Showing posts with label stress-relief. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stress-relief. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Come to the Quiet by Denise George: A Book Review

Are You Tired Today and Longing for Rest?


I know I am. Although I now live only with my husband and neither of us works outside the home, I still find it hard to find the rest I need. It's especially hard to find quiet rest. It seems there is always some kind of noise in the background. Maybe it's a neighbor using a leaf blower or my husband watching television or a motorcycle driving by. Since I've moved to the city it's never been quiet. That's why I have to use white noise to block unwanted sounds and get to sleep.



Even though I work at home as a blogger, it seems I never have time to relax. There's always something to read or write, photos to take or edit, other blogs to visit and comment on, and social promotion to do. That's on top of the normal chores involved in keeping us fed and in clean clothes, doing necessary housework, and paying bills. Interruptions come in the form of phone calls, husband, workmen, and knocks on the door. There are errands to run, doctor appointments, and emergencies to deal with. I have to plan carefully to spend time with friends.

Many reading this have even more on their plates than I have -- a full time job outside the home, children to care for, getting children where they need to go in their own busy lives, etc., etc., etc. It never stops, and probably neither do you until you drop physically and emotionally exhausted into bed at night.

The Right Book at the Right Time


Solitude and quiet have always been important to me. Up until we moved into our house in a small city I always had a place to get away to de stress . Since we now live in a one story house and have a television which can be heard from almost every room, it's been much harder to have my solitude. And I've been feeling the tension build. Sunday I had almost the entire day to myself and I spent most of it reading this book: Come to the Quiet by Denise George. I found it sitting on a shelf of samples publishers had sent me years ago. For me it was certainly the right book at the right time.



My husband was gone almost all day. I took advantage of the solitude to rest my body and my spirit. This book was like a drink of ice cold water on one of those triple digit summer days we've had this summer. It confirmed my need to escape to solitude more often.

When my mind and body can't rest my spirit suffers, too. Rest for body, soul, and spirit are essential for physical and mental health. George's book explains how we can find the quiet and rest we must have even though it seems like there is no time or place for it. We were created for quiet. To be healthy we must leave room for quiet rest in our lives.



Finding Rest in the Midst of Stress

George points out that we often bring unnecessary stress on ourselves. Maybe a mother doesn't really need to work outside the home. George helps a woman who has a choice evaluate the value of her job to herself and her family. Denise George also recognizes that some women must work -- especially those who already have the stress of parenting alone. She suggests ways even single working moms can find quiet rest in the midst of their stress.

She also helps us work through our priorities. Misplaced priorities are a major source of our stress and overwork. Some stresses are easy to get rid of by changing habits we might not have even thought of as stressful. She points out some of those stresses that have easy fixes. She explains ways we can tune out external noise we can't control and have a more peaceful life.

I think many of us are so used to some stressors we don't even realize they are there, but George shows us some practical ways to escape them. There are changes we can make and places we can go to rest our stressed minds. George's suggestions will help anyone, no matter what causes the stress or how economically well off one is.

Christian Answers to Stress

Christian women's lives can be as stressful as any other lives, but our faith and relationship with Christ mean they don't have to be. It's very easy to buy into the world's mindset and get our sense of worth from what we do instead of who we are in Christ. This book shows us how to let Christ transform our minds. It also offers suggestions for resting our bodies and spirits.

Stress eventually affects our bodies enough to make us sick. Researchers have determined how much stress we can take before this happens. The book contains a stress test that gives points for various life events and pressures and you can see how close you are coming to the 300 points that can make you sick. As the points add up, quiet, self-care, and solitude become more important than ever in keeping you well. There are plenty of suggestions in this book for lessening the stress both you and your children have in your lives.

George invites us to come to Jesus when we are physically and emotionally overburdened and find rest for our spirits and minds. She shows us how to do that. She leads us to the quiet place of healing and shows us how to guard our hearts against the hate, prejudice, bitterness, and selfishness which stress us and  hurt others. Jesus can replace those things with agape love in our hearts.

