It is not uncommon to see someone you know, perhaps your friend, a family member, or a colleague whose demeanor is looking unusual, and you show concern by asking the question: ‘why is your appearance looking so dull today?’ and their reply goes ‘it is stress’.
Recently, I attended a meetup where young women discussed ‘creating balance’. In the heat of the discussion, one woman mentioned that she was on an official assignment to a psychiatric ward and found that the leading cause of psychosis in women admitted was stress.
I was both alarmed and pained.
The term stress seems to be something everyone takes for granted but its effect on our physical, emotional and mental well-being is often disastrous.
More women than men are prone to stress partly because besides the everyday hustle to support the family income is the added responsibility of taking care of the home front.
Many studies have confirmed that stress could lead to deli-bating diseases like high blood pressure (which is constantly on the rise in recent times), heart attack, nervous breakdown, and many others. Hence, there is an urgent need for us to take the matter of stress very seriously.
Stress cannot be eliminated completely, however, here are six ways to manage it.
KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE WORK BEHIND
Some women are naturally workaholics, while others are in the hustle just to outdo their contemporaries in terms of material acquisition.
Whichever end of the divide you find yourself, be kind to your health and long term well being, you have to know when to stop.
LEARN HOW TO RELAX
Some people know when to unwind after a hard days job while some people see it as unnecessary. For example, I have a friend who stays glued to his laptop watching one series or the other after work and I get so angry until he explained that it was one of the ways he cools off after a hard days job.
Whatever works for you, make sure you go for it.
STRIVE FOR BALANCE
It has been emphasized more often than not that being busy does not translate into being productive. To increase your productivity, prioritize your activities and determine when you have reached your limit.
ASK FOR HELP
This is especially for those who have the perfectionist syndrome. They believe no one can do it the way they can. Sister, if anything happens to you, there will be someone else who will do the job better than you, so put your health first.
Leave those things you can delegate to someone else at work, outsource some tasks if you can afford it, and ask family members and friends to help out as a way of reducing your workload.
PLAN AND PREPARE AHEAD
We all know how what last-minute tension feels like. you begin to sweat profusely, you get jittery all over. To avoid this kind of scenario, do things well ahead of time.
LET GO OF WORRY
I have a friend who says worry is her recipe for losing weight.
Worrying over an issue does not get the problem solved. Worry and anxiety tend to the release of stress hormones in your body. Rather than worry, pray, believe and take the steps you need to solve the problem.
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An average African woman is strong. There is no argument.
Her strength is not basically physical. She is emotional, mentally, psychologically and spiritually strong. Nobody expects her to need an escape, once in a while.
Naturally, mental health or exhaustion is mostly not discussed in Africa (we are improving but not yet).
Nobody likes to be labeled “abnormal” or “possessed” due to being bi-polar, depressed or schizophrenic.
It always baffles me when I say I am mentally tired and people ask “how?”. Some even go ahead to suggest that I might be possessed. LolMental health and wellbeing are often overlooked because they are not physical. They do not show up in blood or urine tests, neither do they have noticeable symptoms.
Therefore, we sometimes see it as a shameful thing and never admit that as women, wives, employees, employers, business owners, we need some escape space.
Truth is, whether you are a working-class woman or you own a business, There are moments when you want to forget everything and have a brief respite, escape.
Regardless of your state or status, there comes a time in everyone’s life when we just want to drop the reins and unravel in peace for a little while.
We might not all get enough time for a long respite but, in-between the day, we can steal bits of escapes to help us power through the day.
I have over the years developed quick escape spaces that help me zone out at times when I get overwhelmed. Here are some of them:
The power of music cannot be overemphasized. There have been more times when I get overwhelmed with the work on my desk and the work waiting for me back home (i run a business too).
Right there on my desk, I plug in my earphones, sit back for 2 minutes and listen to something. My go-to choices are slow blues or classical music. Beethoven’s is a staple.
It gives me a little reprieve and escapes. Little is enough
I have loved sappy romance novels from when I was 8 years old. It took me a while to understand that they provided an escape for me.
