April is Stress Awareness Month. The campaign marked its 25th year in 2017, and is designed to raise awareness of the things that can make people feel more stressed, as well as how they can better cope.
At Heyland & Whittle, we understand just how important it is to look after yourself, which is why so many of our health and beauty, and home fragrance products include natural ingredients that are known for their calming properties.
Self-care is an important part of keeping yourself centred and trying to reduce your stress levels, but it's also vital to identify your triggers and look at changes you can make to your lifestyle and personal behaviour to stop feeling unnecessarily stressed.
Are you guilty of these stress-inducing habits? Here's how to stop them from being stressful obstacles in your day-to-day life:
I never get enough sleep
A lot of our stresses start with not getting enough sleep. Being late, forgetting the kids' reading for school, spilling a hasty coffee all down your clean white shirt, having to grab something unhealthy for lunch because you didn't have enough time to make a salad; your mornings will automatically be a lot less stressful if you're making an effort to get more sleep.
This can be easier said than done if you have small children, but even if this is the case, you can still try to get into better bedtime habits to help you nod off a little smoother.
Set yourself a bedtime. If you'd ideally like to be in bed for 10.30pm, start by aiming for 10pm, and then any delays won't disrupt your sleep too much. Make yourself a warm milky drink - they work just as well for adults as they do for little ones - or a chamomile tea, as it is known for its calming, soothing properties.
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Put your phone away and don't let yourself watch TV or go on your tablet in bed. The artificial light that screens give off can trick our brains into thinking we're more awake than we actually are, making us more tired in the long run. Read a book instead, it might just help you to nod off.
Going back to chamomile, it's one of the key ingredients, along with lavender, in our collection of Sleep Easy home fragrance products. The Reed Diffuser and Candle in a Tin in this range are perfect for putting by your bed to help induce a sensation of calm before you go to sleep - just remember to blow out the candle before shutting your eyes.
I never have enough money left at the end of the month
Money is often another of our biggest stresses, especially in the few days leading up to payday. If you have a regular, steady wage coming in each month, it's important to budget to make sure you're living within your means.
Creating a spreadsheet or even just a page in a notepad that lists all of your incomings and essential outgoings for the month can help you to clearly see how much you've got leftover to spend on luxuries.
Then, each time you treat yourself or the family to something extra, keep track of it in your budget plan so you know exactly how much you have at all times.
Try not to spend all of your disposable income each month if you can help it; you never know when an appliance might break or your car might need repairing and you need to pay out for something unexpected. Being prepared can help to stop you feeling stressed, as you anxiously wait for payday.
I'm seriously disorganised
One of the reasons your financial situation can make you feel stressed is because you're disorganised. While a budget can help massively, if you're a naturally disorganised person, it's likely that similar stresses will be affecting other parts of your life as well.
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If it seems like the children's homework is always left until the last minute, there's never any food in the fridge and the house always feels messy, it can be hard to know where to start. Drawing up a chores chart to encourage everyone to do their bit can be a huge help and means the burden doesn't have to always fall on you, which should help to ease some of your stress.
And a clever trick if you don't have time to clean every day is to place a few carefully chosen Reed Diffusers around the house. These will add a little something extra to your home decor, while masking any lingering smells and making sure people remember the gorgeous fragrance of your home, rather than the piles of laundry.
I never have any time to myself
Sometimes it can feel as though all of our stresses would disappear, if only we had a little more time to ourselves. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it, take advantage of kind babysitting offers, and make yourself leave work on time wherever possible. If you're often feeling tense, you need to make the most of every moment you have to yourself, so be sure to have pampering essentials on hand so you can have the ultimate relaxing experience.
Running a long bath, lighting a luxury candle, like our sensual Neroli & Rose Candle in a Glass, reading a good book and enjoying a measure of your favourite tipple can be a beautifully simple but incredibly relaxing way to spend an hour or so. Afterwards, you'll hopefully feel more refreshed to tackle the week ahead and you should have had some time to think about how you can make things a little easier and less stressful for yourself.
While you're in the bath, treat your skin to some TLC, using one of our natural Body Scrubs, which are made from sea salt and bamboo, to exfoliate your pores and leave your skin feeling gorgeously smooth, all while a stunning scent fills the room. Once you've washed the scrub away, cleanse your skin with one of our handmade Soap Bars, which are packed full of moisturising ingredients to keep all of that nourishment in.
A nice, long bath can make everything feel better, and if you're feeling good about yourself, you'll be better prepared to take on your stresses once and for all.