Beat everyday stress with a calm home

Beat everyday stress with a calm home

With all our convenient gadgets and time-saving services at our fingertips, you'd think we would be completely relaxed compared to our mothers and grandmothers.

Curiously (and despite there not being a mangle in sight), we're not though. In fact, studies are regularly showing we're more harassed than ever as we attempt to juggle running a home with working, raising children and any number of other pressures.

A recent report published by the Mental Health Foundation found an astonishing 22 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men feel anxious either all or a lot of the time, which is truly awful and is likely to be posing real problems for their long-term health.

We're keen to help anyone who regularly finds everyday life is getting on top of them, so we've put together some stress-busting tips below that you could start employing today.

1.    Time out

You might not be able to opt out for entire days, but it's important to move away from your problems at least once a day or risk mental strain and even collapse. If your to-do list is as long as your arm or your email inbox is packed with requests that people all want you to do immediately, then take a step back.

Leave your house and go for a walk around the block, have a chat with a colleague, or even just allow yourself a five-minute browse on your favourite website if you really can't justify physically removing yourself from stressors. When you do reconnect, you should have gained some perspective and lowered levels of stress hormones sufficiently to tackle things again.

2.    Be healthy

When you're feeling pressurised, it's easy to want to retreat to your comfiest chair and eat chocolate, but this is unfortunately likely to worsen the situation because you'll get a blood sugar crash.

Instead, snack regularly on healthy foods like bananas and almonds, drink lots of water, do some exercise (we'd recommend yoga or Pilates based on anecdotal evidence here at Heyland & Whittle) and try to sustain regular sleeping patterns.

A recent study at the University of California San Francisco found that people who do things like this are better able to cancel out the negative effects of life's stressful events than those who don't, so science backs up the mental health benefits of trying to stay as healthy as possible alongside the physical advantages.

There are some easy things you can do at home to soothe agitated minds.

3.    Breathe deeply and meditate

It's easy to scoff a little at the idea of meditation, but it has been proven to be extremely beneficial. Your breathing gets shallow when you're anxious, so less oxygen reaches the brain and body. Focusing on slowing down your breathing reverses this, calming you in just a few minutes.

Mindfulness-based meditation in particular is hugely popular at present, which is a technique used to teach yourself to focus on the here and now, rather than the past or future. You just need a few minutes of calm and then you concentrate on pulling your mind back to the information filtering down to your senses.

Why not give it a try? You could even light one of our Sandalwood & Oud candles to help you get in the mood and so you associate that scent with your 'me time'.

4.    Turn off the tech

We're bombarded with messages and information in the 21st century, so - convenient as they may be - get in the habit of switching your gadgets off once in a while. Even just an hour away from your mobile, TV or computer will help to improve your wellbeing.

A recent study found that regularly seeing disturbing images - and let's face it, they're all over the news - can harm our mental health, so limit your exposure to bulletins perhaps once a day. Don't be tempted to check your texts and emails either, as they're really distracting.

Instead, go for a walk, read a book or have a relaxing bath. You'll be amazed how much your stress levels decline when you give yourself a chance to slow down and listen to the sounds of a calm home or the great outdoors.

If you like the sound of the latter, try adding some soothing Citrus and Lavender Foam Bath to your bubbles or some Neroli and Rose Bath Oil, which also doubles up as massage oil.

It's easy to feel the pressures of modern life, but following these basic ideas should help you to beat out-of-control stress and calm your racing mind.