If there has ever been a time to give gifts to help you or your loved ones to relax – 2020 is undoubtedly it. It’s been a crazy year that has felt like it will never end. We’ve been consumed by the headlines in the midst of a global pandemic, natural disasters, economic instability and overall unrest. To think of self-care and relaxation at a time like this seems almost trivial. However, it’s during times like these when we need it the most.
Stress in AmericaTM 2020: A National Mental Health Crisis, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of American Psychological Association, found that nearly 8 in 10 adults (78%) say the coronavirus pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives, while 3 in 5 (60%) say the number of issues America faces is overwhelming to them. If your stress is consuming your daily life, seek the advice of a professional. However, if you are looking for simple ways to help you and your loved ones unwind, release tension and calm the mind, here are a few simple self-care gift suggestions for everyone on your list.
Natural Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is a simple, convenient, and non-invasive way to naturally relieve stress. Oils derived from plants such as lavender, lemongrass, and patchouli have been used for thousands of years to cure ailments including stress and tension. A study conducted by the International Journal of Nursing Practice found that nurses who pinned small bottles containing 3% lavender oil on their clothes reported a significant reduction in stress symptoms over the placebo group.
To incorporate essential oils into your daily routine, try using a home diffuser to fill your surroundings with your preferred scent or apply a small amount of essential oils to your pillowcase or sheets. For direct application, look for roll-on blends that mix pure essential oils with a carrier oil that can be applied directly to areas of the skin like your temples, behind the ears or on your wrists.
It’s hard to imagine that a bath can have health benefits, but it’s true! Taking a warm bath can reduce your blood pressure, relieve muscle tension, improve blood circulation, reduce headaches and help you fall asleep faster. If you want to increase the benefits, enhance your experience with a high-quality bath bomb. Read the ingredients and look for Epsom salt to help reduce tension, skin moisturizers like shea butter and cocoa butter, and calming natural essential oils like lavender, rose, bergamot, chamomile, and lemon. If you aren’t a bath taker, a hot shower can provide similar health benefits. Try adding essential oils to your steamy shower with the addition of a shower bomb or an essential oil shower diffuser.
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The Importance of Self-Care
If the idea of self-care is foreign to you, here are a few pointers.
First, forget the guilt. Self-care is not indulgent – it’s imperative. It gives people the chance to rest and recharge so that they can be more productive and present.
Second, know that self-care is different for everyone. Whether it’s a walk on the beach, a tough workout, or a 20-minute face mask, self-care can be experienced in many ways.
Third, self-care is something you need to schedule. Block out “me time” on your calendar. If you wait until a spare moment rolls around, it will never happen.
Fourth, put away the Facebook feed, turn off the television, and remove the distractions. Remember, self-care is about focusing on you and nothing else.
If there was ever a time to refocus your energy towards self-care, this is it! “Me time” will nourish your body and mind and the health benefits can be profound.