The winter season is upon us – a time that can be especially difficult in what has already been the longest, hardest year for many. As we collectively reflect on a year we won’t soon forget, I encourage each and every one of you to spend extra time this month taking care of yourself. Stress can have such a strong effect on our bodies. Self-care isn’t just about giving yourself “me time,” though that’s important, too! Stress-relief techniques help heal your body from the stress and trauma it’s processed and stored.
One of my favorite self-care rituals in the wintertime, as you probably already know, is taking long baths. This is the first winter in a long time where I don’t have a bathtub in my home, but fortunately I have sweet friends who offer their space for this practice. Baths not only quiet your mind with little to do or distract you, but you can infuse your baths with detoxifying and balancing salt blends and enhance your experience with other elements that help you relax, like candles or a book of poetry.
My bath ritual looks a little different each time, but in general I like to spend this time pulling tarot cards and sipping on tea or an adaptogenic tonic that promotes stress and pain relief. Blue Lotus, also known as blue water lily, is a natural sleep aid and anxiety reliever that can be steeped into an herbal tea. It can offer mild feelings of euphoria and is often used by people who want to experience or enhance lucid dreaming.
I love preparing tea with Anima Mundi’s Blue Lotus and pairing it with their Dolores tonic when I’m feeling sore or have severe muscle tension. It’s a botanical blend full of musculoskeletal nervines, which help the musculoskeletal system to relax and aid in pain relief and management. The Dolores tonic features wildcrafted Mulungu, a tree native to Brazil that has been used in medicine for centuries for its strong anti-anxiety, sedative and musculo-skeletal relaxing properties.
This winter may feel exceptionally challenging in finding ways to de-stress since some of your go-to’s may not be accessible this year. Here are some quarantine-friendly ways to help keep you relieve stress and anxiety:
- Stretch – Waken your body in the morning with light stretches, like cat-cow pose, a 10-minute flow or whatever feels right to you. Stretching helps calm the mind, relieve tension, and can improve your posture to help prevent aches and pains.
- Invest in indoor plants – Get plants that thrive in low-light situations to brighten your day. In addition to acting as natural humidifiers and air purifiers, studies show that looking at and touching plants can help reduce stress. Plants like lavender can be placed in the bedroom to help promote restful sleep.
- Embrace the cold – Taking a brisk walk (even just around your neighborhood block) throughout the day can help you get fresh air and get your heart rate going. Even if you don’t opt to go outside, make sure you are leaving your desk hourly to change your posture and move your body.
- Stay hydrated – Drinking enough water can get overlooked in the winter, when we spend less time in the sun and don’t feel as thirsty. Consider using your hourly break to get up and drink a glass of water in your kitchen.
- Put crystals under your pillow – I love surrounding myself with crystals in the bathtub as well as put one under my pillow as I sleep. Crystals provide different energies and healing powers. Some crystals you might consider putting under your pillow at night are moonstone for its calming effect; amethyst, which enhances peacefulness and contentment; and smoky quartz, which helps relieve fear, lift depression, and bring emotional calmness.
What are your favorite stress-relief techniques for the winter time? Let me know in the comments below!