HOW TO MANAGE ANXIETY AND STRESS
SELF-CARE IN THE AGE OF ANXIETY:8 WAYS TO KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
by: Eviana Hartman for VOGUE
HOW TO MANAGE STRESS
1. Get back to nature
“Just go sit in a park for a few minutes with your phone off, or drive to the beach, or go for a walk or hike in the woods if you have access to that. It’s scientifically proven that you’ll feel a lot better.”
2.Don’t forget to breathe.
This advice isn’t new, but it is particularly relevant right now. Blades has lately taken to prescribing a basic breathing exercise, which takes just minutes, for busy clients: With the tip of the tongue resting on the tissue ridge behind your front teeth, inhale through the nose for a count of four. Then hold for a count of seven, and exhale through the mouth for a count of eight. Repeat for a total of four cycles. “They say it helps you fall asleep in one minute,” she says of the practice. “You can do it before you go to bed, or just for oxygenating the body. It’s so simple, and it rewires you.”
3.Self-indulgence is a form of activism . . .
“Sometimes self-care means that you bought this beautiful new body lotion, and it’s the process of opening the box and opening the jar and applying it, taking in the scent and the texture, and finding the beauty in that,” Blades says, noting that the right products feel good in more ways than one: “Make sure you know who made it, and support brands that are socially and environmentally conscious—most of those companies are women-owned. That is also an act of resistance. If you want to change things, shop differently.”
4. . . and so is DIY.
“It’s not always about the consuming. There’s plenty to work with in your pantry cabinet or fridge—treating yourself can be as simple as getting some sugar and some olive oil and mixing them up to make a body scrub, or mixing some raw organic honey with organic whole milk yogurt and making a mask for your face. Or heat up organic olive, sesame, or coconut oil—double-boil it so it doesn’t get too hot—and do a self-massage. It’s one of the most relaxing things you can do for your nervous system.”
5.Aromatherapy is therapy.
“This is a nice moment for adding essential oils to your life. They are a really potent, easy-to-travel-with self-care tool. They change your mood, relieve pain, wake you up. They’re antifungal and antiviral as well, if you’re going to clean with them or spray them in the air. Choose one, or a few, that make you feel relaxed—lavender, clary sage, and petitgrain are some nice ones—get a little spray bottle, fill it with distilled water, add a few drops, and you have a sleep or stress or travel spray.”
6.When it comes to your wellness plan, add, don’t subtract.
“All this talk about New Year’s resolutions and detox and cleansing—that rhetoric right now is too much for our hearts and minds to handle. I’m not saying binge only on fondue and brownies, but think about what is delicious, what is sensual—look at adding that in, rather than being like, ‘I’m so freaked out that I need to work out for an extra hour.’ Can you cook with friends for an hour instead? Or go see some art? Rather than depriving yourself, what amazing delicious roasted veggie soup can you make that is really nourishing and grounding? Look at adding things that make you feel good, rather than focusing on feeling like you’re toxic or bad.”
7.Let go of guilt—and embrace fun. “Something that’s really coming up with my clients recently is guilt around feeling good. It’s like, ‘oh my God, I went to a friend’s birthday party and ate cake and drank a glass of wine, and I’m sorry to the world.’ It’s feeling selfish for letting your mind not be totally focused on what’s going on. But the power of fun and the healing of fun, whatever that means for you, is so needed right now. Go see some friends and laugh together.”
And I will add one more: As a photographer, I see so many young mothers who are dealing with raising children, carpooling, schedules, timetables, meal planning,…etc. You know what I mean. It’s all about your family. Sometimes, you need to make it all about YOU!! I urge you to take time out for yourself and go to lunch with a girlfriend, go away for the weekend to recharge but most of all be selfish, if only for a day. You will find that taking a much-needed break if all you need to recharge. One of our genres at Visual Concepts Photography in Greater Annapolis area is to pamper you with a beautiful portrait session where you get to be a Vanity Fair model for the day. It is here that your makeup artist will pamper you and get that look that you always wanted; you will be treated to champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and you will have the photo session that you always dreamed about!! Take it one step further..have a Girls’ Day Out just for you. The best part? You will have gorgeous images of YOU that will be cherished by your family. You are their heartbeat, you are their center, you are their world!! Celebrate that by giving them images that will one day be so valued. For it is then that they will look at these images and say to their children..that is my mother, that is your beautiful grandmother. What better gift can you give, than the gift of portraits.
If you live in the Greater Annapolis area, we would love to hear from you. Check out our video and contact us HERE for your complimentary consultation. Prints start at $89, collections start at $1500 and wall portraits start at $600.