While May is set aside as Mental Health Awareness Month, the team at Flora Sophia puts mental health front and center throughout the year. If you feel like your world is becoming ever more chaotic, you’re not alone. The American Psychological Association reports that stress levels have leapt alarmingly since 2020. That stress takes a real and lasting toll on our bodies and that’s why it’s more important than ever to cultivate strategies to help us quiet our minds, relax our bodies, and block out the noise. Taking CBD is a fantastic way to promote calm and balance, and keep our minds and bodies resilient to the stress life throws our way. But there are many other small steps you can take without overhauling your lifestyle or breaking the bank. Here are five things you can do today:
- Get Outdoors. This is the perfect time of year to let nature do the work for you. Studies show time and time again that getting out into nature can elevate your mood, relieve stress, and help with cognition and focus. You don’t need to commit your whole day, either. Just two hours a week, or less than 20 minutes a day, of recreational time in nature has been linked to significantly better quality of life. So whether it’s reading a book in the park, going on a hike, or just taking a 15 minute walk, get outside, breathe the fresh air, and take in the greenery.
- Practice a wind-down routine. Trouble sleeping is an exceedingly common complaint; in fact, according to the CDC, over 30% of American adults report getting insufficient sleep. While there are many different factors that can affect your sleep, one way to set yourself up for success is to implement a soothing wind-down routine. Blue light emitted from screens blocks melatonin in your brain, so falling asleep to your favorite show might be keeping you from your most restful sleep. Instead, try turning off screens an hour before bed, and meditating, reading a few pages of a book, or practicing deep breathing techniques to promote a sense of calm before you close your eyes. You can even make a DIY aromatherapy pillow spray with your favorite soothing essential oil (lavender, chamomile, and bergamot are all very relaxing). Pro Tip: Our Soothe & Calm Skin Salve has calming essential oils like lavender and blue tansy–apply a small amount on your neck or temples before bed for the same effect!
- Take an aromatherapy bath or shower. Aromatherapy is one of the most effective tools to infuse a little calm in your day. If you’ve read our article about the compounds found in full spectrum hemp, you might know that terpenes, like those in hemp, are the building blocks of essential oils; they’re the most basic molecules responsible for scent. Lavender is calming because it contains the terpene linalool, which interacts with our bodies’ serotonin receptors. When you inhale these compounds, your body responds in tangible ways and you experience real benefits. Putting a few drops of essential oil in a hot bath is a great way to incorporate aromatherapy (and baths are great for relieving physical tension, too), but you can get a lot of the same effects from your morning shower by putting a few drops on a washcloth and draping it over the faucet or elsewhere in your shower–as the steam permeates the washcloth, it will release the essential oils into the air.
- Move your body. It’s all about the endorphins, baby. Spending just a few minutes a day moving in whatever way feels right to you is so impactful to your stress level and mental health. Do 10 minutes of yoga, run around with your furry friend, or turn on your favorite song and dance it out for 3:28–whatever makes you feel good, is good. Pro Tip: Feeling a little stiff today? Taking a daily CBD gummy can help those sore muscles recover and keep you moving.
- Do something just for you. This looks different for everyone, but it can be so hard to slow down that we forget to do something every day just because it makes us happy. Maybe that’s cooking a meal, spending a few minutes gardening, or maybe just giving yourself that alone time you need to recharge. Try to give yourself that gift every day; your body and mind will thank you for it.
When we’re stressed, it can feel overwhelming to make a change or try something new. But the key is to take baby steps. If doing all of these things feels like a lot, don’t! Pick just one thing you think might help you thrive, and try to incorporate it into your schedule every day for a week. You might find it’s easier than you thought. As always, we are here to help if you have questions, and we love hearing from you. Have a favorite daily practice for keeping stress at bay? Drop us a line and tell us about it at email@example.com.