Jesus invites you to come and rest with him. He wants to lift your burden of stress and lead you to his quiet place of refreshment for your body, mind and spirit. Come to the Quiet will give you the details on how to rest in Him.









Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Reviewing How Aromatherapy Can Help Relieve Stress

Lavender oil for stress
Buy Your Lavender Oil Here!
I love using aromatherapy and it's awesome for many different things, but one thing that aromatherapy is often used to help with is stress.

I thought it would be handy to showcase which aromatherapy oils are the best to help relieve stress and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle to make stress a thing of the past.

The best stress-busting essential oils that aromatherapy has to offer are:
  • Bergamot
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Gerarnium
  • Chamomile
The best thing about these five oils is that they also smell absolutely divine too (a win/win).

Bergamot Oil


Bergamot oil is a very uplifting oil and is great for keeping you feeling positive and avoiding stress.  I love the smell of Bergamot - it always puts me in a 'happy' mood.

Bergamot can help with -
  • depression
  • nervous tension
  • relaxation
  • general well being

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil also has uplifting properties (most of the citrus oils do) and gives you a feeling of positivity.  Lemon oil has the advantage of being anti-bacterial and anti-viral so if your immune system is feeling the effects of too much stress, lemon oil can help.

Lemon oil can help with -
  • relaxation
  • nervous tension
  • general well being

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil has so many properties that it really is the super oil of all oils, often referred to as a first aid kit in a bottle.  Combine that with the fact that the fragrance is just as beautiful you're onto a winner!

Lavender oil can help with -
  • depression
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • migrane
  • insomnia
  • nervous tension

Geranium Oil

Geranium oil is one of the few that can be blended with nearly any other oil.  It goes extremely well with rose, however and all of the citrus oils.

Geranium oil can help with -
  • depression
  • nervous tension
  • nervous pain
  • anxiety

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil has a very low toxicity which is why it is often used with children.

Chamomile oil can help with -
  • depression
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • migrane
  • hysteria

Essential oils really are a fantastic way to keep stress levels down.   I managed a shop for a number of years and we had an aromatherapy burner going all day.  My stress levels (especially considering how busy we were) were always kept under control.  My first experience of work stress didn't happen until after leaving this environment.

aromatherapy and stress relief

Common Stress Problems

Common stress problems include headaches, low libido insomnia, high blood pressure, depression, irritability, anxiety and exhaustion.

Headaches - the classic essential oil for stress headaches and migraines is lavender.  Simply put a drop on each middle finger and massage into your temples (lavender is one of the few essential oils you can use neat, usually you should dilute pure essential oils before putting onto the skin)

Insomnia - chamomile is a fantastic essential oil for helping with insomnia, especially when combined with lavender oil.   Leave a diffuser going in the bedroom or have a chamomile and lavender bath before going to bed.   When my daughter was teething she had problems sleeping so (as I didn't have a diffuser at that time) I put a couple of drops of chamomile on a hankerchief and placed this under the mattress in her cot.  It really seemed to help settle her.

Low Libido - when stress starts to affect your sex life then you want to grab some Jasmine oil (this oils has athrodisiac properties) as this works really well in combination with lavender, chamomile, bergamot or geranium.  Add a couple of drops of jasmine along with a couple of drops of one of your stress oils into a carrier oil and try a massage.

High Blood Pressure - this needs to be approached in a holistic manner, but both lavender and lemon oils are fantastic in helping to support other methods of reducing blood pressure.

How Do I Use Essential Oils?


Now that you've worked out what oils you need - what do you do with them?  Essential oils can be used in diffusers, burners, baths, massages, lotions and creams.

Diffusers


Diffusers are wonderful, if you're able to have them going at work it is fantastic.  When you're trying to convince your employer to let you have a diffuser at work point them in the direction of Takasago.  Takasago is a Japanese company who released essential oils into the office air of computer and word processing operators to see if it affected productivity.

