In a perfect world, we all get 8 hours of restorative sleep every night and have the most incredible, all inclusive, no red tape health insurance to keep us in tip top shape. The stark reality is people are suffering more than ever before with high levels of cortisol due to stress. The results are not limited to fatigue and stress, but rather high anxiety, hair loss, insomnia, and more.
Even for those fortunate enough to sleep 8 hours a night, they still wake up exhausted. For those lucky enough to have health insurance covering alternative therapy like massage, osteopathy, and the like, most policies max out at $300 combined therapies, which translates to one or two treatments a year at most. Those who have excellent insurance can lose it all in a blink of an eye, as many whose employment vanished overnight can relate.
So, what can the average person do to battle stress and fatigue without going into debt? Since the pandemic’s arrival has given us more than a little time to think about how we can all improve our individual lives, it’s also given rise to many fantastic suggestions when it comes to self-care. We’ve combed through them all and selected the best. Most of them can be done with no money at all, and there are a couple worth saving up for.
Daily rituals, or habits, are essential. Our bodies and minds need continual balance, and at the very least, to start and end the day on a note of wellness. Over the next few weeks, try incorporating a few of these habitual self-care rituals into your day. You can alternate them to see which have the most effect on your individual self or jump into them all for a full-fledged self-investment.
- Breathe | The suggestion of breathing might feel like a broken record, but if you think you’ve tried it and it didn’t work – you might not have been doing it right. There are a few reliable techniques. They all have one thing in common; when you breathe, it sends a message of calm to the brain, and the brain, in turn, sends that message to the body. Here is the number one breathing method that is sure to lower your stress, calming your mind and body.
- Diaphragmatic breathing is a simple yet effective technique. MayoClinic.org suggests,
- Lie down comfortably.
- Place one hand below your navel and one hand on your sternum.
- Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose, feeling your belly expand fully.
- Exhale steadily and slowly through your nose, feeling your belly flatten.
- Continue doing this, focusing on the path the air takes through your body. Into your nose, down your throat, passing your chest, and into your belly. Do the same as you exhale.
- Repeat a minimum of six times, increasing as you feel comfortable doing so.
If you can incorporate this breathing into your daily routine, you will most certainly see and feel a difference. Try doing it for five minutes when you first awake and then again for five minutes right before sleeping. Increase the time as you please.
- Soak in a Hot Bath | If you aren’t a fan of the bubble bath, don’t worry; a simple hot bath works wonders on its own. Submerging your stressed body in a tub full of hot (not scalding, but as warm as you are comfortable with) water will help your muscles loosen, your nervous system relax and slow your mind. Here is the recipe for the perfect bath,
- Fully submerge yourself in your tub. A soak is most effective when the water covers your body right up to your shoulders.
- Make the time and ensure that you can have at least 15 minutes of undisturbed quiet. (It’s a lot to ask for, especially when you have a family, but it’s worth putting your foot down for.)
- Epsom Salts are incredibly rejuvenating. They relieve inflammation, lessening pain and ache in your muscles, and can aid with cramps, migraines, and even breathing issues. Epsom salts replenish your magnesium levels and help your body produce serotonin, counteracting the drain of magnesium and flush of adrenaline caused by stress. These and the many other benefits are most effective if you add 2 – 4 cups of Epsom salts to your bath.
- Stretch your body thoroughly after soaking in the tub for at least five minutes. As your muscles relax, take your time starting from your jaw and neck, to your shoulders, limbs, all the way down to your toes.
- Breathing while soaking will bring you to an ultimate calm. Try the suggestion above. Just be careful not to get too light-headed.
RELIEF AT WORK
The following suggestions for stress-relief can even be done while at work. Many aspects of employment can be tough on the body and mind, from harsh lights to stressful atmospheres to extreme climates and the underestimated damage we do to our necks and eyes using devices. Do what you can to make these stress relievers part of your workday.
- Quiet your mind | Quiet your mind, even if just for a moment. Whenever you start to feel your stress rising, take five minutes to quiet your mind. There are so many ways to achieve this; you can even download a mobile app. The purpose of which is to extract yourself from the moment of pressure. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and focus on something calm; a quiet lake, a field of flowers, etc.
- Be mindful | Be mindful, taking a moment to put things in perspective. When we are at work, our minds get a little clouded by the chaos surrounding us. Pausing to regroup your thoughts can help diffuse the tension. Keep a notebook at your desk, and in those moments, write down one thing you are grateful for. Close your eyes and really cherish it, whether it’s a loved one or simply a sunny day.
- Stretch | Stretch your body, from head to toe. Take a deep breath and slowly stretch each muscle in your body, following the wave of release as you do so.
- Track the Energy | This is an excellent suggestion from forbes.com. Make a note of which interactions or tasks from your day create tension and stress. As you notice patterns, see if there isn’t a way to delegate or remove those moments from your role or increase the delightful, energizing moments to counterbalance the stress.
There are myriads of ideas when it comes to relieving stress. All you need to do is dive in and test them out. If your level of stress is affecting your health and day-to-day, you must take action.
WORTH SAVING FOR
You can alleviate much of the stress and fatigue you face with the above suggestions. If you need further aid, there are three aspects of stress-relief that are worth saving for.
- Alternative Therapy | Alternative therapies are invaluable when it comes to wellness. The average treatment costs $80, but the effects can carry over for months. Be sure to express your concerns, body-related and your financial situation, to your therapist. They will make the most of one visit if need be.
- Massage therapy is not only relaxing but also physically releases toxins that have built up in your body. The increased blood flow boosts positive hormones, increases relaxation, and reduces stress.
- Osteopathy is a beautiful therapy that treats the body as a whole, considering how each system (muscular, skeletal, nervous, etc.) affects the other. Stress creates a snowball effect in our bodies, and an osteopath will help relieve tensions across your body, encouraging better blood flow, releasing toxins from the lymphatic system, and more.
- Acupuncture relies on thin needles inserted into strategic points of the body, stimulating your nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. Benefits can be experienced by all; however, some will experience significant relief from the sessions.
- Hot Tub | Hot tubs may be seen as extravagant or an excessive purchase. However, if you suffer from extreme stress, a hot tub can be a game-changer. We don’t all have a bathtub that allows us to submerge ourselves fully. A hot tub can help you with the following aspects of stress relief.
- Physical relief, as the water allows your body to float weightlessly.
- The perfect temperature for ultimate relaxation, according to studies, is 102°F, which is easy to achieve with a hot tub.
- Massaging jets provide a much-needed increase in blood circulation while loosening tense muscles.
- A quiet space isn’t always feasible in the home but can be better achieved alone, outside in your yard.
There are certain aspects of life that we have no control over. We can, however, make time for ourselves to reduce our stress, sleep better, and boost our health. Credito believes that all hard-working Canadians deserve to live life to the fullest. If you need financial help treating your stress, you can rely on us for a quick, online loan. You can always count on our professional, discreet and humane service.