6 Steps to De-Stress
Spa Director at Moddershall Oaks, Penny Holland, Shares her top tips on how to stress-less for National Stress Awareness Day 2016
Stress has become a natural response to the hectic lives we lead today. Whilst feeling like you’re close to breaking point once in a while is perfectly human, feeling stressed all the time certainly isn’t. It’s been found that over a staggering 44% of us suffer from work related stress, depression and other anxieties*.
Stress response is the body’s natural way of reacting to threat, but thankfully there are many different ways in which we can help ourselves relax at home and at work. From a DIY massage at your desk to drinking a glass of orange juice daily, there are many techniques that can be incorporated into everyday situations. Ahead of National Stress Awareness Day on the 2nd of November 2016, Spa Director of Staffordshire’s 5* Country Spa Retreat Moddershall Oaks, Penny Holland explains further…
1. Survive the Commute
Commuting takes up more than 18 months of the average worker’s life, so it’s important to appreciate the time that you have to yourself. Many forget that “looking out of the window” is actually a form of mindful meditation. Allowing yourself to focus on the here and now creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events, and could even make the journey go faster! By giving your full attention to something as simple as watching trees sway in the breeze, you’ll have unknowingly practiced one minute of mindfulness.
2. Set Calendar Reminders
Most people who sit in an office will probably find they suffer from tensions in their necks and shoulders, however you don’t need an extra set of hands to give yourself an effective massage while sitting at your desk. Simply place two or three fingertips on the back of your neck where your neck and shoulders meet. Press firmly and hold, releasing when the muscle feels more relaxed. Roll your shoulder forward and back slowly, repeating in sets of three. Set yourself a calendar reminder and repeat as needed throughout the day. Just like a meeting or appointment, treat it as a serious part of your daily life and schedule time out to do it.
3. Drink Orange Juice
Not only is orange juice delicious and nutritious, but it can actually make you feel less anxious. Thanks to its high Vitamin C content, orange juice has been proven to significantly reduce stress by regulating the levels of stress hormones in your body. By inducing the production of a hormone called cortisol, just two glasses per day can help stimulate blood flow, control blood sugar levels and increase the flow of oxygen to the brain.
4. Try Acupressure
You might not know there is a surprising number of different pressure point all over your body that when pressed, can solve a whole world of problems. For stress, the answer is in your ankle… Take your thumb and place it just below the bone on the inside of your ankle. Then, place your third finger on the indentation just below your ankle bone on the other side and squeeze gently. As you count down from 60 try and focus your mind on your breathing, taking in deep breathes for 3 seconds and out for 3 seconds. Soon you will feel your worries float away.
5. Create a Zen Den
Having your own space to escape each evening is an essential part of maintaining a stress free lifestyle. You can set aside an area in even in the smallest places. I find a seat near a window with a nice view of the sunrise, away from sockets, laptop leads and any other digital devices to be the most effective. Declutter the space and decorate your area with soft cushions, blankets and delicately scented candles – whatever helps you to create the feeling of being most comfortable. Use this area as a peaceful haven to just sit and day dream whenever you have a minute or two.
6. See Massage as Essential
Massage works by loosening the muscles, which are tight from tension and stress, and increasing those feel-good hormones endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. Working in the spa for many years I have seen the difference that professional massage can have. A client often enters in a state of busyness, tense faces and hunched shoulders but by the time they leave, they almost float out as a new person. At Moddershall Oaks, we offer the ‘Elemis Poultice Powered Muscle Release’ massage, which is especially effective in relieving sore, aching muscles. During the treatment, each area of tension is specifically targeted with the unique Amber and Quartz poultice to dissolve knots and ease tensions, as a restorative facial simply melts away any lingering feelings of stress and anxiety.
Elemis Poultice-powered Muscle Release massage is priced at £75 for 55 minutes
For more information contact Moddershall Oaks on www.moddershalloaks.com | @ModdershallOaks