The results showed an increase in productivity, reduction in error rates and a reduction in stress levels.  The productivity rates were all increased by between 21% and 54% depending on the oils used.  Take this to your boss and he won't just let you use a diffuser in the office he may even buy one for you!

De-Stress On Your Drive Home

Car Diffusers


Driving home you can use aromatherapy as well and reduce the chance of road rage!  Simply get a car diffuser, they usually plug into the cigarette lighter.  If you If you don't want to use one of these you can put a couple of drops of essential oil on a tissue and leave it over the airvent so that it can diffuse throughout the car. This is also a great tip for long car trips to stay alert when driving - we used a combination of lemon and rosemary on a road trip a few years ago - I'm digressing now. Back to stress!

Massages


Regular Aromatherapy massages are fantastic, if you're under a lot of stress then booking in to have a weekly massage is a great idea. A friend of mine finds that once a month is enough for her as her work stress levels aren't really high, but are fairly consistent.

Massage by itself is great for stress, but seeing an Aromatherapist means that you'll have the added benefits of the power of essential oils as well.

Baths


Baths are a fantastic way of 'washing away' the stresses of the day. The Romans and Egyptians have long known the benefits of bathing. In our quest for speed and efficiency we have switched to quick showers and have lost the relaxation of a bath along the way. Combine the relaxing properties of a bath with the power of aromatherapy and you will be much happier.

Other ways to incorporate aromatherapy are using burners, candles, body lotions and creams.

Some Helpful Aromatherapy Blends


General Formula for the Workplace


This formula will enable everyone to cope before they get stressed out and it also has the added benefit of keeping their immune systems healthy (always good in an office environment).

Bergamot 7 drops
Lavender 3 drops
Lemon 2 drops

Mix these ratios of oils together and put in a diffuser to keep your workplace happy and healthy.

Anxiety Formula


Lavender 10 drops
Geranium 10 drops
Bergamot 10 drops

This same combination works really well for Depression although in different ratios

Depression Formula (from Valerie Ann Worwood's The Fragrant Pharmacy)


Geranium 15 drops
Lavender 5 drops
Bergamot 10 drops

Geranium is a really good oil to use as an uplifting influence on your emotions and although I have already talked about using chamomile and lavender together for headaches, Geranium can also be used.

Headache Formula


Equal parts lavender , chamomile and geranium

aromatherapy to relieve stress
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Have You Used Aromatherapy to Reduce Stress?

I'd love to know which oils you used and what the results were ...


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, August 14, 2017

Reviewing Gentle Yoga Accessories

Gentle Yoga with help from Yoga Accessories
I have recently joined a weekly Restorative Yoga class (also called gentle yoga). The yoga has been so beneficial to my physical and mental health that I wish I had the time to attend the class several times a week. Sadly, I do not. But I do have an internet connection and access to gentle yoga "classes" in the comfort of my own home. Whether in a class or at home, there are several items that make this Yoga more effective; mat, blanket, bolster, blocks, and a strap. I want to share a quick overview of these items and the supplier I've found.

If you are familiar with the benefits of yoga and yoga accessories, please feel free to jump ahead to the Yoga Accessories store. I have found that they offer high quality items, affordable prices, and fast delivery.


The Benefits of Gentle Yoga


I have always enjoyed yoga. And up until a few years ago, I really enjoyed the Yoga Burn type of yoga. The type where I felt as though I was working out and working up a sweat doing it. But as the years have gone by, I have gained weight, lost muscle, lost flexibility, and my lack of range of motion is embarrassing.  I have allowed a stressful job to negatively impact my health.

I needed something, some form of exercise, that suits my current physical and mental state. This gentle yoga class is good for my body as well as my mind. I am increasing flexibility and range of motion. I am also finding that the meditative style of this yoga is helping me to release stress. I am more calm and sleep much better after the yoga class. I can feel my stress level lowered.


Gentle Yoga Accessories


In this yoga class, I have been introduced to several helpful accessories; blanket, bolster, blocks, and a strap. As I have begun to do yoga at home, I have found a reliable supplier for these items.  I highly recommend Yoga Accessories for your yoga supplies.

