Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thoughts on stress and relaxation...

Getting into and staying in "The Zone"...
is a constant challenge.

Do you struggle to keep stress under control?
Do you suffer from tension headaches?
Are you aware of how stress can affect your body
or do you ignore it until it manifests itself in the form of illness or injury?

It seems to come in waves
and catches me by surprise...
an accumulation of emotions that have been ignored
or shoved aside because I am "too busy" tending to other things or people in my life.

I need to "get on top of it" before it settles into my back and neck.
Those areas are where I tend to hold stress...my neck seems to rise up to meet my ears
and then it's time for a visit to the massage therapist.
Knotted tight muscles that are painful when manipulated are the price I pay for not being mindful.

No amount of quality chocolates can appease this beast.
Believe me I have tried!
It's not comfort food that heals
it's a mindset shift 
self talk and conscious efforts
 are needed to be proactive and preventative.

Washing dishes by hand is very soothing
I love the feel of the warm suds in the sink.

Simple routines
done with care and attention seem to help.

"The Humble Bungalow Glove"
is sharing thoughts on stress relievers.

Hostess approved
 a well needed reminder for all
myself included.

De cluttering and sorting of drawers and closets
writing in a journal
listening to music
practicing Yoga
dabbling in a creative hobby
growing something
trying out a new recipe
playing in the dirt
dancing in your pajamas
writing a letter to a loved one
chatting on the phone to a good friend
booking an appointment at the spa
singing in the shower
taking a walk
reading poetry
browsing in an art gallery or museum
brewing a pot of tea and drinking it out of a bone china cup
visiting the local library and finding a new author
perusing the local charity shops with an open mind
planning a date with your partner or spouse
counting your blessings
hugging someone you love
being gentle with yourself
letting go of "shoulds"
taking a day off to nurture and honour your inner self
asking for help
delegating onerous tasks
not trying to do it all
being human
allowing for imperfections
embracing joy

taking deep full breaths instead of the shallow "fight or flight" gasps
a soak in the tub
lavender oil or other aromatherapy oils have relaxing properties
watching a funny movie or TV show
if you need to cry 
do so with passion and dab your tears with a linen hanky
feel the ups as well as the downs

then move forward
by placing one foot in front of the other 
on the path that is life

crystal votive
a thrift shop bargain
Oleg Cassini for Rosenthal
~ ~ ~

“Who are you to judge the life I live?
I know I'm not perfect
-and I don't live to be-
but before you start pointing fingers...
make sure you hands are clean!” 
― Bob Marley


  1. We can add Reading Hostess Posts to that list:). My stress is largely job-related at this point. And I figure that's what they pay me for, in part, my capacity to press forward, one foot at a time, until we get to where I know we need to go.

  2. Stress does such terrible things to the body and the mind and it seems more and more difficult to find ways to combate it. You have offered some great suggestions.

    1. Mind over matter and being proactive go a long way...

  3. Oh those dark brandy chocs are mum's favourite.
    Talking to a friend is always the best isn't it? Perspective and warmth go along way.

  4. Stress can be so horrible for our minds and bodies. I started taking Rhodiola about a year ago for stress and it really seems to work for me. Exercise always helps me too.

    I like that you included "asking for help". That is a big one. I made myself ask my husband and stepkids for help - it wasn't easy at first, but I've gotten really good at it!

    1. Sounds like you are very much n touch with your needs and that is the most important thing. I am not familiar with Rhodiola..if it works great!

  5. You have it all covered. For me, the KNOWING is one matter; DOING is another. Reminders such as these help. Thanks!

    1. I know what you mean...
      posting these thoughts just reinforces what I need to remember!

  6. I find that de-cluttering is very good for stress. The movement, the letting go of "stuff" and the visual result all are calming. For some reason, I don't find massages relaxing. Well, I do for the first 15 minutes, then I start to get restless and wonder when it will be done.

    1. I think the older we get the more important it is to pare down...
      dare I say we are readying ourselves of material encumbrances...for the inevitable?
      Maybe that's too harsh...
      making room for more fun!

  7. I believe that hidden/ bundled up emotions are the reason for stress. There are people, who can help you unwind those emotions.

    1. Oh I am sure that is true mette!
      my stress is work related....
      working with children who have challenges and are unpredictable who experience the range of emotions/outbursts that we do in our days is very difficult...
      I must remain calm and collected at all times and so i think when I get home after a busy day I do have an accumulation of energy that manifests itself as stress which I carry in my back and neck.
      I am going to physiotherapist and having treatments by an RMT...

  8. The Humble Glove what a hoot! How about a new club of "Humble Glove" groupies! Love all of your observations and sense of humor. I know this year I want to have more joy and lots more fun! Thanks!

    1. The glove was a whimsical post image that seems to be popular!
      Thank you for your lovely comments!

  9. Have to say that I never turn to dish-washing for stress relief, but I can get with the suds in a bathtub . . . ;-)
    Take care of you!

    1. The suds wash stress away be it the sink or the tub...
      with one of my autistic students we go outside and blow bubbles in the playground...
      he catches them and delights in popping them! Very therapeutic on all levels.
      Thank you mater!

  10. Hello Hostess, I have a wall of new white subway tile and I'm not sure how to clean it. How do you clean yours?
    I'm afraid I'll scratch it or dull the shine with ordinary cleansers.
    Thank you, Kathleen

    1. I am a big fan of Method cleaning products. They have a spray for bathrooms which is gentle and keeps the tiles shining. If the grout gets dirty use some Bon Ami and a toothbrush and it will clean up nicely.
      Hope this answers your question.

  11. Stress is an inevitable part of life it seems, and finding ways to manage it so important, and so individual, and incredibly important. You have a great list there Leslie.

    1. Thank you Kathy. How are you managing without access to your studio? Has the cold snap abated?

  12. Seem to have lost my 'get up and go' feeling so tired....my stress buster is walking,my inner self will not let me put my walking boots on and go!

    Maybe an electric cow prod might make me jump into action.

    Thank you Hostess for the timely list.Ida

    1. Sorry to hear that you are feeling weary Ida. Rest up and then try getting back to walking. It is natures way of saying you need to take a break!

  13. You could have written this for me - very stressed right now and trying to shake it off or at least shift my focus. Thanks for such an honest post.

  14. Dear Hostess, though your work may be causing you stress, you always manage to create a calm place for the rest of us. I love visiting this blog. Your photographs are beautiful, and the cadence of your writing reminds me of poems by William Carlos Williams and letters from my oldest friend...


  15. Dear Hostess, though your work may be causing you stress, you always manage to create a calm place for the rest of us. I love visiting this blog. Your photographs are beautiful, and the cadence of your writing reminds me of poems by William Carlos Williams and letters from my oldest friend...