As I delve deeper and deeper into this journey to move people to express themselves, I seem to have a tighter and tighter knot of thought and worry in my gut. I can feel it when I meditate; I can feel it creeping up on me in the middle of the night.
So I've taken aggressive measures to keep the stress beast at bay. I've been down the stress-induced illness road once already in life and I'm not interested in going there again.
So for those who might be trying cram a lot in, here are a few tips on how to unwind totally and completely:
1. The hot bath. For me, this is nirvana. Sometimes I even indulgently take two in one day if I'm really going at full tilt - and this picture is the general idea. (That's not me by the way. :) If I want to go really wild, I light some candles. And I always turn off the phone, shut down my email, and close the door to my office. That feels gooooooood. I also use Zum Bars, really indulgent soaps made out of goat's milk that I buy through my health food store that smell UNBELIEVABLY good. They're also sold online.
2. Candles. As demonstrated in the picture above, there's something inherently healing about candles. My favorites come from Zena Moon, a handmade candle company in Washington State run by the highly creative Carla Blazek (I love this woman!) Carla made a special candle for me that's shown here - my Coming Out of Hiding Candle. It smells like freesia and mint and it gives me power… I burn it all day long at my computer. Other favorites are 'Screw Perfection' and sex-o-rama (!) Then there's 'Little Miss Pissy Pants' in sage and pomegranate. Nothing like an irreverent, totally fun candle to light your mood. I burn 'em anywhere I need the recharge.
3. Regular Massages. I've fought this notion for years, feeling that a regular massage is way too indulgent. But I'm seeing what it cost me. (My previously mentioned stress-related illness could have been entirely avoided with regular massage.) So I see Courtney, the local masseuse, every three weeks … and it makes a major difference.
4. Mental Training. There are lots of ways to get our roving minds under control. I'm doing Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler's Millionaire Mindset training right now, and it's forcing me to spend enough time in 'alpha' state that I can feel myself re-grounding and getting into a more creative, relaxed frame of mind in general. To learn more about mental retraining, take a listen to an interview I did with Dr. Jill recently about brain states.
5. A Good Sweaty Work Out. There is simply nothing that takes me back to zero faster … so I save this for my end-of-day meltdown. It's a lot more effective than a glass of wine, once you get going with a regular program. And it's a whole lot healthier. I have energy that I haven't had for twenty years because I'm doing three sweaty 45-minute workouts per week, plus attending a single Bikram yoga class per week. (That's a MAJOR sweat-fest.) Added perc: Once you get home .. if you still want that glass of wine, you can REALLY justify it!
That's it for now. How to you lose your stress?