January 22, 2015

thou shall not stress

Recently, I've been feeling more stress than normal. It's not that there's more stress in my life, it's that it's been manifesting itself in a more real way than it does previously. Wanna know how I know this? GRAY HAIRS. Come on. I'm not even twenty seven. This whole gray hair business is just downright unfair. I should be able to bill the universe for costly salon visits. Instead of sending invoices tied to balloons, I've my extensive experience of being stressed to come up with a little list that's more helpful than balloons. Unless it's popping balloons- that always works.

1. Take a bath.

I'm a HUGE bath person. I take baths on the reg and love it. It's not my go to way of cleaning myself because let's be real, it's a dirty little pool. I'm a huge fan of showering and then bathing (can't be too clean) or just drawing up a hot bath and soaking till I'm a little old prune. Adding epsom salts or bath bombs (from Lush, for sure) is a great way to draw out toxins or just have a really delicious smelling bath. Just beware- Lush's bath bombs can usually turn your tub super fun colors, but you'll probably want to clean it afterwards. My whole tub was purple last night, but I was completely relaxed. I'd call that a win.

2. Lavender Oil

I can't sing the praises of Lavender Oil loudly enough. I swear by this stuff. I keep a roller ball of lavender and carrier oil in my purse at all times just in case I can sense myself getting anxious or stressed. When that happens, I put a little oil on my hands, rub it together, and then cup my nose breathing deeply a handful of times. It's become part of my daily life and sometimes it's just because it smells so dang good. Every night before bed, I rub the oil on my feet (your feet have such large pores on them so it just soaks this stuff up!) and put some right under my nose so I can smell it as I go to sleep. I have trouble falling asleep and it's been really helpful in lulling me to sleep in such a gentle way.

3. Dance It Out

There is nothing better than a quick dance party to (literally) shake it off. Whether you're alone or with a friend, I recommend cranking up the jams (I'm so hip with the hoppin' lingo) and dancing like an absolute fool. There's something seriously cathartic about a quick dance party. Some of my favorite dance jams are "Brave" by Sara Bareilles (especially if you're stressed or anxious about a situation!), "Octohate" by Ryn Weaver (gotta give old friends a little lovin'), or "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX. There's something about each of those songs that makes me tap my toes and and shake my groove thang.

4. Text "Your Person."

Yes, another Grey's reference, but come on, how could I not? My sister Camille is my person. We're similar in so many ways, but she's more outspoken and brave than I am in a lot of situations. I appreciate it so much because she can pull me out of stressful or emotional situations and remind me to have some perspective. She's also good at calling things like she see's them. When I'm stressed or scared, she's one of the first people I turn to because she's good at listening but also good at making me laugh and reminding me that everything really is going to be okay.

5. Journal

I believe in the power of writing. It helps me process through everything in my life, whether it be school, work, friends, or whatever. One of my favorite aspects of journaling is being able to go back through these little autobiographies and see just how faithful God has been. I remember journaling regularly in South Korea and speaking a lot of fears and stresses into those pages, but towards the end, everything came full circle. Writing through everything helps me keep things in perspective which is really helpful when I can easily succumb to an "EVERYTHING IS BROKEN AND WILL NEVER BE FIXED AGAIN" mentality. Some call that being a drama queen, I call it being a "feeler."

So next time, instead of weeping softly into peanut butter chocolate ice cream (WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE), pick one of these little tips and let the stress roll off your back.

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