let's talk about stress baby
writer: Emma Ranne
pictures: Pihla Laine
Sometimes the thing they like to refer to as adulting gets a little too overwhelming. Or maybe it’s your studies or a bump in a relationship that is troubling your mind piece.
Stress is something that probably most of us run into on a quite regular basis in this hectic fast pace world of ours. Primarily stress is a physical response that affects your whole body. Your body basically thinks it’s under attack and goes into fight or flight-mode, which of course isn't the most practical response to most of our everyday stress situations. How to cope with these feelings when you by no means should pick up any kind of physical fight nor run away even though every cell in your body is demanding you to do so?
Stress can hit you with all of its power in a moment’s blink, or it can be something subtler but at least as draining that you carry with you from one day to the other. Luckily as there are plenty of things that may cause us stress, there’s also plenty of ways for us to cope with it.
4 Tips for long term stress:
- Try essential oils. I’ve started to carry oils with me wherever I go and my current favourite is the blend calm by Frantsila. I first ran into this soothing oil blend at my yoga studio and often tried it out there. Now whenever I feel a bit tense I add a bit of the oil on my wrists and the scent immediately reminds me of my yoga studio. The roll on is easy to pop into your bag, and ever since getting it I've been carrying it with me pretty much wherever I go.
Essential oils are oils extracted from flowers, leaves and roots and there are many ways in which you can blend and use them to relief stress. Try to add a few drops of Lavender Oil on your pillow case before you go to bed, add some rose oil to your diffuser when your feel a bit stiff and your day needs a little pick up and use chamomile oil to calm your overthinking mind. The possibilities are endless. I often like to browse Frantsila’s website to get more info on oils and their uses.
- Regularly take a few minutes to meditate and try to do yoga. Close your eyes for a moment and simply focus on your breath. Try to let go of everything else for a minute. Yoga is one of my favourite ways to calm my mind and take a break from the hectic everyday routines.
- Clean your space. I once read somewhere that the tidiness of the space you live in is a reflection of your mind and I think this is true, at least in my case. Whenever there’s a more stressful period at school or work or elsewhere in life my otherwise pretty tidy home blows up into an uncontrollable chaos. I know this sounds very Marie Kondo, but take a few minutes to daily fix up your space. Also it’s one less thing to stress about if your home is tidy, plus I think in the best case and with the right mind-set household chores are almost equal meditation. Especially doing the dishes. Just saying.
- This is one of my favourite tricks when I’m feeling super stressed by multiple things: Brew yourself a cup of tea, grab a piece of paper and a pen and write it all out into a big ‘brain dump’ – list. Once you have it all written it’s easier to see things in perspective and to tackle the things one by one.
Is this an anxiety attack?!
– what to do when stress hits you out of the blue and with full power
- Ok ok. It’s all alright and it will be better now that you noticed things are getting a bit too overwhelming and tense. If possible stop whatever it is you are doing, take a deep breath in and let it all out. Repeat breathing in calmly counting to 10 until you feel a bit better.
- This might sound crazy but try to give yourself a little pep talk, either out loud or in your mind. Try to sooth your mind. ‘’Aww baby, you’ll be fine. You can handle this.’’ Talk to yourself as you would to a friend.
- Breathing again? Good. Now it’s time to put things in proportion. Weigh the facts and try to see the situation from a broader point of view. As long as no one is in immediate danger, everything is fine. Breath. Try to think of a solution to whatever it is that causes you your stress. Break it down and make a plan of very small and easy steps for how you can tackle it.
- If you have time to take a longer break of whatever you are dealing with at this point, try to go for a walk. Whenever I feel stressed I pretty much command myself to take a moment, switch my phone on night mode, put Spotify on and go for a long walk. It’s a bullet proof way for me to feel better, and it works every single time. If you feel super tense and you find it difficult to calm down to go for a walk, try to run it out instead.
- Feeling a bit better? Before you start to tackle the step by step plan you just made, brew yourself a warm cup of tea. Try herbal blends like chamomile, lemon balm or peppermint that are known to soothe the body. Warm things in general calm our body. Take a hot shower, a warm bath spiced up with some essential oils or heat up the sauna.
Honestly, there are so many ways you can deal with stress and there’s no ‘’one kind fits all’’ solution that works in every situation and for everyone. It’s all about trying out different things and creating your own strategy.
It’s important to take care of yourself and your mind. If things often feel too overwhelming and stress keeps on haunting you up until the point it really starts to affect your daily life, it’s time to ask for help. Talk to your friends, family or a professional about your stress. When shared, your worries often start to feel less bad and other people might come up with solutions you hadn’t thought of yourself.