Stress can tear us up and have an devastating impact on the ones we love as well. Use these 10 stress busting ideas to stay grounded and happy, even in the midst of turbulent times.
1. Play soothing music. The concept of what is “soothing” in music is an individual one. I have a daughter who happens to think that AC/DC is relaxing. Now, mind you, she grew up with AC/DC playing all the time, but it was what she found soothing. It really does not matter what you think is relaxing; Rachmaninoff, Rascal Flatts, or Rick Ross; it is what you feel is relaxing that matters. However, you may want to try some classical…it might just open your mind some more.
2. Ban Smoking (and other toxins). Smoking pollutes the air. You do not need me to tell you about all the studies and reports about second hand smoke.
3. Let Some of the Outside In: In other words – open the windows. If possible, leave the window open about one inch at night to help with better sleep. Fresh air is a great way to help create an environment that is conducive to shedding the negative effects of stress.
4. Get a salt lamp (or some other air ionizer or humidifier): It is not as mysterious as it sounds. Most modern air purifiers are designed to purifier air by generating negative ions. (Science really is a lot of fun, and so…useful!) Personally, I have salt lamps all over my house – there is one in the kitchen, one in the office, and one in the living room.
5. Lighting. Yes, lighting. Whenever possible natural light should be capitalized on. Open the drapes and let in some natural sunshine. If that corner on the far side of the room is always dark, try a small accent light. Even a little directional light at the end of the hall can make a huge difference.
6. Candles: Use candles to help with subdued lighting. While many a smart gal or guy knows that candlelight makes you look your best. However, did you know that watching a flame burn could be a very relaxing act? Candles are also great for focusing. Get a selection of scents and colors that you like. And, remember…always burn candles safely, never leave a candle burning in a room unattended, etc.
7. Turn Down the Heat: Besides saving you money, you would be surprised how much more energy you have. Just a few degrees can mean the difference between feeling like slugging it on the couch or having the motivation to do something you enjoy! It is a good idea to lower the temperature at night when you are sleeping…you may just find yourself sleeping better!
8. Incense or Oils: Diffusing essential oils is a great way to help lower stress. (See my earlier blog post on some popular and effective oils – can you say lavender?) Incense is also a great way to help make your home more your own personal space.
9. Keep It Clean: If you make your bed everyday then every day you have accomplished something (you made the bed) and, you have the advantage of getting into a made bed. There are many different ways to do it, but whatever way you do it, do it. Here are some hints: The Commercial Method: Get up and do housework during the commercials during your favorite shows – you will be surprised what you can get done in three minutes. The Once A Week Clean Out – Set aside several hours every week to get the housework done…and have kids help, even a 2 or 3 year old can put their toys in the toy bin.
10. Plant It Up: Put a green plant in each room of the house that has light for it. The plant literally changes the air in the room (photosynthesis and all) giving off fresh oxygen, helping to cleanse the air in the home. Even a small plant can make a big difference.
These are just some of the ideas of ways you can help use your surroundings to lower your stress levels. And, do not stress yourself out trying to do all ten at once; take it a step at a time. The point is that there are a lot of little things that you can do that can help you combat the negative effects of stress. You can make your home your own personal de-stress haven.
Holding doctoral degrees in Divinity and Theology from the Esoteric Interfaith Theological Seminary, Dr. Nikki Judge is the executive director of Black Rose Spiritual Center. A gifted spiritual reader she has helped nearly 175,000 people in her career. Along with a good book and a purring cat Dr. Nikki enjoys getting out in the sun and fresh air of western Montana. You can visit her at www.YourSpiritualGrowthCenter.com