April is Stress Awareness Month. Let’s just say, we’re all very aware of our stress right now, so it couldn’t come at a more poetic time. Anxiety lurks with every essential journey outside the house, and the news we read from the so-called comfort of home isn’t helping things either.
Still, we don’t have to let the dark side of our minds overwhelm us. During these unprecedented, uncertain and difficult times (did we miss any there?) it’s important to stay physically and mentally active in order to keep stress levels down, now more than ever (there we go!).
Medicating with cannabis is just one science-backed method of putting your mind at ease. We don’t necessarily recommend smoking a pre-roll and just staring at the walls for days on end, however. Here are a few simple activities you can partake in from home to help the anxiety melt away and form healthy habits that will last well beyond the current world situation.
A favorite technique of Navy SEALs training for holding their breath underwater, box breathing (or square breathing) is a meditative practice that can offer relief in as little as a minute. Start by picking a number - this will be what you count to during each “side” of the box. We recommend three or four to start so you don’t tax your lungs right away. Then, while sitting with good posture or even lying down, inhale through your nose while counting to your number, getting a nice full breath you can feel in your belly. When you reach your number, hold your breath for the same length of time. Then release it slowly, again counting to your number before holding it again at the bottom of the breath. Repeat as many times as necessary until you feel all warm and good.
What it’s doing: increasing CO2 in the blood, which helps regulate your nervous system and calm you down.
You don’t have to bend yourself all out of shape to get the mental health relief of yoga. Even if you’ve never rolled out the mat before, you can ease into many simple poses that lower your body’s natural stress responses. In some studies, yoga was even found to lessen physical pain in those who practice. So where to start? How about in child’s pose, in which you sit on your knees and gently fold forward. Or if you’re feeling more balanced, try standing on one leg with the other bent so your foot rests against your inner thigh (tree pose). You can even do what you’ve gotten really good at during quarantine, which is lying on your back with your eyes closed in ultimate relaxation. Yes, that’s yoga - savasana to be precise. Just be sure to focus on your breath throughout.
What it’s doing: releasing muscle tension to relieve physical discomfort brought on by stress. Deep breathing can also stimulate a relaxation response to bring you out of perceived danger.
There’s a reason why all your friends are posting pictures of their recently completed 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles on social media. It’s not a “mindless” activity to pass the time; in fact, the cognitive benefits of puzzle solving and similar brain games are quite profound. When you’re deep in a flow state searching for elusive corner pieces or filling in a pattern of color, you’re not thinking about the outside world, thus becoming a true meditative experience. There’s even research that points to puzzle-solving as the missing piece (sorry) to delay the onset of dementia. And here you thought you were just making a picture of a cat.
What it’s doing: Keeping your mind engaged on a task releases dopamine in your brain, which stimulates your memory.
Medicated bath bombs
We believe there are few activities more relaxing (and more underrated) than enjoying a joint while soaking in a bubble bath. It’s the shower beer of modern times. But let’s say you want to medicate with warm suds but not get high smoking buds - what to do? Light that candle, because you’re about to discover the blissed out joy of cannabis-infused bath bombs. Making either CBD or THC bombs can be relatively simple, and adding cannabis is as easy as dropping ¼ teaspoon of oil or tincture to your mixture. With terpenes in your tub, you’ll start to sink into the muscle-relaxing and mind-easing properties that cannabis is known for, now with a little added color.
What it’s doing: Cannabis oils ease inflammation in your muscles and joints, plus they’re great for dry skin from all that hand washing.
For those that still want the joint - make sure you check out our Promotions page all April long!
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