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Challenge! De-Stress Me In 14 Days

Posted by Lucy Page 1

Brand Manager Lucy set a challenge to de-stress herself in 14 days (with lots of help from the Neom Wellbeing Board)

Evening

The moment I arrived home, I spritzed the entire downstairs with Real Luxury™ Room Spray & Pillow Mist. This hour of madness is always a challenge. Dinner is being cooked, my other half is still answering work emails, and we're both trying to entertain a tired and irritable 3 year old. We needed a therapeutic scent to disperse quickly throughout the house, to instantly create a calm environment.

After dinner, I continued my challenge with easily the most enjoyable part, a deeply relaxing bath filled with Scent to Sleep™ Bath Foam bubbles. (Was this really part of the 'challenge'?!). Bath The hardest part was keeping my little boy from jumping in and splashing. This little pleasure relaxed my muscles, rid tension from my body and I was a whole new calm mum when reading the bedtime story. I'm convinced it made him a little calmer and sleepier too (*mums take note*)! There's even a study which suggests lavender has relaxing properties which improves the mother/baby bed and bath time ritual, resulting in relaxed mothers and calmer babies too. (Any excuse for a 30 minute soak in the tub).

After my little boy was asleep, I lit my Tranquillity™ Scented Candle and went into the 'Viparita Karanai' pose. This is when you lay on your back with your legs up the wall and breathe for 10 minutes - sounds simple, but I loved it and it gave me the excuse to not do anything but close my eyes, lay down and breathe (how often do you get to do that?). A final spritz of the pillow and a scribble in my note book for 2 or 3 things I was grateful for that day and I was off to sleep at roughly the same time every night - which, due to pregnancy, always seems to be 9pm at the moment. This combination really worked for me and I fell asleep with ease, which is unlike me.

At Work

Working in an open plan office, I found the mindfulness part of my challenge a little tricky. To make sure I stuck to it, I made myself a little note (like an open and closed sign) and during my 2 minutes 3 times a day, plugged in my headphones and put up my sign and closed my eyes. Every day at lunch I'd head across the road to Nuffield Health where I spent 30 minutes swimming and took a 5 minute sauna. Sitting at a desk all day, like most I imagine, gave me back ache and tension in my shoulders (and made me a bit grouchy) but taking that time to clear my head and release tension from stressed out muscles made a massive difference and is something I will continue to do.

Mealtimes

Next to report on is the food. Breakfast and lunches were easy to manage - yoghurt with berries or porridge with a splash of cinnamon and a little agave syrup made the whole family happy. I've found a new love for hummus and toasted pitta bread (the entire office got a sniff and went and bought their own) and nut butters on Salad sourdough (I actually ended up blitzing up my own from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe which was super quick to do).

Dinner wasn't so easy, saying words like 'bulgar wheat' or 'salmon' would turn my other half's nose up, but we managed to swap in wholewheat pasta and added plenty of leafy greens to make it work.

The Weekend

Another easy one to report on was having the Neom De-stress Wellbeing Spa Treatment. Who doesn't love a massage? But this one wasn't just any old massage. It was out of this world. I got myself booked in with our therapist and she adapted the moves perfectly for pregnancy. I felt like every inch of my body (from face to foot) was considered in order to effectively de-stress, with meditation and reflexology foot sequences, and some of the most unusual massage moves I have ever experienced, I literally felt like my body was floating when I emerged for a peppermint tea. Highly recommended for the ultimate de-stressing.

The last night of my programme was time alone. I booked a babysitter (my little one slept at his grandparents) and took my other half out for a surprise. We had fresh sea bass at a beautiful local pub. It actually was a great way to reconnect and not be working parents for a while. And we didn't feel much guilt.

The Verdict

Do I feel de-stressed in 14 days? YES! Do I know why? Yes. Perhaps the moral to this story is making time, each day, to make yourself feel good. Being consistently plugged in isn't good for us, and perhaps I was trying to do it all.

Here's what I'd recommend:

• Take time to take a bath alone and make it work twice as hard for you with added oils from Neom.

• Take a lunchtime swim and tell everyone in the office that's where you're going - switch your out of office to read "I have unplugged and will be back shortly".

• Book yourself in for regular wellbeing treatments - everyone should be making time for the right treatment, to help them feel good.

• Make 'feel good' snacks by following our Neom Nutrition Expert's de-stress diet advice. It's surprising the huge difference that the right snacks can make, no more sluggishness and mid-afternoon slump!

These 2 weeks have been just what I need to recharge, re-think and de-stress.

Do you need de-stressing? Tell us why using #NeomWellbeing or leave a comment!

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Post Comments

Set Descending Direction

Laila

posted on 5 Jun 2015 10:31:06
I'm definitely going to try the 'Viparita Karanai'pose. It looks really easy unlike other relaxation poses! Brilliant advice! I am going to try this. Can you suggest some quick and easy healthy meals for on the go? I think that if everyone took some time during the day to switch off and relax and de-stress the world would be a happier place. PS I love the scent of your Happiness candles-it made me feel really uplifted!

Christine Dodd

posted on 5 Jun 2015 10:19:52
What a lovely article. Very pertinent as I'm having a 'de-stress day' today. PJs, Neom candle lit, reading a few blogs. Bliss.

