There are certain times in a person’s life that are characterized by stress. Waiting to find out if you landed that job you’re seriously hoping for. Going into labor. Wondering if the person you pine for returns your affections. Navigating morning rush hour traffic. Driving steeply, and precariously, downhill in the Badlands of South Dakota when your car’s brakes begin to burn and you find it very, very hard to keep from careening over a cliff (nothing like a cross-country road trip to provide a lifetime’s worth of thrills and almost spills!).
Lately, my life has been riddled with stress. It’s good stress, but stress, all the same. I’m closing in on the publication my first two books, I’m working through three days worth of photo shoots on the third, and I’m almost at the finish line of the fourth, due this coming Monday. I’m a bit stressed, frazzled, fatigued; so much so, in fact, that my left eye has been twitching, for, well, months. It has become my “tell.” If I reply when asked how I’m doing that I’m totally chill, feeling great, etc., and yet you witness my left eye twitch, you know I’m not giving it to you straight. The eye won’t lie.
To keep the right eye from also twitching, and to continue forging ahead until all of the jobs are done (as well as continue to be a lovable, compassionate, empathic, and engaged spouse in whose company my husband would like to remain-not to mention, be able to stay awake to make it all the way through Lost ), I’ve been partaking of a wide variety of do-it-yourself all-natural stress reducers. All of them tried-and-true, I thought that for today’s Small Measures with Ashley I’d share my tension tamers with you, in the highly likely event that you might someday encounter some stress of your own.
CLICK HERE for ashley’s stress relieving diy recipes after the jump!
Mush Ado About Nothing
-1/2 ripe avocado
-2 Tbsp. honey
-Place avocado in a small mixing bowl. Mash with a fork.*
-Drizzle honey into bowl. Stir to combine.
-Slather over your face.
-Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
-Rinse off with warm water and watch your soft, smooth, hydrated skin dazzle folks near and far!
*If you own a food processor, you can alternately puree it, along with the honey, for a smoother product.
A Well Oiled Machine
-2-3 Tbsp. sweet almond, jojoba, apricot, sesame or other carrier oil
-5 drops bergamot essential oil
-5 drops geranium essential oil
-Begin running a hot bath.
-Pour your carrier oil of choice into one of your cupped palms.
-Drop the essential oils into the carrier oil.
-Place your hand, with the oil into it, underneath the running faucet, allowing the warm water to carry it into the tub basin.
-De-robe, step ever so gingerly into the tub, and feel your cortisol levels fall.
*Any oily substance used in a tub makes said bathtub very, very slippery. Use extreme caution when entering and exiting. If you’re too blissed-out to wipe it clean right away, tell the other members of your household to mind the tub’s slippery state and write yourself a reminder note or leave out a reminder prompt, like a towel hanging over the tub’s ledge, to clean it later.
-An essential oil diffuser*
-A carrier oil
-Drops of your favorite calming essential oils, including: lavender, geranium, chamomile, ylang ylang, jasmine, petitgrain, rosewood, orange, bergamot, rose, cedarwood, cinnamon, as well as many, many others
-Combine your essential oil(s) of choice with your carrier oil.
-Depending on your diffuser, either plug it in, light a candle, or simply allow it to permeate its vessel.
*If you opt for a candle-powered diffuser, remember to blow it out before falling asleep; and, if you’re like me, living a household with cats, position it out of the way of highly ignitable cat tails!
-2 Tbsp. dried chamomile flowers (or 3 tsp. fresh)
-2 Tbsp. dried lemon balm (or 3 tsp. fresh)
-Place dried herbs into a mesh tea bag or other tea strainer. Position over a tea pot or tea mug.
-Pour boiling water over pot or mug. Cover and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes.
-Remove herbs, add honey, if desired, and sip your cares away.
As an aside, my Indonesian acupuncture friend told me that, in his culture, a twitching eye means you’re going to come into some money. Bearing this in mind, I’ve decided to just embrace my twitch, and all that it has offer, harbinger of impending cha-ching, or simple reminder to slow down, be aware of the present moment, and find gratitude for the opportunity to wake up each morning and share in the wonder of being alive.
Got any go-to tricks for putting the kibosh on stress yourself? I’d love to hear them! -ashley