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Our Wellness Editor’s Personal Note On Dealing With Stress
Dealing with stress can be a daily struggle. Between the world around us and our personal lives, it can all feel like too much some days. In this editorial, our Beauty and Wellness Editor, Taylor shares a very personal note about her own experience of dealing with and managing stress, with the hope it may resonate with or be helpful to you too.
A Personal Note From Editor, Taylor
Dealing with stress can be a daily struggle. Between the world around us and our personal lives, it can all feel like too much some days. Especially now, when most of us cannot see friends, family, and do things that would normally make us happy. I have faced a great deal of stress in my personal life as my father has faced his second battle with cancer, during a global pandemic, where he is one of the more vulnerable. I have kept this part of my life very private and haven’t shared it with many people. If you looked at my Instagram, you would never think I may be struggling personally. We mostly post the best parts of our lives, not the hard parts. What you see on Instagram is not always the whole truth, which is why it is key to never envy others’ lives as it may not be the entire truth.
Allow Yourself To Cry
For so long I held in all the painful emotions to try and stay strong for those around me until I couldn’t anymore. Being faced with the hard reality of our parent’s mortality is something we all face at some point, but you truly cannot prepare for it. Crying is one of the most basic human reactions, that is incredibly important to permit. It is incredibly therapeutic for a reason. When we cry, we are helping our body to lower our stress hormones. Research has shown that we have different tears, and our emotional tears actually help to flush out these hormones along with other toxins that can build up when overly stressed.
Sometimes it is too difficult to vocalize certain thoughts and emotions. Sometimes we don’t even know the best way to express ourselves in difficult times. That is why journaling has been a huge solace to me during this time. I have two different journals, one for my daily to-do list and notes on work. My second is just for my thoughts, which I have made into a ritual for myself. I write without questioning my words or grammar, I just let the words flow out.
I often never read what I’ve written previously because this practice isn’t about recording, it is about shedding your mind of painful and tough thoughts and feelings. I like to do this type of writing in the evenings with my Bodha incense burning or a natural candle lit, so I can empty my mind before heading to bed.
Allowing The Negativity
We are programmed as a society to try and see the positive in everything. When friends have needed emotional support, I have time and time again offered positive outlooks on every situation. It wasn’t until my dad was sick for the second time that I realized that blind positivity isn’t always best. Sometimes we need to face the scary, negative, but real thoughts so we digest them and tap into how we truly feel about them.
Throughout this period, I have been told by friends to stay positive and I can attest that it can be the most unhelpful thing to say to someone experiencing a true crisis. Feeling scared and upset are not always bad things, they are common human emotions that shouldn’t be repressed but instead faced head-on.
Remember To Move
My yoga practice has completely changed for me. It has become less about a ‘workout’ and more about stretching and supporting my body. Mental stress can take a huge toll on our physical body, leading to tension, tightness, and pain. I have personally noticed more aches during the last few months, which is why my yoga practice is so important.
I am lucky enough to mostly have sunny days here in Los Angeles, where I can do my practice outside. I have been loving the Breath – 30 Day Yoga Journey with Adriene, as it has a great focus on breath and gentle stretches.
Take Time For You
Self-care has always been essential for me. We are unable to care for those around us if we are running on empty ourselves. Self-care means something different for everyone. For me, it is my beauty routine, gardening, shopping for fresh produce, and cooking.
Doing things just for yourself isn’t selfish, but incredibly empowering! Part of my beauty routine that instantly de-stresses me is oil cleansing routine, where I take the time to give myself a facial massage. Check out my article on lymphatic drainage to learn my favourite techniques.
I always loved trying different plant-based medicines to tackle different issues – focus, sleep, skin health, etc. When it comes to stress, I love the Golden Balance powder from Wunder Workshop, because it was specially formulated to manage cortisol levels (our stress hormone). Instead of having an afternoon coffee, add this powder to your favourite nut milk for a little pick me up.
Anxiety Ally from Wooden Spoon Herbs is another wonderful support when the mind is in distress. I have found it to be a wonderful tincture when I’m feeling especially on edge and stressed. If you want to read more about the power of plant-based medicines, check out our article featuring my favourite herbs and plants.
I also find CBD to be a massive relief when I’m feeling especially anxious. I love the Plant People Organic Sleep Drops, because when I’m stressed, I find falling sleep really difficult. This specific CBD oil supports the adrenals and helps to balance hormones, which are both essential in reducing daily stress. I found the results got better after consistent use – I now use it nightly!
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A Smart Drink
Too much alcohol can become a crutch in difficult and stressful times. It is key to not drink to achieve an altered state of mind. However, I’m someone who loves a glass of something while cook my nightly meal. For nights when I do have an alcoholic drink, I love using the Haus aperitifs to make a cocktail because all their flavors are so delicious and made from all-natural ingredients. They also have a lower alcohol content (compared to whiskey, but more than wine) meaning I can enjoy a glass or two without feeling ‘tipsy’ or hungover the next day.
For the evenings when I don’t have alcohol, I love having a can of Something & Nothing’s seltzers. All of their flavors are made with completely natural ingredients and you can really taste it. You can even mix them with your alcohol of choice or mix them with other fruit juices and tonics for a seriously yummy mocktail. I personally love each flavor by itself too!
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