- Why today is all about asparagus, skipping and a ‘silent killer’
- How to de-stress with a cat (without owning one)
- The benefits of being crushed by a blanket
It’s ‘Stress Awareness Month’!
Did you know?
Nope, neither did I.
I’m sure there’s someone who works in a secure basement in an undisclosed location whose job it is to allocate these special occasions.
A quick glance on Wikipedia and it appears that this month has also been…
- Autism Awareness Month
- Cancer Control Month
- Financial Literacy Month
- Jazz Appreciation Month
- Mathematics Awareness Month
- National Child Abuse Prevention Month
- National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
- National Fair Housing Month
- National Pet Month
- National Poetry Month
- National Poetry Writing Month
- National Volunteer Month
That’s a lot to pack in!
And that’s not including the awareness DAYS within those awareness months.
For example, today (St George’s Day, 23rd April) is the nineteenth annual National Skipping Day.
It’s also National Asparagus Day – today marks the start of the Asparagus Season!
Interestingly, bearing in mind that it’s Stress Awareness Month, asparagus is one of those ‘stress relieving vegetables’ you can add to your diet.
This is because it contains a large amount of folate, which is a mood-boosting nutrient.
It also contains antioxidants which help protect your cells from the harmful effects of oxidative stress too!
Anyway, while I joke about these awareness months, Stress Awareness Month couldn’t have come at a better time.
The silent killer
According to a study by The Stress Management Society, a massive 65% of people in Britain feel more stressed since the pandemic and its restrictions began.
The main factors include a sense of disconnection from other people, uncertainty over the future and loss of control over their lives.
This can have serious long-term effects.
Left untreated, chronic stress can cause depression, anxiety, heart disease and stroke.
In 2011 a research team at Concordia University in Montreal found that having persistent negative feelings can damage your metabolism, immune system and organ function.
This is why some call it ‘the silent killer’.
More recently, research published in Psychological Science found that elderly people who had persistent worry and stress were more likely to struggle with mobility issues.
So it couldn’t be more important to de-stress.
And here’s one way to do it…
Tomorrow could be another coincidentally important day in Stress Awareness Month because it’s SCREAM Day.
This was created to raise awareness of the benefits of screaming as a means of letting out pent-up emotions and stress.
There isn’t much to it…
You just find somewhere you can scream without embarrassing yourself or terrifying someone to death.
For instance, you could drive to a layby somewhere and scream inside your car.
Or you could take a walk to a nearby remote spot, like a woodland or a hill, and scream there.
Or if you’re stuck at home, you could scream into a pillow.
The organisers of Scream Day advise that when you scream you attach that to emotion, worry, fear or anger that you want to let out.
Think of it as a very noisy form of meditation.
That’s not the only weird way to relieve stress either…
Here are two more you might not have thought of:
How to de-stress with a cat
A 2009 study in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology showed that owning a cat can lower your stress and blood pressure and therefore could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Reasons for this include companionship, having another living being to focus your mind on, and the soothing effects of cuddling and stroking a furry animal.
But some believe that the purring is also beneficial.
The frequency of a cat’s purr is believed to reduce pain, with the suggestion that some cats purr to help themselves when they’re injured.
But of course, we can’t all just ‘get a cat’ like we can order a supplement or a therapy.
It’s a lot of responsibility and cost.
So here’s the next best thing.
Yes, all hail the ‘cat purr generator’
Just go to the website, adjust the graphic equaliser to your preferred setting, and let the cat purr frequencies reduce your stress!
In my research for these letters I do stumble over some very strange ideas. But that one is really bizarre!
Here’s another one to check out…
The benefits of a heavy blanket
An increasingly popular stress relief method is the use of a ‘weighted blanket’ or ‘gravity blanket’.
These are engineered to be the equivalent of 10% of your body weight.
The idea is that when you get under one of these rugs, it feels like you are being hugged and gives you a similar sense of security to that of a baby being swaddled.
It also applies pressure across your body – known as ‘deep touch stimulation’, a therapeutic method that triggers a chain reaction in your body that helps calm you.
Many users report improved sleep, better mood, and a feeling of relaxation.
This is not something we stock in our shop, I’m afraid, but look up ‘gravity blanket’ or ‘weighted blanket’ on a search engine and you’ll find a load of products for sale.
What we DO stock is this…
A natural sedative without the side effects
Calmophytum is a blend of natural sedatives including extracts of lime tree, lemon balm, chamomile, lemon verbena and hibiscus.
It’s designed to relax you, lower stress levels and give you a really good night’s sleep – you can find out more here.
Take just 2 capsules with a glass of water half an hour before bedtime and when you lie down you’ll find yourself gently nodding off… without stress, tension and racing thoughts… then slipping into a deep sleep.
It’s so safe, even children can take it!
Find out more details on our webpage: Calmophytum.