11 natural remedies for the stressed-out Vancouverite

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Your downtime is valuable, but this precious time for yourself is wasted if you are stressed. After a long day at work, it can be frustrating if you are having trouble unwinding or relaxing when you get home due to stress or anxiety. There are several reasons why you can’t relax, but there are also several solutions.

There are many natural remedies for stress that will genuinely help you relax. We’re not advocating a habit of unwinding by downing a few beers – we want to offer natural solutions and natural relaxation techniques that won’t be accompanied by a hangover the next day, and will improve your overall wellness.

Here are 11 natural remedies for the stressed-out Vancouverite:

1. Drink a calming juice

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Image: Nectar Juicery

Organic, cold-pressed juice is a growing trend in Vancouver. Certain foods are stress-reducing, and Vancouver’s Nectar Juicery creates calming juices using these proven ingredients (lucky for you, they deliver within the Vancouver area). With the right ingredients, drinking a juice can soothe the nerves and mellow your mood. If you are feeling blue or have the jitters, juicing is also a great way to lift the spirits.

Mood fluctuations and anxiety are often linked to low minerals such as magnesium and an over production of stress hormones. Two foods to incorporate into your diet to calm the mood are celery and yams. Yams are high in vitamin C and calming B vitamins, which help you power through low-energy, low-mood days. Celery is high in minerals such as magnesium and potassium which are important for hydration and known to calm the mood and curb anxiety.

Nectar Juicery recommends their juice called “Balance” for stress. It contains ingredients such as yams which calm the nerves. “Balance” also features ashwagandha and adaptagan focused on supporting the adrenal systems and will therefore put you into a mellower mood after drinking it.

2. Treat yourself to an Oxygen Facial

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Image: The Skin Girls

An Oxygen Facial is a wonderful natural remedy for stress, but as an added bonus, it leaves your skin looking amazing. The Skin Girls, a Vancouver-based company, perform specialized Oxygen Facial treatments and actually offer mobile services. That’s right: they will come to you if you don’t feel like leaving your home. Their Oxygen Facials involve a facial massage which calms the mind and body. Their facials also incorporate calming scents and calming music to leave you feeling relaxed and fresh. Celebrity clients call it the “red-carpet facial” since it just so happens to make your skin radiant and bright before an important event.

The Oxygenating Facial stimulates oxygen and rejuvenates stress-affected skin as it draws oxygen to the skin’s surface, resulting in that radiant glow.

3. Make a to-do list or write in a journal

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Image: Thinkstock

Sometimes, we are stressed because we have a lot of things we need to get done, or a lot on our minds. Writing down the things on your mind will truly help you feel more relaxed, and writing out a to-do list with dates and plans for execution is sometimes all it takes to offload that stress. Journalling is also very therapeutic. Writing down what you’re feeling and transferring your thoughts onto paper helps you let go of stressful thoughts and move on to something more positive because in a sense, you feel as though you’ve written out the closure. The act of writing can help you de-rationalize fear, and let go of anxiety. Pick a spot outside or inside where you feel comfortable, and start writing.

4. Float

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Image: Float House

Vancouver’s Float House is something remarkable to try if you’re stressed. As they explain to those who inquire: Imagine a space where you immediately relax as you float in the perfect temperature of water. You won’t feel anything, nor will you see or hear anything. The tank’s extremely unique environment is designed to allow for a minimal amount of sensory input to enter into your nervous system, which is incredibly de-stressing and a great natural relaxation technique. Floating will also promote positive visualization and deep-breathing, both known to calm the mind and body.

5. Exercise

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Image: Thinkstock

Exercise is known to reduce stress, but what types of workouts are best for a stressed-out Vancouverite? Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness offers stress-busting workouts in the form of group fitness classes that are sure to put you in a great mood. Their group fitness classes involve both cardio and strength, accompanied by feel-good music, and are perfect for stress. Exercising will release endorphins which are both mood-enhancing and stress-reducing.

After working hard at the gym, it feels natural to go home and relax – the two simply go hand in hand.

6. Get a head massage

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Image: Thinkstock

Head massages are incredibly relaxing. There are many nerve endings in the head, and a head massage therefore releases feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. It is common to go into a trance during a head massage – that’s how relaxing they are. Ask your roommate, boyfriend, or girlfriend to give you one if you’re feeling stressed. Don’t have that option? You can also get an amazing professional scalp massage from Juice Salon in Yaletown They accept appointments for just scalp massages! Or you can get your hair done and include the scalp massage for an extra relaxing treatment.

7. Listen to classical music while taking a hot bath

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Image: Thinkstock

The heat from your hot bath will be calming (try adding bergamot or lavender soap to the bath water for an extra-calming effect). Listening to classical music during your bath will slow your heart rate and decrease stress hormones, and this type of music has a very soothing effect on the brain.

8. Watch a comedy

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Image: Thinkstock

Watching either a funny movie or one of your favourite funny TV shows can help distract your brain from anything stressful going on in your life, and laughing is a great way to de-stress. It’s not just the comedy itself that relieves stress, though. Your body’s positioning matters, too. Make sure that you are leaned back into your couch while you watch a comedy, and not sitting up as if the phone is about to ring. Drink a chamomile tea to help calm yourself as you enjoy your show or cuddle up to someone you love who is known to have a calming effect on you.

9. Engage in activities that require the use of your hands

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Image: Thinkstock

Think knitting, rock-climbing, or beading a necklace. Hands-on activities such as these free your mind in a sense. According to health.com, “As your hands and fingers begin to fall into those familiar rhythmic moves, it sends a signal to your brain that immediately relaxes you and makes you feel grounded.” If you have an after-work hobby that involves the use of your hands, engaging in that activity when you get home will help you relax.

10. Get some fresh air

Photo Credit: Bal Realty Services

Image: Bal Realty Service

Vancouver has some of the freshest air you’ll ever breathe, and getting fresh air is a great natural remedy for stress. Deep breathing is great for reducing stress, and if you’re going to breathe deeply it may as well be outside at one of our beautiful parks or near some plants or flowers. Vitamin D is also an important natural component for de-stressing. Talking a walk outside and getting your body moving also can help you to think through a problem. Walking outside will release endorphins, reducing the stress hormone.

11.Yoga

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Image: YYoga

Yoga is a natural remedy for stress for a variety of reasons. The instructor will guide you through deep breathing exercises, which is important for calming the nerves – and not everyone is great at doing deep breathing exercises properly on their own. YYoga is a great place to do yoga since they have a relaxing environment in general, not just in the yoga room. Most of their facilities have a relaxing sauna as well. They believe in the art of connecting to yourself in class, so that you leave class feeling healthier, happier, and less stressed.

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About the author

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Erica Gordon Erica Gordon Majored in Psychology at UBC and has a passion for writing and journalism. She works in the glorious dating industry and moonlights as a freelance writer. You can read more of her articles and get an inside scoop into the minds of both sexes on her awesome advice column TheBabeReport.com or follow her on Instagram @ericaleighgordon.

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