Calming Practices for Stressful Times

Calming Practices for Stressful Times

Dr. Deanna Weiss
8 minute read

As we are approaching that time of year that’s often viewed as chaotic, we need to slow down and check in with what’s happening in the present moment. The worry and grief that 2020 has brought us is not going away in an instant, so this holiday season it’s even more important to take time for yourself. 

 

When we’re feeling overwhelmed, our body gives us clues. This might present as feeling tightness in the neck and shoulders, clenching the jaw, taking shallow breaths, having indigestion, and feeling easily irritable or frustrated. These are all signs of being in fight-or-flight mode (also known as “the sympathetic nervous system state”). There are times when we need that adrenaline/tension feeling so that we are being signalled for safety reasons. However, prolonged feelings like this is what it means to be negatively affected by stress. It often feels better in the body when we are in rest-and-digest mode (also known as “the parasympathetic nervous system state”). This feels like being on vacation: no signs of tension, taking deep breaths, regular digestion, and a feeling of inner peace or calmness. 

 

So how do we create that vacation mode feeling? By allowing yourself the time to create rituals throughout the day that promote relaxation. This may include meditation in the morning, taking herbal tea breaks, lighting a candle or incense, listening to music that makes you feel good, or going for a walk at a pace where you are aware of the nature around you.

 

 

Calming Practices to Relieve Stress

 

Calming Herbs

Woash's Me Time tea was created with the intention to slow the body down and soothe the nervous system. The herbs in this tea were carefully chosen to help feelings of being stressed. Let’s take a look at each herb individually to see the different expressions of stress they can help with.

 

me time loose leaf tea
Photo by Cristina Gareau

 

Krishna Tulsi / Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

This powerful plant has a reputation for being supportive for the mind, body and spirit. When we feel out of balance and disconnected from ourselves, Holy Basil brings us back on track. This includes feeling stuck or unable to move on and can be beneficial for those going through life changes. 

 

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon sp.) 

As mentioned above, an overwhelmed nervous system can affect the digestive tract. Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that when tasted it can start to trigger the nervous system into rest-and-digest mode. It has been shown to calm the nerves, while soothing those who get digestive disturbances when stressed. 

 

Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora) 

When feeling fatigued, sluggish, and uninterested, Lemon Verbena contains supportive properties to help overcome these feelings. It is an aromatic tonic for the nervous system, which can sharpen the mind and concentration and help those bounce-back from feeling unmotivated. 

 

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

The popular herb, Chamomile, is known as a relaxant and nervine medicinal flower. It has the power to soothe the tension, irritability, and restlessness that stress may cause. A person that benefits from Chamomile may be noticing they’re starting to sweat the small stuff and don’t have the capacity to deal with little things that go wrong throughout the day. 

 

Passionflower (Passiflora sp.) 

If there was one herb best matched for the Type A personality, it would be Passionflower. This is a driven person who has high standards for themselves, is good at planning, and has difficulty shutting their brain off. Passionflower contains properties that balance the busy mind, which may be keeping them up at night. 

 

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

When we think of Lavender, we often connect it to the essential oil and using it in aromatherapy for relaxing effects. When ingested in a tea form, it has those same calming components, plus more. Lavender is a strengthening tonic for the nervous system. It can help that exhaustion and overwhelmed feeling when we’re overworked. It can be beneficial for those who have trouble letting go of a day’s work.

 

The combination of these six herbs in the Me Time tea promote a rest-and-digest nervous system state. 

 

 

Calming Practices for Different Types of People

Making it a priority to carve out a few moments of me time each day will help your body stay in the parasympathetic state whether that is an hour each morning before the house wakes, 5 minutes squeezed between meetings or a whole evening to yourself. 

We believe in participating in any amount of calming practices throughout your day will significantly impact your state of mind and well being, which is why we have carefully crafted a variety of products that signal a moment of me time depending on your way of life. Each product utilizes the natural benefits of nature to support the nervous system and promote a more calm state of being. 

 

Quick calming practice for the person who is always on-the-go

Carve out a few small moments of me time throughout the day by taking a few deep breathes, drop dosing our Me Time Flower Remedy and focusing on an intentional thought to help you check-in with your body and offer it a few moments of release and support. This can be practiced anytime, anywhere and will encourage your nervous system to slow down and rest among the business of the day.

Flower remedies are designed to address and release specific emotions associated with the nervous system such as feeling resentful, stressed, overwhelmed, depleted and people pleasing. This gentle water-based tincture holds the energetic imprint of a variety of wild flowers grown on the english country side that have been known for centuries to balance emotions. 

"I’m obsessed with this flower remedy! Every time I put the drops in my mouth, I feel a level of ease wash through me. I keep it in my bag and use it everyday, it’s provided a level of support I didn’t know I needed. This is a lovely product!!!"

- Kristy Vail

 

Discover more about flower remedies here.

 

Calming practice for the person who enjoys an entire evening of self-care

If you are the type of person or desires to carve out weekly me time evenings by disconnecting, removing any distractions and engaging in inner-reflection ignite your me time ritual with our Me Time Candle as it begins to flicker invite the transition from busyness to calm. 

Your space will fill with the softness of beeswax and aromatic herbs to signal to the senses it is time to rest and digest. 

 

Calming practice for the person who enjoys daily self-care

Already have a morning or evening practice or want to create one that you will stick to, utilizing nature and herbs to calm your body from within will help take your daily practice even deeper or calm the nervous system while you work. As read above the specific herbs in our Me Time Tea Blend have energetics that soothe the nervous system and help put it into parasympathetic state. 

Taking the time out of your day to simply make a cup of tea and slowly enjoy every sip will calm the mind and allow you to be in the present moment as you meditate, journal, soak in a bath or simply pause and take a walk in fresh air. 

"Me Time is my go-to tea to sip in bed with a book before calling it a night! I always feel calmer and my husband has started using all of it too. I also love to have it nearby when I’m taking a day just to unwind, watch a good movie or meditate — seriously, this tea knows how to give your body exactly what you need!" 

- Zafira 

 

 

This holiday season, we encourage you to add more calming practices to help create that sense of inner peace. Discover our Me Time Collection below to begin implementing daily me time moments!

 

 

 

Disclaimer:This is not meant to offer medical advice. Seek a health care professional for advice on treating a medical condition with the use of herbal medicine.

 

References:

Marciano, M., & Vizniak, N. A. (2015). Evidence informed botanical medicine. Canada: ProfessionalHealth Systems.

Maya, B. (2014, October 22). Hormone Symphony. Lecture presented at Botanical Medicine Course in Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, New Westminster.

Wood, M. (1998).The book of herbal wisdom: Using plants as medicine.Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Wood, M., & Ryan, D. (2016).The earthwise herbal repertory: The definitive practitioner's guide. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

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