Stress Less: Episode Two

Episode 2

This week was very busy but incredibly rewarding. I was hired this week and I am so happy and excited. There was a lot I got done one of which is finishing the mini-album I have been working on since 2006. I try to incorporate 1 stress relief activity for maintenance every day. Honestly, I should probably be doing more like 3 a day. But what can I say? I’m working on it.

I have been trying new stress relief activities this New Year. My usual favorites were meditation and yoga. I started an art journal using the prompts from Journal52.com. It was easy and cheap to make. I had some crayons left over from my internship at an elementary school. I bought colored pencils at the dollar store and I used some of the pens and markers lying around the house. For whatever reason, we have a silver metallic sharpie. Score! I really want to experiment with watercolors. I will have to try that next. Here are a few pictures of the materials I used and how I put it together.

20150107_202234 (800x614)                       20150107_202251 (600x800)

The phrases or words used:

20150107_202320 (800x600) 20150109_165858 (800x600)

Final product:

20150111_183759 (800x600) 20150112_091752 (800x566)

In all honesty, it’s not very good J —but it’s my first one and I really enjoyed making it and looking at the fllckr page to see what others have made. It’s mindfulness and creativity in action. I’ll get better, or I won’t, either way the point is the process of creation. I think that any activity that has you sit down and focus on an idea and the expression of that idea can be healing if it resonates in the one who is creating it. I was drawn to the prompt “Pathways,” because it makes me think and reflect on my own journey and visualize where I want to go and how I want to get there.

There is something healing in creation. Sometimes it seems like the world is hellbent on destruction, all the freaking time. Mine is about the journey and trying to lead with my heart and listen to my instincts.

Finished Product:

Baths are very relaxing. I do the whole “spa” thing. I light candles and sometimes incense. I add in my favorite scented bath salts, and hit with my stylus so I don’t smear the kindle, as I turn the many different Spotify playlists like “The most beautiful songs in world, Totally Stress Free, and Stress Buster.” Here are some pictures of the materials I used for each.

20150115_055658 (800x529) One brown sugar cinnamon candle from Yankee Candle, two unscented tall candles for atmosphere. I used the lemon grass blend from zum jujucuzzi. They were cheap and I bought them from Whole Foods. Which is probably a rare statement, no that I think about it. Cheap is not the word that comes to mind when I think of Whole Foods.  Anyway, zum jujucuzzi’s lemon grass blend is so heavenly smelling on it’s own, but it added a nice homey and sweet underlayer of smell. Delicious all around. Lastly I added in some dead sea salts I got from HomeGoods/Marshalls.  Dead sea products tend to make your skin luxuriously soft.  I also used bath salts infused with lavender, chamomile and sage.

Adds a nice element to mix. Sweet and homy feeling
Adds a nice element to mix. Sweet and homy feeling

While waiting for the water to cool I did a 10 minute mindfulness exercise. You can find it here:

This left me quiet, relaxed, and calm. I really enjoy how luxurious baths make me feel, especially because they are inexpensive to do at home, they are warm, comforting, and leave your skin feeling awesome and extremely soft. It’s all about the bath salts. Afterwards I felt an ease in my body, in my joints, and my thoughts. It felt like a deeper cleansing and a sense of relief.

For those that think baths are dirty or “bathing in your own filth,” please click on the link here and here for how to avoid this, proper bath prep and clean up, because believe me you are missing out on relaxing experience and a very restful sleep. Baths are also recommended as part of a regimen for treating depression as it helps to improve your mood.

I hope these help you find and keep your zen.

-Elle

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