As you may imagine, dealing with infertility is one of the most stressful things I’ve ever gone through. The “what ifs” are constantly swirling in my mind, my body is stressed from trying different medications and eating styles, my heart is overwhelmed thinking about what may (or may not) come.
This situation is an invitation into a stress-lifestyle. Well, thank you for the invite, infertility, but I’m gonna have to say no. Using these 6 stress relievers helps me relax INSTANTLY, and they may help you do the same. And no, a glass of red wine isn’t on this list… though that’s not a bad idea.
You saw this one coming, didn’t you? Yoga is the ultimate mind and body connection exercise. I think more than anything, yoga is a stress reliever for me because it allows me to be still and quiet for at least a little while. As I’ve said before, my favorite way to do yoga is via a Les Mills class called BodyFlow. And while a lot of times it feels more stressful than relaxing (my body doesn’t like to bend the ways I want it to sometimes), nothing beats that last 10 minutes of silence and relaxation at the end of class. I also recently hopped on the Yoga with Adrienne bandwagon. I love that she has a variety of short and longer videos and she has such a variety of types, so I can choose if I want to sweat a little bit or just calm my body and mind.
I love losing myself in a good book. It allows you to escape your reality, at least for a little while, and get lost in a different world, life, reality. And when I’m stressed, my favorite thing is to read a funny book. It’s a wonderful distraction and gives you a reason to smile and laugh when your life is full of stress, worry and anxiety. I mainly read on the bus during my commute. I’m almost done reading (or, should I say re-reading) Anne of Green Gables. I’m sure the people on my bus think I’m losing it, because I smile and giggle to myself through my whole 20 minute commute. If you ride the bus, this is also a great way to calmly walk into your work-day and relax at the end of your work-day.
The other place that I love to read is in the bathtub! Baths are my (nearly) free way to feel pampered and to relax. Obviously, soaking in a hot tub relaxes your muscles, but it also relaxes your mind. I especially love taking a bath with Lush products. You haven’t lived until you’ve used a Lush bath bomb. I swear, lattes and bath bombs are my love language. That said, Greg and I are currently on a spending fast, and it breaks my heart to say that I can’t justify bath bombs (and you can’t forget bubble bars) as a necessity. So I’m hoping to learn how to make my own soon! I’ll keep you updated on that. Other (cheaper) ways to enhance your bath? Light a candle or two, throw a cup of epsom salt into the water and slap on a face mask (check out these homemade ones!).
When you’re in a situation like infertility (which is mostly out of your control), it feels good to remember the aspects of your life that you ARE able to control. Planning my day and week (obviously knowing that God tends to, and likes to change my plans) helps me remember that there are things I can control. I can control if I start my day rushing and scrambled, or calm and collected. I can control when and how I keep my house clean. I can control where my money goes and what my budget looks like. As I’ve said, I’m a bit of a goal junkie, so making plans and making goals helps me feel refreshed and relieves stress.
You probably saw this one coming too, huh? Essential oils have become really popular recently, and I totally understand why! Aromatherapy is very real and very powerful. I mainly use essential oils in two ways. First, I really like to diffuse them. I mainly do this before we go to bed. The sound of the diffuser and the aroma of the oils can be really soothing. My favorite oils to diffuse are Lavender, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Tea Tree and Thieves. I also use a few roller blends regularly. I just put a bit on the area between my thumb joint and my wrist and take a whiff whenever I need to take a moment to relax. My favorite blend is called “Sunshine” and it’s a mixture of fractionated coconut, pink grapefruit and jasmine oils. It smells HEAVENLY.
TIME WITH GOD
Whether it be reading a Psalm, pouring my heart out in prayer or reflecting on praise music (this one in particular), this is the ultimate stress reliever for me. Reminding myself that I am important to God, He created me for a purpose and everything is in His hands instantly relaxes me. He’s a good, good father and He cares for me. He loves me and he wants me to come to him when I’m stressed. It’s an amazing gift of being His child.
So tell me, how do you relieve stress? What techniques should I add to my arsenal?