Everyone around the world deals with it everyday, stress. When an intense or difficult situation comes about, our body is trained to release hormones and trigger nuero-receptors in the brain; this essentially creates the feeling of being "stressed out". We are no strangers to the different obstacles stress can bring. Running a small business is hard! I can speak for everyone here at scrub me when I say we have all had a day (or 5) that brought about a tension headache or muscle soreness. Bodies all react in various ways when it comes to stress. Increased blood pressure and acne or skin irritation are other common side effects of living a stressful life. How can we heal or prevent these ailments? Living a completely stress free lifestyle is next to impossible, so we can cross that option off the list.
Scrub me secret: Stress can be positive for us in SMALL amounts. It helps promote awareness and keeps our minds alert.
Some of our favorite ways to relax our bodies and minds are indulging ourselves with aromatherapy or blowing off some steam with a physical activity. We have even found that treating ourself to some at home massage or "spa treatments" can greatly reduce levels of stress.
Aromatherapy; it's easy, it's fast, and you can do it anywhere! Aromatherapy is when essential oils are used to heal, calm yourself, or provoke a certain feeling. One great thing about this is that you are able to do this anywhere. It's best for those of you with crazy schedules or work related stress. All you need is the essential oil that works best for you and a small cloth or cotton ball. Just a few drops of oil should be applied to the cloth and the next step is to deeply inhale. The brain registers aromas twice as fast as it registers pain. This means the aroma can bypass everything and go straight to your nervous system, intercepting your response to stress. Lavender and chamomile are two of the most popular essential oils used for calming and relaxation. Great ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your daily routine would be to stash your chosen scent in your purse or desk drawer, use bath and body products that have your favorite essential oil in them, or use your essential oil as a light perfume, dabbing it behind your ears.
Scrub me secret: When I've had a long day showcasing scrub me products at trade shows I like to pick up one of my favorite soaps and take a deep inhale. I use lavender to calm my senses and eucalyptus when I need a pick me up.
DIY massage is another way to relieve stress without having to take a lot of time from your day. Pressure point massage is something I have found to be very effective on myself and my clients. Tension headaches are one of the most common ways our body is telling us we are stressed out. Involuntary muscle constriction in our neck and facial muscles cause this type of headache. There is a group of pressure points along your forehead and eyebrow ridge that are especially helpful in relieving this pain. Finding the small divots (pressure points), pressing firmly with one finger, and rotating in a circular motion will alleviate pressure and regulate blood flow. Pressure points can be found all throughout the body, many of them are said to correspond with different functions of organs. Classic massage techniques can also be very helpful after high tension situations. When we are stressed our body releases hormones to certain parts of the body to enhance it so it can deal with a threat more easily. Muscles tighten so we can be more resilient in an attack, and this it what causes the muscle tension. Giving yourself a rub down using long firm strokes can promote better blood flow and release some tension. Also, motions like squeezing and releasing a tight muscle or rubbing joints in circular motions have proven to have effective results.
scrub me secret: It can take the body 20 minutes or more to recover from stress. This means a 5 minute stressful phone call could result in about half an hour of muscle tension. Ouch!
Staying active is the best way to promote overall health. It has also been proven that doing some sort of physical activity can greatly reduce stress. When you exercise or participate in something active, endorphins are released into your system. When endorphins are released into the nervous system, it creates a sense of euphoria. Something as small as a short afternoon walk can release endorphins and alleviate stress. If a short walk can combat stress, what can an intense gym session do for you? During strenuous activities, not only are you getting a ton of endorphins, you are also increasing your circulation. An increase of blood flow and circulation for a small period of time can help regulate blood flow and decrease blood pressure over time. Having a great workout session can help relieve a lot of aggression also. Exercise and activities are one of my favorite way to de-stress.
We saved the best for last! Pampering yourself at home may take some time from your evening but we promise it's an incredible way to melt away stress. At home spa treatments don't have to be difficult or expensive. Some of our favorite indulgences include an exfoliating and hydrating body treatment or a mini facial. Body treatments at home are fun; transforming your bathroom into a spa room can be quite the treat.
Scrub me secret: I always take the extra step and light a few candles in whatever room I am pretending is my spa. Pandora also has a few awesome spa and relaxation channels. Go all out, it makes a big difference.
For this body treatment you will need your favorite sea salt body scrub or one of our man soaps. You will also need a body butter or moisturizer. We obviously always opt for our whipped butters, they are light and fluffy and ultra hydrating. First step is exfoliation, stand or sit in a dry tub and take small handfuls of scrub and glide all over your body (if you are using man soap you will have to thoroughly wet the soap before use). It is best to use long slow motions as you exfoliate, this helps you to focus on the sensation rather than your thoughts. Dead sea salt is also known to relieve small muscle aches, this is why we like sea salt best. After you have scrubbed your body from head to toe, rinse yourself off with a relaxing shower or bath. Once you step out of the tub you can apply the body butter onto wet skin. This way moisture is locked in, giving you a silky feeling.
Mini, at home facials can be an awesome way to pamper yourself. Stress releases hormones in the body which in turn can have effects on our skin. Acne and inflammation have been known to show up on the surface of the skin when stress occurs. We do not recommend picking at anything or doing at home extractions, but here are some things you can do. Take your favorite facial cleanser (we used our clarifying treatment bar) and get a good lather going; apply the lather all over your face, just like a facial mask. Using a cleanser as a mask can help clean and decongest your skin while it sits on the surface. I like to use the clarifying because it has properties to soothe inflammation and disinfect skin. If you already have a favorite facial mask you can use that during this step also. After you have let the foam sit for about 5 minutes, take a warm or hot towel and gently pat your face down with that. The warmth will help to open pores a little more so products can easily penetrate. Now it's time to hydrate, no matter how congested or oily you feel like your skin is you always need to hydrate to balance it out. You can easily turn your unscented whipped shea butter into a hydrating mask by taking a generous amount and applying it in a thick layer on your face; or you can use a different hydrating mask you prefer. After the mask sits for a few minutes, massage it into your skin using quick, small, circular motions. The purpose of this is to bring about some circulation while your mask absorbs. Take another warm or hot towel and wipe your mask off; your skin should look and feel more vibrant!
Don't let stress control you. The biggest thing I have learned is that taking a little time to de-stress can make all the difference. So next time you encounter a stressful situation or are having a really rough day take 2 minutes to inhale your favorite essential oil or take 20 and give yourself a treatment. Happy scrubbing!