In association with Matfen Hall
What many people don’t realise is that there are simple things you can do to help reduce the effects of stress on your mind and body.
Most of us know by now that exercise produces endorphins, which make you happy. But exercise can also help to improve alertness and concentration by improving your overall brain function. Virtually any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever, so whether you like aerobics or yoga a little exercise can go a long way towards improving your mental health.
As well as releasing feel-good hormones exercise can act as a form of meditation. Just concentrating on your body’s movements can help you to forget about your daily stresses.
If you don’t want to go it alone, group exercise has been proven to be even more successful at lowering stress. The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, receiving encouragement and motivation from those around you as you challenge yourself in your training, certainly appears to pay dividends beyond exercising alone, especially when it comes to quality of life. Exercising as a group could include anything from gym classes to personal training sessions and even just talking a walk with friends.
When you start to exercise regularly, you’ll start to notice bigger changes in your overall mood. Just 30 minutes of exercise five times a week can help to reduce mild symptoms of depression and anxiety. In turn, you’ll notice that your sleep is less disrupted, and you’ll begin to feel more rested and relaxed.
While the benefits of exercise are becoming more well known, taking some regular ‘me’ time away from your daily stresses is not something that many people will do but one of the benefits of visiting a spa is being able to take time away from your daily irritations, so that you can come back feeling refreshed and revitalised and with a positive attitude.
The easiest way to do this is to schedule some pamper time into your diary, whether it be for a spa day escape or just a short treatment. Once you have that time out written in ink you’ve got something to look forward to and you’re much more likely to stick to your appointment.
If you’re planning on booking in some treatments to help you unwind, a massage is always an excellent choice. While the main aim of any massage is to help you relax, different types of massages have different benefits. Certain massages can alleviate muscle aches and tension, while others can help your lymphatic and blood circulation, some can even balance and harmonise your internal energies. It’s always best to talk over what you want to get out of your treatment with your spa therapist when you book.
No massage would be complete without the use of essential oils to create a full sensory experience. When you use essential oils the scents relay messages to the part of your brain responsible for your mood. This means that while the hands-on experience can alleviate the physical effects of stress, the oils can help adjust your internal mood and emotions.
Elemis’ Life Elixirs range is great to use in the spa and at home. They have developed five different blends of essential oils designed to tune in to your needs and support you through the day.
So, this April make sure that you focus on yourself and try to de-stress by booking a massage or facial, going to a yoga class, or even taking a brisk stroll outdoors. You might find the benefits of exercise and spa are greater than you realise.