The last few weeks had been a gauntlet. Pam, a mother of three, wife, and full-time employee, found herself fatigued. The duties of being a mother and wife, along with the expectations of her job, and the new information that her mother had been diagnosed with cancer, left Pam fatigued and unable to sleep. The stress in her life seemed insurmountable. Tension ran through her back, neck, and shoulders, while she lacked focus and concentration. The stress of her mother’s illness coupled with the everyday stressors of making ends meet was almost more than she could bear.
Like many of us, Pam found herself suffering from symptoms of stress. Stress can be beneficial for our bodies; however, an undue amount of stress can begin to wreak havoc on our mind and body. Pam consulted her doctor after sleepless nights and persistent tension. She was faced with a choice to make. Her stress and anxiety could be solved with a pill; just one little pill could relieve her anxiety and stress. While modern medicine has its place, Pam decided to turn down the prescription provided by her doctor and look for alternative ways to handle and alleviate the symptoms of stress. Her friends pointed her in the direction of New Age alternatives, and soon Pam found her options were no longer limited to a pill.
The New Age movement combines Western and Eastern traditions in a way that keeps the natural balance and order. By using a combination of traditional medicine, folk knowledge, spiritual beliefs, and other holistic approaches, New Age alternatives can provide relief to those suffering from all sorts of ailments.
Stress can alter both a person’s physical and mental well-being, and it is important to manage stress and keep a healthy stress level. As Pam found out, there are numerous natural remedies for stress management that promote a balanced well-being.
By incorporating different minerals and vitamins, as well as eliminating such stimulants as caffeine, stress can be managed and kept at a healthy constructive level. Antioxidants, zinc, vitamin B, and essential fatty acids can all help to keep stress at bay. Aromatherapy, which is defined by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit, can also be very effective at relieving stress.
Aromatherapy dates back as far as 6000 years and was used by the ancient Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. The essential oils from plants such as lavender, chamomile, rose, and cedar, are considered to have stress relieving properties. The oils are not only from natural sources, but unlike the prescription pills with the funny names, they are non-habit forming (but this doesn’t mean you won’t fall in love with the tradition and want to keep using it!). Simply add a few drops of the essential oils to a vaporizer or diffuser and your stress will melt away one breath at a time. Essential oils are also great to incorporate into bath scrubs and salts. By combining sea salt, lavender essential oil, ylang ylang essential oil, and sweet orange essential oil, you create a perfect nighttime bath soak that will also help alleviate the stress and leave your skin feeling relaxed.
Nighttime Bath Soak
2 oz sea salt
1 oz baking soda
15 drops lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
10 drops ylang ylang essential oil (Cananga odorata)
10 drops sweet orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis var. dulcis)
Mix all of the ingredients together in a jar and add to your bath water as desired. You can also use Dead Sea salts, Epsom salts or Himalayan pink salts in this recipe, depending upon your preference. The mix of lavender, ylang ylang and sweet orange essential oils leaves you feeling relaxed, pampered and uplifted.
After a relaxing bath, lightly spritz your pillows with a mixture of lavender and chamomile to encourage a restful night’s sleep.
Bed Time Spritzer
2 oz distilled water
15 drops of lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
10 drops of Roman chamomile essential oil (Chamaemelum nobile)
Mix the essential oils with the distilled water in a spray bottle and spritz onto your pillow before going to sleep. The mix of lavender and Roman chamomile essential oils is a great choice for those who have difficulty getting to sleep or suffer from occasional bouts of insomnia.
You, like Pam, deserve some “me” time, so create your sanctuary and relieve your stress with aromatherapy.
Check back for more new age alternatives for stress relief in weeks to come!