Mat - Yoga mats are familiar things to most folks. They provide a bit of padding as well as a no-slip surface.  I love that Yoga Accessories offers mats in many different colors. They also offer mats in different thicknesses. My preference is the very thin mat that provides no-slip and a sort of hygienic barrier between me and the floor. But there are also thicker mats of you are looking for more padding.


1/8" Lightweight Classic Yoga Mat

Bolster - Bolsters come in several sizes and either a round shape or a more flattened-oval shape. I am getting a lot of use from my new round bolster. It is used to prop up the knees, to assist while laying in the child pose, and my favorite pose - laying on it along my spine. This pose seems to release tension in my back and shoulders.


small junior sized round bolster (22" x 7")

Blanket - A blanket does what a bolster does, but on a thinner scale. You can also use the blanket to sit on, adding padding between your bottom and the floor. I also often use it under my head and under my neck for padding and support. 


Yoga Accessories Traditional Mexican Yoga Blanket

Blocks - Blocks are used as props for stability and/or for comfort. For example, while in certain poses that are meant to be restful, if you aren't quite flexible enough you aren't able to relax. The blocks can be placed to help you relax.


High Density and Lightweight Foam Yoga Blocks


Strap - As I mentioned, I have lost flexibility and range of motion. A few years ago, I could grasp my hands behind my back, lean over, and raise them above my head. Now I can barely clasp my hands behind my back.  A strap can be used to help with that move until you become able to perform the move without the extra assistance.  In only 4-5 weeks time, I am noticing improvement in my flexibility and will soon be working without the strap.


8' Cinch Buckle Cotton Yoga Strap



An Amazon Prime Free Gentle Yoga Video


I love this gentle yoga so much and am realizing so many benefits from it in just a few weeks that I've begun to practice at home. I was thrilled to find a free video, that is included with my Amazon Prime membership, that is very similar to the class I attend. If you have a Prime membership, you can take a peek at Easy - Gentle Yoga with Michele Fife to see what I am trying to describe.


A relaxing and helpful pose with the help of a bolster
photo: Yoga Accessories

*photo credits: all photos from Yoga Accessories 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Moodle Stressed Review

Moodles - doodles that change your mood.
What is a Moodle? In a Google search, the word "Moodle" brings up a variety of search results. The Moodle I am reviewing is a book series that was designed by the author to improve mood through doodling. This is a book that I personally would have picked up from the shelf, flipped through, then put back on the shelf and wandered away. But after seeing the Stressed volume put to use, I decided that I needed to help spread the word about the Moodle series.  


What is a Moodle and why is there a series?


The Moodle books were written and illustrated by Emily Portnoi. She describes the books as:


"...a new concept in therapeutic doodling - fun doodle books for adults or children, with the power to change your mood"  -- Emily Portnoi

Ms. Portnoi is a Designer, Art Director, and Illustrator. I think that her enjoyment of aesthetics and fun art is easy to see in the pages of her book.


Why I recommend the Moodle Stressed Volume


Since I admitted that this is a book that I would have leafed through then left behind on the bookstore shelf, why would I now recommend that very same book? I recommend it because one of my "kids" recommended it. And I watched as this young person "Moodled" into calmness.

There is nothing new about coloring, doodling, and fidgeting (keeping the hands busy while focusing on a task) as a means of relieving stress or anxiety. Ms. Portnoi writes that her books are a new concept in therapeutic doodling. I don't fully agree with that statement. Doodling/drawing is something that I've done with the kids I work with for just over two decades now (wow, time flies!). Some of the doodles in the Moodle book were very similar to things I've done with the kids over the years.

Are you still wondering why I recommend these books? I can see why you would be wondering that.  Let me explain a little more.


