Just Breathe

Most of my life I have struggled with sleep. More specifically, with having a restful nights sleep. I would toss and turn every night and when I finally dozed off, I would be so tense that I ended up developing TMJ. I would wake up with a sore jaw and migraines constantly. The hardest part is you can’t help it. You’re asleep and you don’t even know you’re that tight.

I tried everything I could over the years and somehow landed on taking either ZZZQuil, Benadryl or Melatonin every night to fall asleep. Looking back I’m shocked at what I let become the norm but hey, we all would give a million dollars for a good nights sleep right? I remember telling my doctor that I take Benadryl to sleep and she responded with the most serious face and said “please stop”. It was the only thing that worked for me but overtime I started to have some side effects that were alarming.

For one, I started having extreme anxiety just out of the blue which I learned can come from any one of those meds. That alone made me want to throw it all away. I’m a worrier on a normal day, so I didn’t need anything heightening that. I found out that stuff can really have a hard effect on your nervous system. Then came the vivid dark dreams. What’s the point of going to sleep if you’re just going to have nightmares. I also started to become reliant on needing something to sleep.

Did you know that melatonin is really intended to treat minor sleep disturbance like jet lag to help get your sleep pattern back? Yet we see it in everything these days and more and more children are given it because, let’s be honest, it works. However, at what cost. I also learned that yes, your body does produce melatonin which is why people think its safe BUT when you’re constantly taking it, your body stops producing it thinking it’s already there. Doesn’t sound that bad right, except when you stop taking it and now you can’t sleep because your body isn’t producing the amount you need. It’s a viscous cycle.

Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to try a more natural approach. That’s when I hit Google hard. I discovered all about aromatherapy and ways to calm the nervous system naturally. Aromatherapy has a major role in this. Makes sense though, what’s the first thing you notice when you walk into a spa, the smell. That aroma hits the nose and instantly

you exhale a little more and your shoulder start to drop. They get it. So that’s what I needed, a spa-like atmosphere in my home.

I tried yoga and meditation but honestly, I couldn’t get into it. I would get distracted trying to do the moves perfectly and missing the whole point. Not to mention I’m not flexible so there was that. I did enjoy the cool down parts though. That’s what I take away from all that, the part where I can lay still, dim the lights, light my aromatherapy candle (eucalyptus is my favorite), play spa music and throw a warm heating pad on my face and just breathe. The amount of tension I would feel melt away was amazing.

I know what you’re thinking “really, lavender oil cured you? Get real”. No, it didn’t. I still struggle with it but I know the importance of having a cool down session before calling it a night. For me, I NEED that. It completely makes or breaks my sleep quality. It feels good though to take a break and smell the pillow mist that I sprayed on the heating pad so that I could think happy thoughts while ocean waves play. It gives my brain a chance to let go and just breathe. We need that for nervous system and mental health.

The Stress Relief Collection is a representation of that struggle which is why it’s so near and dear to my heart. It is a collection of items that have worked for me and products I’ve found useful. I hope you find as much relaxation as I have with these and you best believe if I find something that works I will pass it on to you. We are in this thing together.

Love Kim

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