Finding time to take a minute to yourself can be tough — so why not integrate self-care and little moments of relaxation into your daily routine? We spoke with Brittany Gowan of Pause With Plants to hear about her ten favorite ways to de-stress, unwind and make sure she stays connected:
Breathe slowly and evenly in, pause, and breathe slowly and evenly out. Notice any tightness in your body or stressful feelings and begin to release them with every cleansing breath. As you exhale, extend your breath even longer than your inhale. Taking time to intentionally de-stress is important for overall health and can be a significant game charger to support positive well-being during this continually challenging time.
Before stepping into the shower, take a moment to look at yourself in the mirror. Smile at your reflection and say, “I can release stress and welcome in calm.” Then breathe slowly and evenly in through your nose and slowly and evenly out through your mouth.
Turn on the water in your shower and with intention fully turn on your senses and cue into the present moment. Step into the shower and begin to listen to the water falling from the shower head down to the base of the tub. Hear the sounds it makes. Now notice how the water feels on your body. Feel the droplets on your head, back and shoulders. Allow the rhythm of the water to refresh and renew you and release any unwanted feelings. Release anything that worries you or makes you anxious. Let it be washed away with the water as it moves down your body. Take a deep cleansing breath in, pause and let it go slowly and evenly out.
Bring your Davines shampoo before you and squeeze some into your hand. Bring your hands together and up closer to your face. Gently breathe in the refreshing aroma of the shampoo. Repeat this gentle breathing pattern twice as you intentionally release stress and welcome in calm and connection.
Now start to massage the shampoo into your hair using small circles on your scalp. Stay in this moment, as you care for your body and your mind. Before rinsing, return to your breath and continue a pattern of slow even breaths. Repeat this pattern five times.
Begin to rinse your hair. As you do so continue to massage your head with small circles until your hair rinses clean. Continue to release an unwanted feelings from your mind. Stay present to this experience, your breath and the moment. Return to the positive affirmation that you offered yourself in the mirror, and say out loud, “I can release stress and welcome in calm.”
As you turn off the water and continue into the next part of your day, know that you can return to this exercise and practice releasing stress through a renewing shower experience with Davines.
Consider incorporating these post shower de-stress exercises. Simply towel-dry your hair, allow 5-10 minutes for your hair to air dry, and try out these five ways to release stress. (This is also a great time to include a Davines hair mask).
Lay with your back on the floor, and if needed use a yoga mat or blanket to make it softer. Extend your feet straight and your arms up parallel over your head. Point your toes, extend your fingers, stretch and breathe in. Release this stretch with an exhale. Now bring your arms down to your sides and lift your feet up in the air. Begin to point and flex your toes. Lower your legs when you need a break. This is a simple way to engage your mind and body. When we stretch and intentionally move our bodies, we can create a path to de-stress.
Adopt a sitting position that is comfortable for you and do a quick posture check. Roll your shoulders up and back. Hold this position and place your hands on your lap or on your knees. Bring your mind to the present moment and visualize a lush natural scene. Maybe it’s a forest, plants by the ocean, or a tropical rainforest. Maybe it’s a place you have visited or somewhere you have yet to go.
Take a cleansing breath in, pause and let it go slowly and evenly out. Stay present. If other thoughts come into your mind, simply acknowledge them and then let them gently pass by. Keep the image of this scene top of mind and begin to walk through the setting in your mind. Notice the colors, details and textures of the nature here. Notice how it makes you feel. Are there other people here? Visualize this scene and encourage your imagination to take over. Stay in this moment and when you are ready, return to where you are.
Self-reflection and a peaceful moment with a morning tea can bring calm to your mind and body and release stress. Try green tea with ginger and honey for flavors of energy and calm. During your tea time, allow yourself to mindfully experience the tea. Take small sips to discover and experience the different tastes and how it makes your body feel.
Staying present and resisting distractions can feel challenging. But there is power in presence. When we are present, feelings of stress about the past or what is yet to come have less opportunity for control. Let’s practice being present by resisting the urge to use our phones. From emails to social media, our phones can create or add to our stress levels. Set a timer of 5-10 minutes for not using your phone. Instead of connecting with people, places and things online, practicing connecting with everything that fills your present moment where you are. Maybe you see a tree or garden outside your window, a houseplant in a sunny window. Whatever is in your current setting, embrace it. Notice the details. Gravitate towards what brings you positivity and joy. Stay with those feelings. Continue to challenge yourself to stay present.
Caring for plants provides an outlet for self-care and a way to release stress. When we care for another living thing and are invested in its growth, we can be more engaged and invested in our own well-being. Take time with your houseplants, notice ones that need some TLC and dedicate 5-10 minutes for a plant care / self-care break in your day. Consider spending this time watering, repotting, fertilizing, or removing dust and dirt from leaves with a damp cloth.