The Pink Cart's own team member Lauren is back this week with a reminder for how important it is for all of us to take time to rest and relax during this busiest of seasons. It may seem like a simple task, but few of us really take time for ourselves during the holidays, so it's important to remember the true health benefits of minimizing stress in our lives.
For many, the holidays are the busiest time of the year. Family gatherings, finding the perfect gifts, decorating, preparing meals, looking your best... It all adds up, and has a way of taking its toll on you. Increased pressure and stress can negatively impact your health and wellbeing in a variety of ways from depression, high blood pressure, headaches, sleep loss, anxiety, increased risk of cancer and heart attacks; the list of stress related ailments goes on and on. It is important to recognize and acknowledge the effect that stress can have on your body, and to take the time necessary to relax.
Many people, myself included, find it difficult to relax; there is always so much to do! In an attempt to de-stress, I recently decided, for the first time ever, to get a massage. I was a bit apprehensive and nervous at first, but I had heard so many others speak of the natural benefits of massage therapy and decided to give it a try. Prior to the start of the massage, the masseuse asked me if I had any problem areas to which I responded no. About half way through the treatment she said, “I thought you said you didn’t have any problem areas? Your neck and shoulders are unbelievably tight. Do you suffer from headaches?” I was taken aback, I had no idea that I had issues with my neck and shoulders, and I do in fact suffer from migraines and frequent headaches. She went on to explain that we often don’t pay attention to, or notice, the everyday discomforts that become a part of our daily life, but it is important to take time to relax to keep stress levels down, consequently improving both physical and mental health.
I left the salon feeling unbelievably relaxed, with a noticeable difference in my muscles and the way in which I carried myself. Besides feeling rejuvenated, the major take away from this experience was how important it is to take time to relax, and how daily stresses can become long term physical problems. Stress happens all the time, not just during the holiday season, which is why is it so important to learn to give yourself time each day to unwind and relax.