Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Stress Relief Kit: Six Things That Will Help You De-Stress Quickly When It's All Just Too Much

Ever wish you had a stress relief kit handy when the going gets tough? If you're like most people, you may be so preoccupied with whatever thing or situation is triggering the stress that you don't even realize you could do something to make you relax.

And even if you think, "Oh, I wish there were a way to calm down!", you may not be able to think of the very things that would help you accomplish a more serene state of mind.

What to do? That's where having a stress relief kit can come to the rescue.

What would that look like? Can you have your personal massage therapist tag along wherever you go just in case you get stressed? Probably not.

Instead, your stress relief kit needs to be portable and handy. It can include physical objects as well as notes or lists of things to do or thoughts to think that will help you calm down.

Let's look at some of the physical objects you might carry with you. They could include the following things:

1. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be very effective at helping you calm down when you're too stressed and wired. Put a few drops on a tissue (or your wrist if you're not too sensitive or if they are diluted) and then just inhale. Repeat as needed. Experiment with different blends and individual essential oils. You can find them in any health food store, in alternative stores, and on the internet. These days, you may even find them in the grocery store and in the drugstore. One favorite: lavender.

2. Calming herbs

Valerian and related medicinal plants have been helping people relax for generations. I discovered them in during the last years of college when I used to get stressed over exams and deadlines. I was just about ready to lose it when I saw an ad for them in a pharmacy window (that was in Germany), bought a pack and never looked back. I still use valerian to this day when I find myself too stressed.

3. Calming foods or beverages

Skip the coffee (or pick decaf) and choose hot chocolate or chamomile tea instead. Go for soups. They're soothing. You can carry individual packets with hot chocolate mix, tea bags or even cup-o-soup in your purse and have them handy when needed.

4. Color therapy

Blues and greens have calming effects. Wear them. Have something in those colors handy, maybe even a picture of a serene nature scene. Sure, actual nature would be even better, but sometimes you just can't have it all, and a picture of a green scene that pleases you will certainly help.

5. Photos of your loved ones

Looking at them may well cheer you up and help you get some perspective. How well they work will depend on your relationship with them of course, so be sure to choose those pictures wisely.

6. Music

If you have an iPod or some other kind of personal music delivery device, be sure to stock it with music and other material you find calming and/or reassuring.

And then, whenever you feel stressed, just deploy them, one after the other. Get out the aromatherapy and inhale. Get yourself a cup of hot chocolate if you can and take a dose of valerian if needed. Listen to some soothing music (Pachelbel's Canon is practically designed for this purpose) while looking at your nature scene picture, and don't forget to take some slow, deep breaths. You'll feel a whole lot calmer within minutes.

: article by Elisabeth Kuhn [ Need some stress relief yourself? Get Elisabeth's FREE ebook with 7 stress-relieving strategies ( ). Or go for the full-sized version instead ( ), with lots more in-depth strategies. ]