Greetings Sun & Earthlings! The first day of Summer is this Sunday and we are excited about the changing weather, thrilled to have the kids home from school, and just as committed to natural cleaning as ever. We love this time of year and all of the joy it brings but we know that the heat takes a toll on our bodies and our tempers. Hot and humid weather have been associated with increased levels of aggression and stress as well as a lower mood, so we’re sharing our top tips for remaining patient and relaxed this summer.
Drink Tea: At Sun & Earth we love all things green! A cup of green tea is no different. A soothing steamy cup has been shown to reduce stress in scientific studies. Green tea contains a component called theanine, an amino acid that gives flavor to the tea and also promotes relaxation. Some believe that theanine is a caffeine blocker, meaning it counters the hectic effects of caffeine. Our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs offer a blend called Green Sunrise Tea that is crafted to provide an increased sense of relaxation for mind, body and spirit. So, drink your green tea and avoid caffeinated beverages, because caffeine can worsen the stress response. You’ll be relieved and relaxed after your first cup, so drink up and calm down to enjoy a stress-free summer.
Go on a Walk: While just about any walk will help to clear your head and boost endorphins (which also reduces stress hormones), try walking in a park or other green space. This can actually put your body into a state of meditation, thanks to a phenomenon called “involuntary attention.” Involuntary attention is when something holds our attention, but at the same time allows you to get lost in your own thoughts. Use the time to get to know yourself better, work through some things that have been bothering you, or bring a friend and start a new workout routine together.
Buy a Plant: Not only do plants look beautiful and purify the air we breathe, some studies show houseplants also reduce your levels of stress. One study found that a group of highly stressed people who entered a room full of plants had a four-point drop in their blood pressure, while a comparison group who didn’t see plants dropped only two points, Prevention magazine reported. Get a plant for your desk, a few for around the house, and plant some outside. We recommend picking up some English Ivy for its air purifying properties (it’s ranked #1 by NASA as the best air-filtering houseplant) plus it is adaptable making it easy to grow!
Yoga: A great way to relax all year long is by practicing yoga. By stretching your muscles and aligning your body yoga will help you achieve a sense of inner peace, and lower your stress levels. One of the best yoga asanas for stress relief is Eagle Pose. It opens up your shoulders, releases neck tension, strengthens your quads, and engages your core. It’s an all-over body toner and stress reducer. And since it can be practiced in stages, it’s an ideal posture for yogis of every level. Take a look at the video below for a detailed walk-through of the Eagle Pose asana.
As always we love hearing from you. If you liked any of these tips, or have a technique of your own you would like to share, visit us on our Facebook page and let us know.