With every New Year you probably take time to reflect on the past 12 months. January is a sign of new beginnings, the dawn of the New Year and a way to mark this period of time as one of change. Many of you (including me) promise to do things differently or at least to moderate life to incorporate more “calm” and less stress. While it is easier said than done, there are plenty of things you can all do to evoke that feeling of wellbeing and happiness and it is far easier to achieve than you think!
It is wise to not set goals that are very difficult to achieve but rather take little steps to improving daily life, that way it’s easier to attain a sense of balance and it’s often the little things that make all the difference. As Petits Rituels is all about peaceful relaxation, feeling good and positive thoughts this piece comes straight from the heart to help you have a happy, healthy New Year. You can really focus on 2016 being as easy and stress free as possible just by adding a few wondrous rituals into your day to day routine.
This is an obvious one but so often overlooked. The human body needs at least 7 to 8 hours sleep a night to function properly. Without doubt, continuous lack of sleep impinges on day to day function, preventing you from doing what you do as well as possible and it releases the hormone cortisol, a stress hormone. This is a contributory factor to feeling low, snappy and feeling tired all day long. Sleep is designed to re-charge the body, rejuvenate skin, clears a pathway in the mind so you awake feeling refreshed and ready for a new day. Sleep is essential to feeling and looking good. All this is backed up by reference to an interesting study held at the University of Pennsylvania which reports that on a study of adults, those limited to just 4.5 hours sleep per night for a week reported they felt more stressed, angry, sad and mentally exhausted than when they resumed their normal sleep patterns.
This is all well and good but if you are not a good sleeper, what can you do to encourage a better sleeping pattern? The Petits Rituels candles are a good way of inducing a feeling of peaceful relaxation. Light one while enjoying a warm bubble bath, have a cup of camomile tea and read your favourite book in bed. Banish all technology for a good two hours before bedtime and place a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow because this is a well-known sleep aid.
As mentioned above, lighting a candle before bedtime can have a marvellous calming effect. Even if you sleep well, just introducing a candle burning ritual one hour before bedtime will encourage melatonin levels, bring inner peace and tranquillity and release the incredible aromas of the Petits Rituels candle you choose. Suggestions include the heavenly scent of Provence or if you want a romantic atmosphere Sensual Healing is an erotic, sensual scent that fills a room gently. Of course, to maximise on the incredible properties of essential oils, you could even burn different aromas in different rooms, as a suggestion Floral Sensations is a rich and lush scent designed to remind you just how special you are – try this in the bathroom perhaps while taking a well-earned relaxing bath. After dinner, refresh your kitchen or living area with the invigorating aroma of Minty Bonbon. There’s something exceptionally fabulous in burning different candles in different rooms so every time you enter another area of your home, you experience another delicious aroma!
Yes – you can do this! By taking time to concentrate on what really matters, other situations that bring about stress can be banished. If you find yourself constantly worried about things that really don’t matter it’s time to stand up to yourself and promise to shake off unwanted stress. It’s the little things that often cause the most stress! For example – over committing yourself, if you find you struggle to say no when asked a favour, try saying no! Or if you keep doing favours for others it’s time to call some in for yourself. If you find yourself bowing to peer pressure to do things you just don’t have time to do – stop! There’s nothing worse than finding your weekends full up with running from one social commitment to another just to please friends and family. Make sure you book time out with your partner, cancel that dinner party you said you would attend, don’t go to that child’s birthday party you promised….it doesn’t matter as long as you give enough notice. It’s more important to make sure you have a balance of things you want to do versus things that you feel you have to do. The same applies to work, if you don’t like what you do, make this the year to try and find something suitable that you do like. The point is to do the things that make you happy rather than put yourself into situations you dread or dislike.
As they say in Disney’s Frozen – “Let it go!” Be true to yourself, stop carrying round worry and stress over things that happened in the past. What’s done is done, it’s time to look to the future and only you can do this because you are the only person who has control over your thoughts. Light some therapeutic Petits Rituels candles and promise to let the past go.
This is very easy actually! Introduce some little rituals into your daily routine that help you to feel good. For example, if you find yourself rushing around every morning, stressing because you need to get to work in time or get the children to school in time, move your alarm clock back 15 minutes so you can take more time to do everything slowly and allow yourself to breathe. There’s nothing worse than arriving at school or work feeling like you’ve already done a day at the office! Or why not take a walk at lunchtime alone, stretch your legs, clear your head and get some Vitamin D! At the weekends, if the sun is out, take your morning coffee outside and listen to nature – just 15 minutes of relaxation will bring more tranquillity to your life.
Never overestimate what can be done in a specific amount of time. Set realistic deadlines and goals – if anything, over set them to give you more time. If you find your mind overcrowded with things to do, keep a notebook close-by and jot these things down so you can clear your head. Then, first thing in the morning once you can sit down alone, prioritise them into important, quite important and unimportant tasks.
There is nothing more satisfying than completing important tasks and nothing more stressful than having tasks hanging over you – invading your mind and thoughts. So, every day, along with point 6, write down the top three most important things you need to achieve and tackle them first. Once they are out of the way, you will find the stress lifting off your shoulders! Light a candle while you do these tasks too, so a stressful task becomes much easier to tackle.
This means you give yourself time every day to really relax. Make a rule! For example, after 8.00pm you won’t answer the telephone or do any cleaning or cooking. Instead you will relax, with soft music, perhaps a warm bubble bath or reading a fantastic new novel – don’t forget to light your Petits Rituels candle for maximum relaxation!
The British tend to eat on the hop which I have always found interesting and foreign! This could be because I am French and we are used to really taking lunch! This means the midday meal is sacred and should be leisurely and enjoyable, with good quality food to savour. Eating well and taking a break definitely increases brain activity and boosts creativity. Your brain needs good food to work properly and no one can operate on an empty stomach so promise yourself you will take at least half an hour off in the middle of the day to relax, remove yourself from work and eat a good lunch.
This one means you should be protective of your time, so you need to learn to say no when others make unreasonable demands. This could be expecting you to work late when you need to get away on time. If you keep working long hours, it will become expected of you so learn to say no when it just isn’t possible and if you already do extra-long hours, from now on limit it to just once or twice a week. You will gain more respect for taking control and this will make you feel good about yourself.
I hope the above resolutions are useful to you. What are your top stress-busting resolutions for 2016?