  • The size of the book is a handy size (approx. 6" x 7.8").   
  • The bold print of the illustrations is eye-catching and Ms. Portnoi's illustrations are fun and engaging.  
  • What is new about her books is the variety of activities. All of the suggested doodles are open-ended and can be as brief or detailed as the user chooses.  
  • The page corners are rounded and smooth
  • The pages are thick and a slightly "slick" paper stock (I am not a publisher, so I am unsure of the correct terminology). Not too slick for pens and pencils, but not regular rough paper stock.
  • The feel/texture of the pages were clearly pleasing to the youngster I was with while we colored in the book.

A few quick photos I took of some of the pages in the Stressed volume to show the variety of activities

The book is suitable for pencils, pens, and colored pencils. I did note that my young friend was using markers and gel pens. Some of the most vibrant and "wet" ink markers/pens did slightly bleed through the pages while some of the gel pens did not.

While this book was not my cup of tea, it was clearly very enjoyable for this young person. The activity did in fact improve mood and release stress in a remarkably short period of time. 

As we sat and colored, I realized that I should stock up on some of the books in this series. I think that the book series will be helpful for folks who need to calm, focus, release stress, and improve mood. In my mind, I created a list of some of the people I will recommend the book to - including folks on the Autism Spectrum and who have difficulties with symptoms of anxiety, impulsivity, and ADHD.


The Moodles series offered on Amazon - including Moodles Happy


Related Link


I enjoy coloring and doodling and was recently reminded of the importance of carrying supplies with me. I prefer mandala style coloring pages and discovered these small on-the-go adult coloring books.


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Monday, February 16, 2015

Stress-free Stress Relief

Life is stressful.  In this review, I will share with you an easy and inexpensive way of obtaining some much needed stress-relief. Have your Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint Aromatherapy lotion delivered to your door and feel the stress melt away. Relaxation may not be as elusive as you might think.

Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint Review 


Eucalyptus Spearmint Stress Relief
I received a bottle of Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint Aromatherapy lotion as a gift. Initially, I was a bit tentative about the gift. Fragrances are difficult gifts to give because not everyone likes the same fragrance. In addition to that, as someone who has migraines that are sometimes triggered by fragrances, I am cautious with new scents. However, with the first use of this aromatherapy lotion, all of my reservations disappeared.

The Eucalyptus Spearmint scent combination is aromatic. It is not a subdued scent. For stress relief, the website instructs to smooth the lotion on generously and breathe deeply. This is how I apply the lotion, before bed or after a bath.  I am not sure how much stress is alleviated from the use of this lotion, but the moisturizing and the scent are pleasing. I do feel more relaxed after applying it.

The reasons I like this particular lotion:

  • essential oils provide a genuine, natural scent
  • lightly moisturizing
  • lotion absorbs well and doesn't feel greasy
  • packaged in a nice glass bottle with a pump dispenser
  • some reviewers report that it opens the sinuses (I agree)
  • some reviewers report that it soothes sore muscle or joint pain (I agree)
  • is a great lotion for massage

 

Easy Bath & Body Works Online Ordering 


We have a wonderful, local, brick and mortar Bath & Body Works store. It's a great little store. However, I don't always enjoy fighting the crowds for a bottle of lotion.  I began using the Bath & Body Works Website to buy my lotions and to order gifts.  I love saving my time and money by shopping online and having my purchases delivered to my door. I explain how I saved 50% on my current order on Treasures, Travel, and Tales.


Orange Ginger Energy

Bath & Body Works Orange Ginger Energy Body Lotion


There is another Bath & Body Works aromatherapy body lotion that I received as a gift and highly recommend.  If you are concerned that the eucalyptus spearmint lotion may be too strong, you will definitely want to try the Orange Ginger Energy Body lotion.  Personally, I love them both equally, but for different reasons.  

The Orange Ginger aromatherapy body lotion is also packaged in the glass bottle with the pump dispenser.  The aroma also is from essential oils but is a softer fragrance.  Again, while I can't quantify how much more energized I feel after using this lotion, I am sure that I feel good after using it and I love the scent.

Bits of Relaxation


Any bit of relaxation and self-care that we can bring into our lives is pretty important to our health and well-being. Pampering ourselves is one way to do that.  These are just two of my favorite items.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

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