With the kids home from school day after day over the summer months, even the most patient of parents and nannies can get overwhelmed and find themselves longing for the first day of school. Don’t wish away the summertime fun, instead, try these three simple Ayurvedic stress management techniques to help you chill out, live in the moment and get back into the right headspace to make treasured memories with the kids during their summer vacation.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. This simple exercise is quick, easy, and effective, and can be done anywhere—while watching a soccer game, playing with kids at the park, or even while dealing with a toddler’s meltdown. It consists of tensing then relaxing every muscle group in your body. Starting with your toes, tense your muscles as hard as you can for five seconds, then relax them for 30 seconds. Move on to your legs, and gradually work your way up all the way to your face. For more intense relaxation, incorporate deep breathing into the exercise.
- Visualization. Visualization is a technique that involves achieving deep relaxation by ourselves in a peaceful place. Begin by thinking of the place in the world that most relaxes you—perhaps it’s a beach you once visited or your grandmother’s living room. Then, one by one, go through each of the five senses and visualize in your mind’s eye how the place looks, feels, tastes, sounds and smells.
- Massage your feet every night before bed. You’re on your feet chasing after little ones all day so it’s no wonder that the feet are huge storage depots for stress and tension. Before bed, use massage oil or even plain old sesame oil to thoroughly massage your feet. According to Ayurvedic medicine, this practice grounds your energy, soothes your nervous system, reduces stress and promotes a good night’s sleep.
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