Fiona

posted on 5 Jun 2015 10:17:34
Need to follow this, I work as a nurse and 11 hour shifts , if I can get a break ...12 hour without , frequently morph into 13 hours shifts ...must go shopping and nurture myself

Bronda

posted on 26 Mar 2015 09:19:00
Actually, I realise probably for the first time ever, that I am stressed!
I'm retired, so not working, but I volunteer as a House Guide for our local National Trust property
I stand a lot or walk people around the Castle...this can be for 4/5 hours
I'm female, 66years old
I have a HUGE problem getting to sleep and staying asleep, waking early a.m... very irritating!
My body now at 66, feels a bit fragile and achey... certainly feels physically stressed... not so much mentally
Energy slumps....always at 4/ 5pm and then at 9pm
What can I do to help myself?
I don't have kids at home now, not too many demands on me and a very supportive husband
Kind regards, Bronda Parsons

Note from Neom:
Hi Bronda, thank you for leaving your comment. Our Neom Mindfulness Expert Emma Mills has a few tips for those who are struggling with stress and dips in energy:

• Daily 2 minute mindfulness
2 minutes of mindful breathing at least 3 times a day. Focus solely on your breathing, deep breaths in and out in the morning, lunchtime and early evening. When your mind wanders, as it will after about three seconds, just gently go back to your breathing. This teaches the brain to have a single focus, meaning you can go back to the task at hand with a clearer head.
• Bathe every other day
Make a conscious effort to have a bath when you can. Neil Morris, a psychologist at the University of Wolverhampton, studied 80 people who took a bath every day for a fortnight, says: "I found that bathing improved general psychological wellness radically. There was a significant drop in feelings of pessimism about the future and increases in hedonic tone, the internal feeling of pleasurability.
• Begin addressing the cause of your stress.
Do you have a ‘stress prone’ perspective on life, or is it something practical that needs addressing such as working hours, pressure at work, marital time, childcare etc. Your true source of stress isn’t always obvious. Work deadlines may be causing pressure, but it could actually be your procrastination that is causing the issue. Sit down address the feelings that go through your mind and body on a daily basis, you may begin to see a pattern emerge so that you can begin thinking about how you’re going to address that stressful situation. Ask yourself, do you believe stress is an integral and unavoidable part of your home life, do you blame third parties for your stress or do you think it’s just a temporary feeling, even though you can’t remember the last time you weren’t stressed? You need to figure out what part of you is responsible for the stress so you can help yourself manage it.

Pam

posted on 25 Mar 2015 07:55:10
I love this, for once something just for me! I have a very hectic life with small ones plus I work full time and to know that there is a range out there that can help me juggle my life as well as take care of my wellbeing is all I ask for. I may not have the same lifestyle as Lucy but no two people are the same this is what makes us unique. Thank you Neom for showing me how I can take time for myself no matter how small.

Note from Neom:

Hi Pam, thank you for leaving a lovely comment. We're so pleased that you're becoming more aware of your own selfcare, despite how hectic everything seems! It's such an important aspect of your life that a lot of people ignore (or don't have the time to focus on), so it's fantastic that you are taking time for yourself.

Olga

posted on 25 Mar 2015 07:51:58
Great blog! As a full time working mum of 2 - I am permanently 'plugged in'! These products are great! I often come home after an intense day at work and turn the diffuser reeds upside down to get the smells stronger and also spray my bed linen ready to relax...(after the dishwasher is loaded, kitchen cleaned, a route around the kids school bags for letters etc etc etc) - makes a real difference!

Note from Neom:

Hi Olga, thank you for your lovely comment. We're so glad that you're seeing the benefits of Neom...

Peggy Riley

posted on 25 Mar 2015 07:50:42
This sounds just the thing! I'm on a deadline for a book that's had a rather rocky road. I'm writing all hours and whenever I'm not writing, I'm worrying. I have real trouble sleeping through any night and feeling exhausted and fragile. Would love any ideas you might have, above and beyond the wonderful ideas on your blog. Thanks!

Note from Neom:

Hi Peggy,
Our Neom Sleep Expert Anandi has lots of interesting tips that might help aid good sleep, especially considering you're under a lot of stress lately!
1) Eat no later than 7pm if possible and eat lightly in the evening, with no caffeine. Computers and electronics should be switched off no later than 7:30pm (or 8pm at a stretch!)
2) Make your bedroom a nourishing space. Light, airy colours - make it a soothing environment and a place of relaxation and care. It should be a place where you can escape from your writing and take time out.
3) Wind down gradually like the sun, simulating the dusk with gorgeous candles and low level lighting. Remove any synthetic light.

Sarah

posted on 16 Mar 2015 11:08:35
Gosh, it is lovely to read this but it feels like a beautiful bubble in a fictional world. Nowhere near my reality: (. No nearby pool, teenage children who have all the hot water, no time to clear head to try and prioritise workload, stress at all time high. I need to be a calm presence at work and the same at home as I have a child with special needs. Finally, only finance enough for the occasional treat.... I will cling on to lying with feet up... Reading this was a lovely treat. Any tips for the priority product re relaxation and clearing mind, would be amazing. Thank you, Sarah

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