This post was sponsored by Rescue.
Rescue asked me to talk a little bit about my daily stresses. Finally! An excuse to talk about my running list of things that make me want to exit normal society and go live in an off-the-grid commune!
(I’m only half joking.)
Being on time (I rarely am).
Basically everything that has to do with making money.
Talking to new people.
Talking to people I know.
Talking to my parents about politics.
Talking to anyone about politics.
When I forget to write down a recipe I tested for the blog.
Looking at my site STATS.
Looking at the scrolling feed on twitter.
Looking at mainstream news outlets.
Listening to NPR (everything except Radio Lab basically).
A giant sink full of dishes (ahem… every day).
Dogs I don’t know getting near me.
Biking down big hills.
Shooting magazine spreads.
Teaching new yoga classes.
Eating at dive-y sushi restaurants.
Spiders. Big ones.
Seeing white vans pass by when I’m walking through parking lots alone.
Passing people in the street (do I make eye contact? No? Say hello? Ugh…)
And finally… sheds! Thanks Room, now sheds are ruined forever.
Oh did I mention I’m a highly sensitive person?
So after looking at that list I might seem like a big ol’ steaming bowl of neuroses. Trust me, I’m probably the least neurotic person you’ll ever meet. I have lots of little stress triggers. LOTS AND LOTS. But being a sensitive person has made me highly attuned to self-care.
Now when I say self-care, I don’t mean taking a bubble bath after I’ve run myself ragged. I don’t mean “treating” myself to indulgences to comfort my weary, aching body and mind.
Self-care, for me, is about developing comprehensive, preventative, daily practices that lead to improved long-term emotional and physical wellbeing.
For me, the number one thing I do to care for myself is eliminating excess stimulation!
As an introverted-empathetic-sensitive-artist-type, I’m prone to absorbing everything. Both positive and negative. Scary movies stick with me for years. I can’t put the anxiety of election season down.
I’m like a little emotional sponge.
Being imbued with so many emotions at once makes me edgy, overwhelmed and prone to overreacting.
So I don’t own a television — and I rarely watch TV. I watch maybe one or two movies in a week. I limit my time on my phone and have it on do-not-disturb mode most of the time. I won’t even look at it on the weekends.
I don’t allow myself to hang out on social media. I limit myself to 10 minutes or so on each platform a day. And usually I’ll just focus on one or two in a single day.
Most of my entertainment comes in the form of music, books, hanging out with friends, making art, hiking, camping and yoga.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll binge watch a whole season of a stupid TV show occasionally. But it’s just not a big, regular part of my life.
My regular yoga and mindfulness practices have also been major players in dealing with my daily stress triggers. I practice both to prevent stress and to deal with stress as it comes. Yoga and mindfulness both give me an opportunity to look at my constantly streaming thoughts with compassion and curiosity, which ultimately gives those unconscious thoughts less control over my external responses and actions.
Practice also helps me to cultivate a sense of stillness, body awareness and presence. Whenever I am in a stressful or overstimulating environment, I check in on the sensation in my fingertips and the rhythmic pattern of my own breath. It allows me some space from the triggers, and helps me deal with them from a more intentional, calm place.
These are just some of the benefits of regular practice: strengthened resolve, mental clarity and improved emotional wellbeing.
Finally, it’s really important to me to have natural, accessible stress-relieving foods, herbs and products in my life. Over the past year I’ve started using Rescue pastilles as a supplement, both for me and for Logan. At first we would each eat one little golden pastille (which is like a firm gummy candy) whenever we were feeling nervy. But over the last couple of months I’ve found even greater benefit from taking a supplement daily. It just helps with my daily maintenance of chillness. I feel like a light-emanating warrior of peace most of the time!
The Rescue Plus Strawberry Sleep Gummies are Logan’s favorite. They contain both Bach Rescue Remedy flower essences and melatonin. And they taste better than almost any gummy candy I’ve ever had. And they’re vegan! We’ve been having the best sleep of our lives and we wake up refreshed every day. That’s a big deal for Logan as he suffers from occasional insomnia.
All of the pictured Rescue products contain flower essences, including: Star of Bethlehem (Orithogalum umbellatum), Rock Rose (Helianthemum), Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera), Impatiens (Impatiens gladulifera), and Clematis (Clematis vitalba). I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of consuming flower essences for improved emotional and spiritual wellbeing rather romantic.
On the subject of positive plant allies: I’ve got a coconut lavender london fog latte for you guys today! Lavender is a potent, non-toxic, non-drowsy sedative. It has a soft, herbaceous, sweet scent that most people find immediately soothing. So I’ve developed this relaxing, cozy coconut-butter based lavender London fog latte to act as a salve for your nerves.
The latte is creamy, frothy and sweet, tasting mildly of lavender and bergamot. It’s made with simple ingredients: dates, coconut butter, coconut milk, tea, lavender and water.
If you prefer a non-caffeinated version of the lavender london fog latte, use a decaf or rooibos earl grey tea.
Thanks again to Rescue for generously sponsoring this post! As always, all images and opinions are my own.