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Suggestions for relaxing, seeking peace calm

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Caretaker1 posted 4/15/2014 05:21 AM

What strategies have any used to calm your minds, get enough sleep when anxious, hurt, and worried. Prayers? Meditation music , calming teas, scents, massages, baths, exercise? Please share how you reduce your stress and anxiety and ease your mind body and spirit when faced with those moments you are not feeling so strong.

Bluebird26 posted 4/15/2014 05:39 AM

Water! A trip to the beach or water front somewhere I always find water soothing. I hate the beach mind you but love the smell and sounds of the ocean.

Exercise - walking in the fresh air gives a fresh perspective.

For sleep - My IC gave me a copy of a CD is sleep hypnosis on it, you could probably find something on iTunes for this as well. I used to play the CD when I went to bed and put it on repeat and it really helped and my bedroom was close enough to the kids so they got to listen to it too so it was win win. It was essentially about the fact that I deserved to get sleep and rest and forget about the world for enough time to drift off into natural sleep. I don't find the need to use it now but it was really helpful in the first year or so.

Finding and listening to empowering songs/music also helped too music was a real therapy tool for me.

Amazonia posted 4/15/2014 06:09 AM

yoga and running both helped for me (and I wasn't into either before DDay). Yoga let me cry; running was an outlet for my anger.

kg201 posted 4/15/2014 07:18 AM

Exercise was number one. I rock climb, and a session at the gym would help me for a day or two.

Loud, angry music in the car. Not peaceful, but metal/punk have helped me externalize my anger in an appropriate way since I was a kid, so I don't hold it inside.

I read a while back about how sensory integration therapy strategies help folks, autistic primarily, calm their bodies and minds. One type of therapy involves applying pressure to the body...the sensory part of the pressure is calming. So I started putting a pillow on top of my head as I fall asleep to add pressure. It does help some.

renee21 posted 4/15/2014 07:54 AM

Sometimes I have a glass of wine while I'm cooking dinner, so by the time I take a shower I'm more relaxed.

My other suggestion is more faith based, I read my bible and pray before I go to sleep. I also play my favorite worship music before bed especially on the nights that I'm not at peace or hurting more than usual.

Sad in AZ posted 4/15/2014 09:46 AM

Hiking saved me; being out in nature, working hard to climb the hills, experiencing different plants and animals--bliss.

Yoga helps too, but I'm too undisciplined to do it on my own. During class, though, it's a form of active meditation.

However, sleep is still elusive. I haven't fully found a way to calm my overactive mind. Well, yes, I do know the solution--I have to get my life under better control--but that's still a work in progress.

deena04 posted 4/15/2014 11:00 AM

Exercise; I run and do yoga nearly everyday. Pg now, so the running is slowing to a jog and being more careful about my yoga, but still at it and will continue to do so. I feel like jelly after doing these; it's like a stress relief / massage session. Love it!

Gemini71 posted 4/15/2014 14:42 PM

Okay, I'm horrible. I started smoking again to relax. Since I only do it outside, it makes for a nice little 'time out.' But since I don't want to get lung cancer and die...

I shall be taking up walking. I'll get my outside time outs, and help improve my health. I really need to leave the nicotine alone.

WeepingBuddhist posted 4/15/2014 15:24 PM

All of the above!!! I would also have a bottle or two of wine with a friend at least once each week. When I was having trouble sleeping, though, I listed to a CD called "Sleep Ease". It worked like a charm on the nights without wine. I found a whole series called "Mental Medicine" and really liked it.

ETA: I treated reducing stress as a part-time job, actually. It kept me sane. I did some journaling but counting my blessings was really the thing that helped me get out of bed some days. Exercise and just noticing how I was feeling without JUDGING how I was feeling was pretty crucial.

take care of yourself!

