Stress Less: Episode 4

Stress Less: Episode 4
Hello everyone,

I have been working on building stress relief activities into my every day routine. While I still haven’t met my goal for 3 activities/day, I did do a good job in meeting my goals the past few weeks. It’s been a balancing act incorporating these things, now that I have a full time job. Yet, I am also glad because for these techniques to work they should be “true to life” circumstances (i.e. most people have a full schedule) to be effective.

I did much better this time around.

I continued to take baths. I have been averaging about 1 bath a week. I find the ritual of it to be relaxing. There is a mindfulness to the activity, as I light the candles and prepare the bath water with assorted oils, lotions, salts, and bubble bath. I find a nice playlist on Spotify varying from “spa” type music to old school soul or jazz standards and just sink into the mood I’ve created. For more information, the details are included in the Stress Less: Episode 2.

I have also been doing more art. I really enjoy taking an hour a week to dedicate my attention and focus to a topic that affects me emotionally. Whether it be peace, violence, silence, war, love, my path, what I strive for, what I fear, what I want, etc. I try to create a representation of my feelings.

That said it’s rare that “I” am in any of my art or craft projects. My idea or feeling is present but it’s rare I actually draw myself into the picture. I wonder what that means.  I just like playing with the watercolors I bought and trying to remember the drawing class I took in my senior year of college to get my colored pencil scrawl on.

I completed these two projects:

Violence2

Job meaning

The first is a picture of Violence, this is my interpretation of what colors come to mind when I think of violence. Red for blood spilled, black for death, blue for despair. The rest is just on fire. I want to do a few more words themes, I want to follow up with Peace and Love.

The other is a project I did at work, that describes why we like our profession we got some time to work on it but I brought mine home and finished it (because I am a nerd). I think that everyone is dealing with a “tempest” in their own lives and that we all need help at some point. It’s heart shaped because that help has to come from a place of authentic love.

The best progress to report is that I managed to do yoga and meditation (or mindfulness) for 5 days for almost two weeks in a row. I did an extra set of yoga stretches before bed last week and they were great for relaxation. In fact, a little too great as I slept through my alarm and running to work destroys my zen, but other than that day—I did very well. The biggest challenge is getting moving in the morning.
Quite frankly the only thing I want to do is stretch out on the floor and go back to sleep—so I need those gentle wake up yoga videos. Once I get warmed up, my body doesn’t protest the movements, but actually embraces them, it just needs a slow, warm up to get ready for the more strenuous moves.

I have been doing more mindfulness using the Calm.com app. I love the nature scenes, my favorites are the pouring rain and the lapping of the river. I can set 10 minutes or up to 25 for guided mindfulness segments. Best of all it’s free, but if you wish you can drop the 10 bucks to download other guided meditations a la carte, they have a good selection.
So, that is all for my stress less activities for Episode 4. I hope they are as helpful to you as they are to me.

 

Please let me know if there are techniques you use to de-stress that aren’t listed. I’m always on the lookout for more ways to relax. Have a great week!

–Elle

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