"You seem to be very tense," said my esthetician, D, this afternoon as she prepared to massage my upper body. "Your neck and shoulders are extremely tight. Are you stressed?" she asked.
"I've just arrived back from a business trip where I was attending a three-day meeting and have been doing a lot of sitting," I replied.
D put coconut oil on my face and then covered it with a Vitamin C mask. It felt so good. "Relax and calm down," said D. She put the heating pad under my back and a bolster under my knees.
"I think I need to do some saging," said D, "to get all the negative energy away that is swirling around you."
"Really," I said. "What is saging? I've never experienced saging before."
D took out a dried white sage leaf, lit it and blew out the tip. She took the burning sage, which had a fragrant odor, and walked around my body several times to release the negative energy.
"This may also help you sleep," said D.
I felt renewed and refreshed after I left her office. So glad that I decided to make an appointment for a facial. D always gives me sage advice about my skin, and now she is saging me too. She even gave me some sage to take home in a little red bag. Now, I can sage my house or myself whenever I feel negative energy.
Last week, I learned from a segment on "The Today Show" that April is National Stress Awareness Month. In addition to saging myself, there are other things I can do (and so can you) to de-stress. Here are some tips from the NBC reporter:
Exercise can relieve stress. The reporter said that push-ups are a good exercise to build arm strength. I've been trying to do my yoga plank pose each morning to see how long I can stay in position. I'm up to about one to two minutes. My yoga teacher, N, says that Jennifer Aniston got her strong arms doing this pose.
Crying can relieve stress. I've been doing quite a bit of this since losing my mom last month. Sometimes I cry at night when I am missing her. I usually tell myself that it's OK to cry. It's part of the grieving process.
Baths can relieve stress. Ooh, ooh, ooh -- I love to take baths. I mix epsom salts and lavender oil to make my own bath salts. Then I light some candles (and make sure to blow them out when I am done), lay back and relax. (Maybe I should also burn some sage just in case there is any negative energy in my bathroom?)
Swirl around in your desk chair...that's if your desk chair swirls. Mine does. Here I go... go... go... oops, I'm back!
Eat some oranges or put lemon slices in your water. Supposedly, Vitamin C can help lower cortisol levels, which contribute to stress in the body. (According to writer Juniper Russo's post on LiveStrong.com, "The "stress hormone" cortisol enables many important processes within the human body. However, during times of physical or emotional stress, cortisol levels can elevate to unsafe levels, which may lead to a variety of stress-related complications.)
Jump up and down on a big exercise ball or squeeze a stress ball in your hand. I don't have a big exercise ball at home... will have to get one and put it in my home office near my desk.
How do you de-stress? Do share a tip or two.