking clearly. The quickest way to return that mental clarity is to stand on your head. I’m not advocating torture here. This can be as simple as laying on the couch with your head hanging off the side or bending over with your hands on the floor.

More blood to the head means more oxygen also. After a minute or two of this you’ll feel silly and more alert. The thoughts of a few minutes ago will fade away. Don’t turn right side up too fast or you’ll be popping a few aspirin for a headache. Oh well.

Have a drink to relieve your stressful situation. I’m not referring to Jack Daniels or a Grey Goose Martini (although they are great, too), but Earl Grey. Tea seems to have a calming effect on the mind. My favorite tea is a lemon zest or a peppermint tea. Taking a few minutes to relax over a good cup of tea can lower your heart rate and your anxiety level.

Any one of these things can be done in fifteen minutes or less. It doesn’t take much—just a willingness to get centered.

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