3 Tips for Winding Down
Winding down. It’s such an important part of managing stress and marking a positive end to the day. But life can have a way of taking over – because who has the time, right?
Safe to say we all know the big tips for busting stress – exercise, meditation, limiting stimulants like caffeine, and practicing a healthy lifestyle. Using any of these methods is always a great idea, but then there are those days where time escapes us or we need an extra boost.
So here are 3 extra, super easy stress-busters that help me to wind down:
Tip #1 – Keep the Lights Down Low
Ok so start by turning the lights down – I told you these tips were super easy!
But really, as simple as it sounds, dimming the lights in your living space is a great way to ease into a relaxing evening. As humans, we were never meant to be exposed to bright lights past sun-down. Artificial light in the evening – in particular blue light, suppresses our body’s production of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is essential for making us feel sleepy and having a deep, restful sleep, so we certainly don’t want to suppress it!
So once the sun has set, try taking it easy on the lighting and the TV. Or if you are indulging in some couch-time, try some blue light cancelling glasses (super chic – I promise!). These things really work, with the added bonus that you get to look like a fancy scientist for the evening!
If you have to spend time on your computer at night, I also highly recommend installing f.lux. It’s an awesome little application that dims the screen and reduces blue light according to your time zone. I’m using it right now!
Tip #2 – Use Aromatherapy
The power of aromatherapy is a pretty recent discovery of mine. Scent can be a powerful relaxant, and using aromatherapy is a beautiful way to create a more peaceful and comforting living space at the end of the day.
I recommend picking up a small diffuser – I am loving mine from Lively Living. This is such an easy and fun way to experiment with essential oils and see how they affect your mood. Some favourites of mine:
- Bergamot: Such a fresh and uplifting scent. The components of bergamot essential oil are also known for their antidepressant and healthy hormone-stimulating effects.
- Marjoram: Calm and comforting – marjoram has a warm, spicy scent that’s well known for relieving feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Lavender: Of course, such a good one for falling to sleep. Lavender is believed to help in calming the nervous system, and act as a natural sleep aid. This is one to keep by the bed!
Another little trick I like is using aromatherapy balms. Applying a small amount to the skin on the chest, wrists and temples = bliss! I am currently really enjoying the Chill Out Aromatherapy Balm from a brand called Perfect Potion here in Australia.
Tip #3 – Cuddle Up
Last but not least, cuddle up to someone you love! Whether it’s your significant other, or a loved pet, go ahead and subject them to a long cuddle. Physical contact is great for boosting our feel-good hormones, and has been shown to be effective for reducing overall stress levels.
Single? Petless? Doesn’t matter – spending time with family and friends is another way to release stress and feel connected. Or if you’re craving solo downtime, treating yourself to body work like massage every once in a while is never a bad idea!