April officially marks Stress Awareness Month - an ongoing annual campaign to raise awareness and education around modern day stress. While a little bit of stress helps us to get things done, frequent studies show that overwhelming, negative stress is bad for both physical and mental health.
The theme for this years’ campaign is ’regaining connectivity, certainty and control’ - and with the past twelve months proving to be one of the most challenging in recent history (hello pandemic, national lockdowns and decreased social interaction), there’s never been a more important time to discover soothing practices that help restore a sense of peace and calm.
From zoom fatigue, to worries over health, income and job security to dealing with bereavement and loss -- our collective stress levels have significantly increased. Actively taking steps to reduce stress-levels and to care for our mental health no longer feels like an indulgence but an essential priority. While there’s no one-size fits all approach, there are lots of tools and practices to try to help decrease stress levels.
The good news is, the best stress-reduction strategies are extensions of everyday practices and habits - the intention is to incorporate these more consistently into your daily routine.
Yoga + Movement
Yoga, which derives its name from the word, “yoke”— meaning to bring together— unites the mind, body, and spirit making it a powerful practice to arrive into the present moment. Fixating on the past, or worrying about the future causes us to feel stressed, overwhelmed or anxious. When we bring our awareness to the present moment we can begin to feel a sense of peace. The combination of movement, breathwork, meditation, self-reflection and self-compassion all serve to promote feelings of wellbeing. Not sure where to start with your practice? Try our free 30 day series on YouTube to help you to create a consistent daily habit or browse the class styles that call out to you. From yin, to nidra, slow flows or vinyasa - don’t be afraid to try different styles of practice until you find one that works for you.
You’ve probably heard by now that meditation is a seriously powerful practice. From reduced stress and anxiety levels, improved emotional wellbeing, better concentration and a more positive outlook on life, there are many science-backed studies to show that meditation really can make a difference to your life. Download one of the many accessible meditation apps like Headspace or Calm, or join us from April 19th 2021 for a free 5 day yoga challenge on instagram led by yin and meditation teacher, Sarah Leigh, designed for meditators and non-meditators alike.
Essential Oils have been used for millennia to help ease everyday ailments for mind and body. Essential Oils affect our olfactory bulb, which is a component of the limbic system. This system is involved in the processing of our emotions, survival instincts and memory formation and is one of the oldest parts of our brain. Looking for something soothing? Try lavender. In need of comfort? Try geranium. Our personal favourites are from U.K-based brand Tisserand, who create pre-mixed blends focussed around happiness, sleep, stress and more. The beauty of aromatherapy is there are so many easy ways to incorporate it effortlessly into your routine - try a pulse point roller ball for an on-the-go pick me up or diffuse in your home or office throughout the day. Our friends at tisserand have kindly shared the code FABLE25 for 25% off your next purchase to help you begin your aromatherapy journey.*
Time spent in nature has been linked to lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression. And it doesn’t have to be a long hike far away from home to reap the benefits. Sit outside, take a little walk, listen to the birds, or just breathe outdoors - small doses can make a big difference. Research published by U.K. based scientists at the Heriot-Watt University, suggested that taking a walk in green spaces creates a calming state of mind. Researchers believed it induces involuntary attention, which means it keeps distractive thoughts away whilst allowing one to reflect. Walking outdoors can be meditation in motion. The additional fresh air, physical exercise and sounds of nature all boost our feelings of wellbeing further.
Write it down
You don’t need to be a skilled writer to experience the mental-health benefits of journaling. Putting pen to paper, can help us to organise thoughts, spot patterns and make sense of beliefs that are holding us back. This form of written organisation can help us begin to break thought loop cycles that continue to repeat so that we can make sense of what’s going on in our internal world. Try writing down exactly what is in your mind without over thinking or trying to control the narrative. Don’t worry about spelling, or grammar or how it reads. Think of it as an exercise in putting what’s going on in your mind on to paper.
For more information and resources about Stress Awareness Month, visit https://www.stress.org.uk
*The promo code FABLE25 is valid for one use per customer. Can be used against sale. Not valid on aroma diffusers. Valid at www.tisserand.com only.