Okay everyone, let’s get a little more personal in today’s post. While I’ve shared an abundance of my life on YouTube over the past six years, everything goes through an editing phase. I take out my “ummmms” “ahhhhhs” and general feelings of frustration when filming doesn’t go my way. Luckily, I have editing programs that take out all those annoying snippets, so you don’t have to see them!
I’m a (recovering) stressful person. Throughout my life, I’ve always found it difficult to remain calm in situations of pain, discomfort, and disappointment. Remember that movie, Mean Girls? There’s a scene where Lindsay Lohan describes her inability to stop talking as “word vomit” – I’d say that’s the best way of describing stress. You feel stressful emotions coming up, but you find it near impossible to relay those feelings in an unhealthy, stressed way.
Over the past year, I’ve been developing a few different ways to reduce my stress level, and I want to share them with you. These are approaches and products that work for me & my life, so feel free to let me know any of your own tactics in the comments section below!
Stress Reduction Tip #1: Shut those lights!
Whenever I’m feeling stress, and this could be for a variety of reasons (lack of sleep, back pain, arguments), I always find that placing myself in a quiet & dark place is ideal. Especially in today’s world, we’re constantly staring at LCD screens with plenty of ongoing stimulus; while we might think that distracting ourselves from stress would be the solution, it can often make things worse (especially for me!).
Here’s what I do! I place myself in a small, dark room – this could be a bedroom, or even a bathroom – and I play rain sounds on YouTube. The darkness from the room allows my eyes to get a stimulus break, and the quiet white-noise from the rain sounds calmly distracts my mind momentarily. After 15-20 minutes of calmness, I usually find that my stress has reduced, and I’ve received a new perspective on the situation. So much of the time, our stress holds us back from seeing alternative perspectives.
Pro Tip: if you type “ASMR” on YouTube, there’s a whole community dedicated to calm sounds that may help reduce your stress!
Stress Reduction Tip #2: Go for a sweat!
Specifically, a yoga sweat! I started taking hot yoga a bit more seriously over the last six months, and I try to attend one class a week. There’s a reason I recommend hot yoga over traditional workouts or cardio: you can’t access your phone! Most hot yoga studios have a no-phone policy, which can be great for social media obsessed people like me! 🙂
Additionally, the heat from a hot yoga class feels incredible! It allows your muscles to warm up and stretch out much easier than a traditional yoga class. After a hot yoga class, I’ve often experienced a lower heart rate and a better nights of sleep – and sleeping is what?! FUNDAMENTAL! Contrary to what you may expect, the strenuous exercises do actually result in a reduction of stress.
Stress Reduction Tip #3: Use the right products!
This month, I’m trying Icy Hot® muscle pain relief products to show you some of the benefits they provide for muscle pain. Since a lot of my job involves sitting (while writing, filming, editing, and posting), it’s quite easy for me to experience back and shoulder pain.
The Icy Hot® Advanced Pain Relieving Cream has 16% menthol and 11% camphor, which are the highest allowable amounts on the market, making it the strongest pain relief cream available with those ingredients. They also offer a Medicated Patch & Medicated Spray, depending on which format you prefer to use.
Predictably, I had some lower back pain about two weeks ago. My shoulders were quite sore from the previous day’s workout, so I didn’t want to overextend my arms and shoulders to apply the cream or patch. I was so ecstatic that Icy Hot® offers their muscle pain relief products in a spray format, which allowed me to apply the product without much effort. Soon after applying, my pain was reduced in half, and shortly after that, I didn’t feel any discomfort at all. The product starts off cool, then switches to hot (then back and forth a few times), which helps keep your mind off the pain!
For me, less muscle pain is less stress. I’d highly recommend trying their products next time you feel muscle pain. #RELIEFISICYHOT (Always read and follow the label)
Stress Reduction Tip #4: Get that fire going!
This may seem like an obvious tip for some, but lighting essential oil candles can be so so so calming for our bodies and minds. In the same way as a dark room can help distract and calm our visual senses, essential oil candles are incredible for our aroma senses.
My favourite essential oils are lavender, sandalwood, and rose! If candles aren’t your thing, you can get the essential oils themselves & massage a drop or two into your temple area of the scalp. Feel free to tag this tip along with tip #1 for added relaxation! 🙂
Stress Reduction Tip #5: Don’t do it alone!
Almost always, I find that talking about my stress can make me feel less stress. I’ll often chat with my partner, Chris, or call my parents over the phone if I’m feeling stressed about something that just won’t let up. Often enough, I find that talking about what’s going on in my head can help put situations into perspective. What initially felt like the end of the world feels more like a minor setback when I put things into perspective. If you don’t get an extra perspective, you just become an echo chamber for your own negative thoughts. Even if physical pain is causing your stress, it’s much easier to feel like you’ll never get past the discomfort if you do it alone.
I know I mentioned ASMR already, but there are a handful of great “ASMR role plays” on YouTube targeted towards people experiencing stress. If you feel like you need some personal attention, but don’t have a partner or loved one to talk to, some digital “attention” might do the trick.
Michael Rizzi is a 24-year-old YouTuber & blogger from Toronto, Canada. Follow his blog for up-to-date & fresh content on a weekly basis!
This post was sponsored by ICY HOT. All opinions are my own.
For any questions, concerns or comments regarding the ICY HOT product line, please contact: ch.canada-ConsumerCare@sanofi.com