4 Effective Ways to Relieve Stress Naturally

In today’s fast-paced world and with the added pressures of COVID-19, many of us are dealing with some level of stress in our lives. Stress can manifest in many different ways; difficulty sleeping, concentration issues, loss of appetite, overeating, physical tension and headaches. The good news is, there are some really effective ways to help relieve stress naturally!

1. Essential Oils

Essential oils are fantastic for relaxation and restful sleep. Their effects have been scientifically studied and proven to work in the brain, helping to relieve stress and anxiety. Lavender oil is one of the most commonly used essential oils for stress and through a vast range of studies, has demonstrated the ability to positively affect the nervous system by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Ylang ylang, valerian, roman chamomile, cedarwood and neroli are also great essential oils that can have powerful effects on stress levels.

2. Herbal Tea

Herbal teas have been used for centuries as a natural aid to help relieve stress. Chamomile has been scientifically proven to naturally increase levels of serotonin and melatonin, leaving you calm and relaxed without feeling too drowsy. It can also help soothe muscle aches and headaches, commonly associated with tension held in the body. Other teas that are fantastic for reducing stress include valerian root, lemon balm, rosehip, peppermint, liquorice root and green tea (to name a few!).

3. Mindfulness

Similar to meditation, mindfulness is one of the most effective ways to take yourself out of ‘fight or flight’ mode when stress and panic take over. Using a few simple strategies, you can quickly centre yourself back to the present moment and calm your racing mind in moments of anxiety. Here are 3 simple mindfulness methods you can use in less than 60 seconds to quickly reduce stress:

  • Take a big deep breath, focusing all your attention on the sensation of the coolness of the air as it enters your nose, feel your belly rising as it fills with air and slowly breath out through your mouth. Repeat 3 times.
  • Close your eyes and focus your attention on the different sounds around you. Try not to judge or analyse them, just observe. Can you hear cars? Birds chirping? Simply observe these sounds for a few moments to help ground yourself back to the ‘now’.
  • Close your eyes and scan your body by bringing your awareness to each part of your body as you slowly move your awareness from the tips of your toes, right to the top of your head. Again, don’t judge anything you feel. Simply observe the sensations as you can.

4. Journaling

The simple act of picking up a pen and paper and writing down your thoughts and feelings is a fantastic way of de-stressing. Many psychologists recommend journaling to their patients due to the countless studies that demonstrate its effectiveness for health, stress-management and overall happiness. When you take your racing, jumbled thoughts from your mind and put them onto paper, you are better able to examine them in a more healthy and constructive way. This will give you a ‘third-person perspective’ on your issues so that you can work on them one by one, rather than feeling overwhelmed by having to solve everything once.

Blog by: Karina Stone

Check out some of Cire’s programs that aim to help people stay connected and feel supported.

YVCS Students gain skills on mental health

Yarra Valley Community School was successful in obtaining funding via Yarra Ranges Youth Services Resilience funding program. Using this grant we sourced and implemented a training program with all the Yarra Junction campus VCAL students. The training was called teen Mental Health First Aid (teen MHFA) which  was conducted in term 2 this year.

The course consisted of three full sessions of facilitated workshops which gives students the skills they need to recognise and help with mental health problems and the signs to look for in friends, and how to get the help of an adult quickly. Young people often help each other when they are feeling upset or stressed. The course gave attendees the tools needed to seek help and not take on the problems that a friend may be experiencing alone. Similar to the well-known physical First Aid the course covers the basics of mental health disorders which includes; how to recognise symptoms to help and when to call for external supports. At the completion of the three components the students were issued with a certificate which comes with international recognition.

The essence of the course is for the students to familiarise themselves with mental health language, supports and processes for referral within the broader community. The aim was to destigmatise mental health labels and increase the individual student’s mental health literacy.

To celebrate their efforts in undertaking this at times confronting training, the students were treated to a warm homemade lunch each week followed by a game of basketball to unwind at the Yarra Centre in Yarra Junction.

“The students really enjoyed the course and gained skills that will assist them well into their futures which is what our education programs strive to do. Proud to have participated and warmed all those student belly’s”. Kerry Ditcham YVCS Student Wellbeing Officer

Huge warm and wonderful thanks to Denise Warmington for running this brilliant program.

Congratulations to the students who achieved their certificates. 

To find out more about our VCAL program click here or call 03 5967 1776 Yarra Junction and 03 9736 1457 Mt Evelyn.