[This message edited by WeepingBuddhist at 3:26 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)]

Leia posted 4/15/2014 16:58 PM

The anti-depressants are working wonders for me right now. I've taken up yoga--there is actually a local class!!! And, I've started playing the piano again. Now that my piano is moved. Haven't quit smoking, but hey, that is on my list of things to do in NB once the D is done.

hope2014 posted 4/15/2014 18:34 PM

Anti-depressants and prescription sleeping pills have helped me a lot. I've also recently made friends with my treadmill. I have found running at the end of the day when the emotions tend to be the strongest is quit simply keeping me sane. A glass of wine and a bowl of ice cream (not necessarily together ) also help. I also found that spring cleaning helped tremendously. It may be the need to remove his aura/taint/etc. from the house, but I've found it incredibly empowering to take over the entire closet, rearrange furniture, hang up pictures, etc.

sunsetslost posted 4/15/2014 18:48 PM

My friends and family saved me. I spoke on the phone for hours post d day. Just getting it out was helpful.

gypsybird87 posted 4/15/2014 20:40 PM

Exercise helped me a lot, and yoga. Though yoga tends to make me emotional anyway so if I'm having an iffy day it can sometimes be too much for me. Massage definitely helps, both in stress relief and just having a caring human touch.

Total mental escape was HUGE for me, especially at first. I absolutely could NOT get my brain to stop obsessing about everything A related. And the constant obsessing was exhausting and sooo depressing. On a whim I starting watching the first season of Game of Thrones. Ahh! Escape at last. For that 45 mins per episode, my mind was so involved in that universe and those characters, that it was forced to take a break from my real life drama. It broke the cycle for me, and that was what I needed.

For sleep, I use an app on my iphone called Relax Melodies. If you can't find that one there are many others. You can choose sounds like rain, waves, crickets etc. It really helps me fall asleep when the *silence* is too loud.


Wishing you the peace you seek.

PhantomLimb posted 4/16/2014 08:58 AM

For about 6 mos. I couldn't get to sleep without Sleepytime tea. Eventually I found that I just didn't need it anymore. But it helped immensely for that initial push.

I can't recommend enough taking a bath with either Epsom salt or magnesium flakes. It may sound crazy, but it will relax all of your muscles and help you really wind down. Add some magnesium lotion or oil afterwards and you'll sleep like a baby.

I also ate very, very light in those initial months. Very little (or no) sugar and carbs, except from fruit. I found that eating certain foods, like asparagus, helped elevate my mood.

I have a dog, so I was walking several miles everyday anyway. I've had a busy season at work, and was unable to really work out other than that. But now that things are winding down, I'm thinking of adding yoga.

I had a playlist of songs as well that helped me relax and just be sad when I needed to.

I was in pretty bad shape for the first several months. I'd say I was in a depression and possibly suicidal for about 6 months at least. But just staying consistent with all of the above got me through it.

Hope this helps!

norabird posted 4/16/2014 10:22 AM

I just read this yesterday and am thinking about trying it out...

[This message edited by norabird at 10:24 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)]

nowiknow23 posted 4/16/2014 10:42 AM

A hot shower about an hour before bedtime. Relaxes the muscles.

Lavender is a calming scent. Peppermint is soothing.

I've been doing a lot of reading on mindfulness. Pema Chodron's "When Things Fall Apart" has been a great help for me in starting down the mindfulness path.

Ground yourself in the moment and make note of your surroundings. Pay attention to your body and how it reacts to the world around you. Feel the Earth under your feet, the sun on your face, the wind as it brushes through your hair and over your skin. Breath from your core, slowly and deeply. Feel the muscles contract and extend. Tighten and loosen. Be still and breath as you feel the tension release. It takes time and a little practice, but it works for me every time.

devistatedmom posted 4/16/2014 20:11 PM

That first year (or so) I used the tredmill I had in my basement (it died; I miss it ) to walk/run and get out my anger while listening to my "angry music". That got the anger out.

I also got a prescription for some light sleeping pills. I would ONLY take one on a non-work night, when I didn't have the kids, so I didn't take them often. BUT..just having that solid nights sleep about every 2 weeks? Did me wonders. You can think much more clearly when you are getting enough sleep.

myowndystopia posted 4/17/2014 07:34 AM

I journal. Started it in November so now it is interesting to go back and read previous entries in my journal. Some posts are full of rage, some are me being pathetic, some are boasting my accomplishments- they just vary but I do notice that through the months my posts have become more about me and less about him. I also have some devotion books I read before bed. I also have a couple of playlists that I listen to- one list is songs I feel are empowering in some way and the other is praise songs from Sunday worship service.

I have a sound machine too and like to have it on the rain noise.

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