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Learning How to Decompress: Five Home Remedies for Stressful Times

Your home is your sanctuary.

This concept is something I have come to understand and appreciate during times of uncertainty. This is particularly true while spending time in quarantine during the most recent COVID-19 outbreak. For some, the uncertainty of this time has been magnified by the mandated orders to stay-in-shelter or the restriction of their ability to visit locations they frequent. However, now is the time to understand we are being called to sit with ourselves as a collective. There is a need to decompress and learn how to manage stress for long-term happiness in life. Our schedules are so busy that we forget how to find peace within.

Rather than get upset about what I can't do and don't have, I have leveraged this time to lean into what is in front of me. I have used this time to create my own oasis. Personally, I have found solace in podcasts, digging into my library and documenting my thoughts.

Below are some additional tactics I have used to decompress during my times of stress:

1) Aromatherapy - Ignite Your Senses

The use of aromatherapy is something I have learned to incorporate into my daily routine. Since essential oils are multi-purpose, you will find yourself making their use a daily habit. Whether using essential oils on my scalp or incorporating them into my moisturizers, they are a great way to heal my body and mind.

Some of my favorite oils to use are Spearmint, Cedar Wood, and Eucalyptus. These scents are grounding and awaken my mind with every use. While they are to be used carefully, essential oils have health benefits and are a wonderful way to soothe your spirit each day. They can be incorporated into your hair care routine or used topically when added to hygienic items such as soap.

2) Decoration - Create Your Aesthetic

Decorations set the mood for any space. So much of our personal space's aesthetic can have a conscious and subconscious effect on our mood. Growing up I had an aunt who was known for her use of Afro-Centric statement pieces throughout her home. These items became synonymous with her space and the experience one would have while visiting her. In turn, I have carried on this tradition by filling my home with uplifting and culturally relevant items that speak to the black experience.

While this may seem trivial, it helps me get through my days, weeks, and months. I am surrounded by daily affirmations that exalt my black girl magic.

3) Meditate - Unplug from the World

Learning how to be present is hard when you are surrounded by electronics. Most people have cell phones or a TV in every room of their house. Yet, the need to unplug from social media and entertainment increases, as we become inundated with information (and potentially misinformation) every second. Making space for daily meditation is crucial when teaching yourself to be peaceful in the midst of a storm, whether that means creating a meditation room, or clearing an area in your home to meditate.

4) Journal - Write it Down

Words are powerful. Knowing how to articulate yourself through written words can be therapeutic and a way to set daily intentions. Keeping a journal is a wonderful way to document what is happening around you in real-time, and be self-reflective. A great exercise to try is to revisit your old journal entries, and track how far you've come; it's almost like watching your personal growth and development unfold before your eyes.

5) Find a New Podcast/Book - Feed Your Mind

Podcasts and books are an excellent way to decompress throughout the week. There are so many podcasts on a variety of topics that listeners with a plethora of interests will never be bored. The same can be said for books. Reading during times of stress can serve as a mental break and allow you to discover a new subject of interest. This is especially true if you decide to read before going to bed or early in the morning before starting your day. Whatever your routine, books will never go out of style when attempting to feed your mind and grow in personal development.

Ultimately, your home is your place of peace. Creating a space that is unique to who you are as an individual, is a fun way to set yourself up for long-term happiness. This is particularly true, as we face social distancing, due to the Coronavirus.

Organizing and dictating the nature of your space can have a good effect on your mental--health and serve as a form of therapy; if you are someone who is used to always being on the move. While this time may be a challenge, this can be an opportunity to explore new hobbies, practice mindfulness, and reconnect with yourself.

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