How to calm stress & anxiety with natural home remedies

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind, there've been a lot of ups and downs in every aspect of my life, just when there seems to be a bit of normality and security something changes. Not to mention all the events we had lined up for us in April. I started to feel overwhelmed and feelings of anxiety started to bubble up as I over thought and panicked, not just about the short term but about the long term too. When I realised I was quickly becoming stressed and anxious I made a conscious effort to slow down and thought of ways to calm my anxiety, because i know that it's not just me who'll struggle with this, so i wanted to do a round up of ways i deal with anxiety and overwhelm in hope that it will help a few who stumble across this post. 

There's a few things that I instantly thought of and personally work for me: 
Any scented stick really helps to calm me, i started working my way through my stack of black coconut, lavender and vanilla scents. I've also came across a great small independent brand called Sacred Elephant who make natural, ethical and vegan incense sticks which look incredible, once i run out of my currents stash i'll be giving them a go.
I've always been a lover of essential oils and am an advocate of using them as alternative to synthetic filled medicines. Lavender is the most obvious calming oil, it's always best to use high quality essential oils which are a bit more expensive, but with most things you get what you pay for. I recommend DoTerra essential oils, they have an array of blends which can be used to balance hormones, aid meditation, calm headaches and relieve stress and anxiety. You can also find pure essential oils in health food stores such as Holland & Barrett.
Invest in a high quality lavender essential oil, mix a couple of drops in a plastic bottle with some tap water, be sure to shake before each use and spritz lightly around the home and on your pillow before bed for a peaceful nights sleep.
When i feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety this is the first thing i do, i shut my eyes and breathe deeply to the count of 4, it helps if i'm in a quiet space. It's not quite meditation but becoming aware of your breathing and regulating it always has an instant calming affect on my anxiety and stress levels. It may take me a minute or two and then i usually choose something from this list to aid me back to 'normality'.
Something really interesting i learned at a food event was the psychology of taste, i learned that vanilla (as a scent or taste) is known worldwide as comforting as it's present in breast milk (in regards to formula milk, it mimics breast milk so the vanilla undertone is still present). So even if you don't like the immediate smell of vanilla it will (psychologically anyway) be comforting, so stick on a vanilla candle!

This may not be a good idea in the morning as it has quite a sedative affect but it's certainly a good night cap if you don't want to be waking up through the night. I always find this has a pretty much immediate calming effect. I find it particularly helpful during a certain time of the month when insomnia is most likely to creep up. Teapigs do a great leaf tea or of course you can find it in most supermarkets.

Probably the most obvious out of the list but the Roman's definitely were onto something, baths are a great way to unwind physically and mentally. Especially with the aid of natural sea salts which are known for their detoxing and purifying effects, again more essential oils which are used in most bath bombs and bubble baths. If i've had a physically tiring day or am feeling stressed this is my favourite way to calm down, i think another important point to mention is leave all the technology outside the room, i'm terrible with taking my phone everywhere and often sit in the bath on twitter or instagram but it makes all the difference to just leave that out of reach and take the time to sit in silence.

We're lucky to have a beautiful stretch of sandy beach just a ten minute walk away from our door, but even if you're in an urban area, fresh air works wonders to help clear out a foggy head and ease stress. Try not to take any technology with you and use the time to think about how to deal with the things you're worry-ing about.

  • Colouring books
These have become very popular lately, making the perfect christmas or birthday present but they're definitely not just a trend. Colouring books are a form of meditation, they're another way of silencing the mind and slowing down your thoughts. I've been gifted lots of colouring books in the last year and although i don't use them ALL the time, i love using them to switch off when i've got a lot going on. They're also a great sense of productivity as you can see the transformation as each picture comes alive with colours you've chosen, even the least artistic person can create something beautiful with these, and because they've become popular there are SO many out there for you to choose your favourite patterns and themed pictures to colour in.

Even writing this post has washed a sense of calm over me (or maybe it's the chilled music this lounge is playing as i sit and write this aha!). I really hope this list is helpful to someone in their moments of stress and panic. 

What are your favourite ways to deal with anxiety and unwind? Let me know in the comments!

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