THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE AND TIPS FOR MANAGING STRESS ON THE RUN UP TO CHRISTMAS
Tasha from Aurello Holistics, based in Radley, shares her indie journey and how she went from working in emergency services to helping people take a natural approach to health. She reveals her tips for managing stress on the run up to Christmas including how you can support your immune system this winter. >>
The journey to setting up Aurello Holistics
Before Aurello I had been working in the emergency services for eight years. This often-meant; high levels of stress, long hours, lack of a balanced diet, poor mental health and little to no time/energy available to look after myself properly. This line of work wasn’t right for me anymore but what on earth could I do instead?
I thought about all the things that I loved; nature, music, food…. Should I be a gardener, join a band, train as a chef? I’m not fond of the cold so being outside in the winter sounded miserable, I can’t sing or play an instrument and I’d probably eat most of the food before it had a chance to be served if I were a chef.
I was a bit stuck. What did I love about my current job? That was easy, I loved helping people each day. I thought about what I needed help with, that was also easy; my health and wellbeing. Could I help people with their health and wellbeing? Yes, I think I would be good at that.
I was already super passionate about living as naturally as possible, I had started exploring complementary therapies more deeply. I found reflexology, enrolled on a reflexology diploma and fell in love with it.
Fast forward to earlier this year, I took the plunge, left my job and began this small business adventure. It sure was scary but I love every second of it. Aurello has been growing from strength to strength and it’s all thanks to my wonderful clients of whom I am grateful for every day. I am so much healthier and happier which puts me in a great position to enhance your lives too when you come to visit me!
The benefits of a natural approach to health
Holistic means to treat you as a whole and not just one specific part of you. To be holistically healthy means you are mentally, emotionally and physically well and balanced.
Our healthcare system usually concentrates on a specific problem when it is already present. Natural holistic therapies look at not only the problem but your health as a whole and what other things in your life could be causing/contributing to the problem. It is also a preventative approach to your health, with the aim to stop further problems arriving in the future.
Having regular natural therapies can help you to connect with your body and enhance its natural healing abilities. I am certainly not saying to reject our healthcare system, it is incredible and vital for our survival. I have simply seen first-hand that using natural therapies alongside it can be extremely beneficial and supportive in so many ways.
The importance of taking time out and spending money on looking after yourself
We all have daily stresses, stress is a normal and essential part of life but when you don’t take time out to relax, your body remains in a constant state of stress which then leads to chronic stress. Chronic stress contributes to various mental and physical health problems and compromises your immune system.
We are incredibly guilty of thinking we don’t have a spare hour or can’t afford a ‘treat’ like a massage, but the truth is by going for the massage you will more than likely be saving yourself time and money in the future. Why? Because having something like a massage is a slice of relaxation that hits the chronic stress reset button, it can stop our compromised immune system in its tracks, preventing us from catching that cold that would have made us feel rotten, leading us to have to take time off work, get behind on life admin, and ultimately stressing us out even more.
“Having a massage isn’t a treat, it’s a necessity.” Says Tasha
In this modern hectic world we should be absolutely adopting this mindset, and a lot of people are. I saw a quote once that said ‘Make time for your health now before you are forced to make time for your illness’ this really does speak volumes.
Just 1 hour of your time and the price of a meal out, once a month or every couple of weeks, it’s worth it. Why not make it part of your new year?
An essential oil to support your immune system this winter
My go to relaxing and immune supporting oil would be Citrus Sinenis- Orange Sweet oil. I refer to this oil as warm, bright and restorative like the sun.
With antiviral, antidepressant, sedative and uplifting properties it’s a great oil that can help to protect against colds, flu and infections, combat stress and low mood and is also great at relieving digestive problems.
Try adding this oil to an evening bath:
1. Pour two tablespoons of an emulsifier (such as a plain body wash) or a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) into a small bowl.
2. Add up to 6 drops of sweet orange oil.
3. Stir it all up and add to a running warm bath.
4. Hop in, relax and have a good soak. Let the oil penetrate your skin and start working its magic!
Treatments to de-stress and rebalance
Reflexology works by application of pressure to specific points on the feet or hands. The points correspond to different organs and systems of the body. When your reflexologist applies pressure to these points, they release negative energy blocks in those areas providing a deep sense of calm and relaxation. The overall aim of reflexology is to rebalance you, for example it can help to rebalance your endocrine system which is responsible for the production of cortisol (the stress hormone).
Massage is very similar, for example it can improve the efficiency of the lymphatic system which is responsible for removing waste products from the body, which can boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Another example is its ability to improve circulation helping fresh blood and oxygen reach your tissues therefore improving muscle function, reducing pain and speed up healing. A final example is the reduction of tension within the muscles, helping you to feel lighter, have a better range of movement, aiding better sleep and subsequently having more energy.
I offer aromatherapy massage which incorporates the use of essential oils. These wonderful oils safely penetrate the skin and get to work on different parts of your body using their health properties like being analgesic (pain killing) or antidepressant or depurative (toxin ridding). I choose the oils bespoke to you and your needs so you can really reap the appropriate benefits.
The power of touch itself is a biological necessity. When you are positively touched the body produces more oxytocin which tells your brain to produce more positive and happy feelings. Pretty cool hey.
Tips for managing stress on the run up to Christmas
1. Five minute stress busters
Take five uninterrupted minutes every day to do one thing that makes you happy – cuddle the dog, read a few pages of a book, dance to your favourite song, do some deep breathing. Whatever floats your boat, give yourself a mini boost!
Aromatherapy tip: Add a drop of neroli oil to a tissue and breathe it in when feeling stressed, it can help to calm you.
2. Unplug from social media
I try to look at social media as a purely promotional platform, everyone is promoting their best bits. It doesn’t show the bigger picture, it’s a few snapshots and we must learn to take it all with a pinch of salt. Try deleting the app for a weekend or setting a daily timer to reduce your usage. Doing so can stop unrealistic comparisons, take off the pressure, lighten your mood, help you to live more in the moment and allow you to connect better with your loved ones this Christmas.
3. Increase your water
It’s inevitable that most of us will overindulge on mulled wine, late nights and a lot of over sugary processed treats during December.
Being tired, dehydrated and full of toxins will only worsen stress. Don’t worry though I’m not the fun police, it’s ok to indulge from time to time, just remember to do one thing- rehydrate! It will help flush out the extra toxins and boost energy levels which will help you to manage stress more effectively.
4. Don’t stop moving
Just because it’s getting darker and colder don’t be tempted to stay inside and do lots of sitting. Keep those endorphins flowing, just a brisk thiry minute walk a day can improve mood, sleep, energy and pain management.
5. Soak up the small stuff
There’s such a lot of added pressure during this season, try not to sweat the big stuff, life isn’t perfect. Aim to soak up all the small stuff like how delightful those cosy socks feel on your toes or the smell of that gorgeous cinnamon candle. Gratitude for the little things can really help melt some of that stress away.
For more information about reflexology, massage and the benefits, or if you are looking for a relaxing gift for a loved one this Christmas head over to Aurello Holistics to purchase a voucher, or book in to de-stress before the festive period.