It can be tough to balance the many facets of your life. Keeping up with a career or school, relationships, family, hobbies, and home care within this fast-paced and increasingly digital world can be a recipe for overwhelm. It's known that incorporating simple wellness rituals into your day can have far-reaching benefits, and there are some lesser-known wellness practices that even many enthusiasts may not have tried yet. These practices can help to ease stress and calm your mind, so give them a try.
Aromatherapy is an often overlooked practice that provides calming and centering benefits. It doesn't have to be some drawn-out practice, it can literally just mean incorporating relaxing and sensual smells into your day, such as using lotion or burning a candle with a smell that you love. The most important part is taking a moment to be mindful and present while you complete this practice. For example, if you're putting on lotion, go slowly and notice the sensations on your skin and the pleasant aroma. Products like Young Living Essential Oils can provide an easy way to incorporate self-care practices involving aromatherapy into your life.
Get acquainted with this ancient and energizing practice! Forest bathing is a concept that originates from Japan. It refers to the practice of simply spending time in the forest, absorbing the clarifying energy and fresh air of the surrounding nature. There aren't any hard and fast rules, so just do what feels best. You can sit or stand, keep your eyes open or closed, and you can go for a walk if that feels best. Some people prefer to remove their shoes as a way to connect with the forest and ground themselves more deeply. Forest bathing is thought to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, and provide a boost of energy.
Breathwork is the practice of implementing intentional breathing patterns. It can be as simple as slowing down your breathing and paying attention to the sensations that arise from that, for a few minutes. Or, it can look like counting as you breathe in and out, in order to slow your breathing to a more intentional rhythm for a short period of time. A popular example of this is known as box breathing, where you breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, breathe out for four counts, and hold out for four counts before repeating the cycle. Breathwork videos can be found online, or you can even work with a breathwork practitioner for a more challenging breathwork routine, potentially with stronger benefits. Be careful though, if you start to feel light-headed at any point, stop the breathwork routine and return to your normal flow of breath.
Mindful movement isn't a specific one-size-fits-all practice; it can be a lot of things. Maybe you find that yoga stretches are helpful in calming your mind, or perhaps you prefer to go for a nature walk where you can feel the air on your face and hear the sounds of birds or wind around you. Any practice that gets you moving in a gentle way and allows you to slow down is a sort of mindful movement. During a mindful movement session, you can also incorporate breathwork into the practice. Even just a few minutes of mindful movement can help to slow racing thoughts and bring you back to your center, leading to a more focused and calm day.
Slow living is a long-term lifestyle practice, rather than a single ritual. However, if you're willing to do the work to shift your mindset, it can have astounding effects. Slow living refers to a lifestyle where you go about your day with increased intention, slowness, and ease. It doesn't mean being lazy, but rather structuring your days in a way that is conducive to a relaxed mindset. This could look like waking up a little bit later, making time for a cup of tea in the morning, or perhaps taking a mental health day off work when you need it...there are countless ways that you can slow down your day a little bit for reduced stress and a happier mindset.
You can bring slow living principles further into your lifestyle if you want to. This can look like not feeling obligated to attend events you don't actually want to go to, finding a job that doesn't stress you out as much, or moving to a quieter area.
No wellness practice is perfect for everyone, but this list is a great starting point for bringing more ease into your everyday life and finding a little more happiness. Whatever practices you do or don't do, do it for you!
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