Sunday, June 29, 2014

Avoiding the Actua Chill Pill

I'm gonna get a little personal on you here, for a minute.

I have a blessed/lucky/awesome life. Lets count my blessings, shall we? My husband never fails to care for our family. He loves me regardless of the emotional hell we've been through, he still laughs at my weird sense of humor, and for whatever reason, he still reminds me of how smart and beautiful he thinks I am. Crazy man.

My kids are 100% healthy, and we have a great relationship. I have a roof over my head that isn't about to cave in, running water, electricity, food in my belly, and the most awesome memory foam mattress topper... possibly ever. Any health problems that I have, we know what causes them - I don't have a mysterious incurable disease. I have 100 reasons to smile and laugh on any given day, and my crazy little caveman/warrior children and scruffy dog with an underbite make sure of it.

Given the fact that my life is surely rockin', the truth remains, I have stress issues. Anxiety (and other issues) run in my family, so naturally, I'm a wreck. I care way too much about what people think, and take most of it personally... It builds up after a while, and wanes on my energy levels. I've even had a few panic attacks in the middle of nothing. I think they call that the breaking point. I even stress myself out about trying not to stress. That makes sense.

The other night, my husband suggested I go soak in the tub. He may have been trying to wriggle out of doing dishes, but he had something, there. Huh.

So I took a quick shower, then filled the tub with the hottest water I could stand, epsom salt, and lavender essential oil. I think I laid in there for an hour, deeply breathing in the lavender.

I don't normally soak in the tub, it seemed futile up until now. But when I got out of the bath that night, I felt calm, and... for lack of a better word, content. I put some lavender skin salve all over to preserve my happy, post-soak skin. I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed, and ready to take on my day. (Doesn't that seem like a bunch of BS? Its not, I promise). I was hooked. It helps so much to just spend 30 minutes taking in the silence... and thinking about nothing

Why I chose to use only those three ingredients:

Hot water: duh. Hot tubs are and hot springs are adored for a reason! An abundant level of cortisol does an amazing job of tensing the muscles and causing fatigue. Sometimes when your body is under too much stress, it can be difficult to relax from the inside out. The hot water lends a hand in acting as an external relaxer, and in my case, it overpowered my internal inability to just calm down.

Epsom salt is full of magnesium, and since most of us suffer from a lack of magnesium, soaking it up through the largest organ in our bodies helps bridge the gap and alleviate some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency (something to consider reading about). Epsom salt is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. When the body is under stress, some things enflame, and the epsom salt can help undo that. Doesn't that make you feel relaxed just thinking about it?

Lavender is well known for its soothing properties. I used to not be a fan, but I've grown to really love it. Its almost magical, how nature works - it turns out Mother Nature knew what she was doing long before pharmaceutical companies thought they did. The fragrance is calming to the mind, body and dare I say it, the soul.

Stress-Busting Soak
1 C Epsom salt
40 drops lavender essential oil

I highly suggest doing this right before bed, it encourages deep, rejuvenating sleep.

1. Run the bath with hot water, and pour the salt under the running water so it dissolves.

2. Add the lavender essential oil to the water just before getting in.

3. Relax for 20-30 minutes in the bath, towel dry, and apply moisturizer over your entire body.

I hope this works for you as well as it worked for me. What natural ways do you unwind?

Love and crunch,

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