• Carly Monson

Ways to De-Stress

Do you ever feel like it's impossible to catch up? Do you have a big meeting/project/deadline/exam coming up and can't get it off your mind? As a medical student I'm under constant daily stress, and I know others experience it too. There's a few things I do if I'm under immediate stress and just can't take it anymore. 

1. Lavender oil

Remeber that thing I talked about a few weeks ago? Well, this oil is known for it's calming/relaxing properties. I literally carry a bottle with me and if I'm feeling stressed out, I just take a whiff of it and instantly feel a little bit better.

2. Exercise

It's amazing what a nice long run or crushing a new PR does for clearing my mind. Exercise makes your body produce endorphins like dopamine and serotonin, which boost mood and give a feeling of euphoria. Kind of like morphine does (they are similiary structured) but without the addiciton. Plus, if you are angry because you are stressed, the gym is probably the best way to take that anger out on something harmlessly. In the words of Legally Blonde, "Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don't shoot their husbands... they just don't." (Sorry I really couldn't leave that out!) 

Even if I just go for a brisk walk, this helps tremendously.

3. Eat a banana

Seriously. I'm not sure of the science behind it, but one time in undergrad I was having a mini mental breakdown, ate a banana, and all the sudden it wasn't so bad. If you try this let me know if it works for you!

4. Meditate

There are numerous studies revealing the benefits of meditation on pretty much everything, but significantly on stress and anxiety. The best part is, it's free! If you are new to meditation it can sometimes feel like you aren't sure if you are doing it right. I personally like guided meditations because you don't really have to think, you just listen. There's a great free app that I use called Insight Timer for smartphones that has thousands of guided meditations ranging from 1 minute to hours long, depending on what kind of meditation you are looking for. 

5. Epsom salt baths

As if a bath isn't relaxing enough right? Well epsom salt is made up of magnesium sulfate. The sulfate flushes toxins, and the magnesium opens blood vessels which reduces inflammation and improves blood flow. Want to make your bath even better? Add a few drops of lavender oil to it!

6. Support the adrenals

Adrenal glands produce a hormone called cortisol. This hormone helps us deal with stress. A little stress is good for us, a lot of chronic stress is bad. A lot of stress will deplete cortisol levels and the adrenals will have a hard time keeping up, ultimately leading to inability to deal with stress aka chronic fatigue. If you think this has you written all over it, I stronly encourage you to see your physician to talk about options for supporting them. 

Disclaimer: I am not a physician or a health care practitioner. This site is not meant to provide medical or health advice of any kind. Do not misconstrue any information that you read here as medical recommendation, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided here on this site is intended to serve as a communication of my experiences and to share articles and public material pertaining to health that I come across. It should in no way be interpreted as medical advice of any kind.

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