Forget about New Year’s Resolutions. It’s all about New Year’s INTENTIONS!
Resolutions are strict and rigid, In fact, 1 in 3 people fail in their “resolutions” within the first month! 🤯😳😬
Intentions are more open and accessible. They allow for flexibility and creativity… while still being focused on a desired outcome.
My 2021 intention is a 6-hour workday. 🤞
And my gameplan to get there involves “effective rest.” Yep, this is a real thing! 🤣
When I’m well rested, I can do more with less effort.
2020 showed me the value of slowing down and really focusing on what I want to accomplish.
Which means I’m gonna to take this lesson and scale it big-time this year.
Today I’m sharing 4 fresh hacks for rest and relaxation when you’re stressed as heck and about to lose your 💩.
4 Hacks for Relaxing When You Feel Stressed Out
Hack #1: Get some sunshine
Do you ever have those days where you’re crazy stressed out, feeling like there’s too much on your plate, and there’s just NOT enough time to get to it all?
I feel you on that.
The trick I learned for this situation is to step outside and get some sunlight. Yep, even if it’s cold outside!
This actually combines two important stress-relieving relaxation tactics:
Stepping away from the challenging issue for a few minutes.
Boosting serotonin - the chemical in your brain responsible for feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and relaxation.
Fun fact: Your EYES are the key to sunlight’s serotonin boosting power.
When sunlight enters your retinas, your brain relays the message to produce more serotonin. See, you learned something new today! 🌞
Hack #2: Try a body scan exercise.
This tip is great for people who say they have trouble meditating. 🙏🏻
Body scan is a form of meditation that’s super accessible for everyone. You don’t need to sit a certain way or “control” your thoughts.
Just set aside 10 minutes to start (more if you can swing it!) and follow these simple steps.
How to do a body scan:
Get into a quiet space and settle into a comfortable position (sitting or lying down both work great!)
Close your eyes.
Tune into your body and notice any areas you feel tension. Consciously relax and release these areas. Breathe deeply and slowly.
Bring your awareness down to your feet. Breathe here for a few moments. Just guiding your focus all the way down in your feet.
Move your awareness to the next body part up (your ankles). Breathe a few moments.
Continue scanning your body, moving up body part by body part (feet to ankles to knees to quads…) from bottom to top, all the way to the crown of your head… breathing and focusing, part by part.
When you’ve completed this, release your focus and rest in silence for a few moments before gently bringing movement back into your body and opening your eyes.
You can also add progressive muscle relaxation to this meditative practice, if you like.
This involves tensing the group of muscles you’re focusing on in your body scan, holding the tension for a few moments, then fully releasing them.
It’s a powerful combo for relaxation.
I swear, every time I do this, I end up feeling like a wet zucchini noodle! 🍝
Hack #3: Give yourself a hand massage.
Little known fact…
There are many health benefits of a simple hand massage.
Everything from getting rid of headaches to reducing stress to sleeping better! Crazy, right?
See, our hands contain TONS of nerves. And in eastern philosophy, hands are big-time energy centers. Which means they’re pretty powerful. ✨✋✨
Massage promotes blood circulation, reduces swelling, and improves range of motion.
Pro tip: add essential oils to your hand massage. My favorite is Wild Orange.
We use our hands constantly – why not give them some love?
And you know what? I’ll just say it…
The best part of getting a manicure is the massage.
Change my mind. (I’ll wait…) 💅
So if you find yourself feeling stressed out, try giving yourself a 10-minute hand, wrist, and forearm massage. I promise you’ll be feeling more relaxed afterward.
Hack #4: Aromatherapy.
This one is kind of a gimme, but soooo many people forget about it!
Studies have shown that lavender is one of the most soothing scents in nature. But have you heard of bergamot? This is one of my fav go-to essential oils for relaxation.
The list of ways to use essential oils for aromatherapy is endless, but here are a few of my favs:
🌸 Make a relaxation spray. Mix equal parts distilled water and witch hazel as the base and then add EOs like bergamot, lavender, and ylang ylang. Spray it on your pillow or anywhere you intend to rest and recharge.
🧘♀️ Use a diffuser. I like to use a similar mixture in my diffuser when I meditate or practice yoga at home. It helps keep me relaxed and grounded.
🛀 In a hot bath. Using EO when I take a hot, relaxing bath is a key part of my self-care routine!
Plants are magical. I use them literally every day.
Mother Nature is NO JOKE.
She’s infinitely powerful, which is why I’m so obsessed with essential oils.
I’d love to hear what YOUR New Year’s “intentions” are! Drop a comment here or hit me up on social.
I’ll see ya online!