Right now as I type, I have an appointment with one chapter of a sappy romance novel.
It is a long day.
I cannot count the number of days I have gotten home, work on my business and snuggle under the blankets for an old movie. I mostly end up falling asleep most time, but for a while, the whole world falls away.
Me time means different things to different persons. It could be an alone moment with your thoughts or a 2-minute cup of tea. There are long “me times|’ and short ones.
It could be savoring a piece of chocolate while at your desk or a reasonable drink after work. Personally, I take snatches of “me time” whenever I can.
Just me. No work, No business.
In this second month of the year, we may have done a lot and still have a whole lot to do. However, let us remember it is okay to escape briefly, unwind and revive.
Plan your dream vacation and work towards it.
Take your mental health seriously.
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Spa Pampering At Home (S.P.A.H) was founded by Kemi Bawa-Allah, who is also the lead therapist of the company and has been practicing her craft since 2010. She started her training as an apprentice after which she sought formal training and then returned to an apprenticeship position.
All of this training spanned a period of 2.5 years before she decided on starting her own mobile spa service. She is dedicated to her profession and service to wellness advocates, rookies to massage, and those interested in how massage influences beauty.
Kemi has a diploma in Beauty Therapy, she is an infant massage instructor and an aromatherapist who is committed to learning and proffering touch as a solution to improved world wellness.
In this interview, Kemi tells us about her company, and her commitment to learning and proffering touch as a solution to improved world wellness.
Tell us about S.P.A.H
S.P.A.H is a beauty and wellness outfit focused on helping you be your best self with an array of mobile spa services and products delivered to you wherever you want.
S.P.A.H has a brand culture of delivering calming and meticulous massages, which stands us out of the crowd of relaxation professionals in the industry.
Their highly trained, empathic and intuitive therapists deliver mindful massages using the finest carrier oils, blended with pure essential oils for their aromatherapy qualities. S.P.A.H’s table set-up selection of sheets and towels are inspired by Buddha traditions of zen and feng shui.
The innovative idea behind S.P.A.H
S.P.A.H is a venture that is built around customer experience and the belief that a spa experience is not a luxury. A spa treatment should be part of your commitment/journey to being your best self.
Choosing not to have a brick-and-mortar spa and instead, delivering that experience to customers in their own comfort space allows the best part of a spa treatment to last even longer.
This not only means that we are keeping the company lean, it also means that we are able to focus on what is most important – the customer experience. This also allows us as a brand to reach many virgin spa users who had previously considered spa services out of their pocket reach.
Would you consider S.P.A.H as a social venture?
We are creating increased awareness of the need for a relaxation culture that is focused on wellness. This is why we offer self-massage workshops, guided meditation and aromatherapy sessions at private events, workshops, fairs, and exhibitions. We call this the S.P.A.H experience.
Our guests get an immersion experience that is filled with soothing and calming moments and relish the impact this can have on their daily life and general wellbeing.
We are also curating wellness boxes targeted at cancer patients. People who have been diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers would usually commence a journey full of anxiety and turmoil.
We want our wellness boxes to help bring a little pixie dust to their lives. These boxes will contain aromatherapy products from our collection and other sample products sourced from other wellness companies.
A percentage of proceeds from the sale of each box will go towards funding onsite massages at chemotherapy lounges in cancer centers across the country.
Who are the people you cater to and how have they received your service?
Our customers are those who have chosen a more personalized and convenient service. We are able to provide our service when and where the client wants it. We are able to consistently match clients and therapist based on their specific needs, giving consideration to their lifestyle and stressors.
Our customers love the S.P.A.H experience, the convenience, and our holistic approach. We have a maintained a 95% customer retention over the last 5 years.
How did you come up with the idea of organizing relaxation events for individuals and organizations? Has this always been the company goal?
Relaxation events which we call the‘Pop Up Spa’ was part of our growth model. We identified that we needed to reach a new market demographic that was not as self-aware as the market we were currently serving and we identified that the way to reach them was by creating these experiences.
This was easy for us because S.P.A.H was created to bring these experiences to our customers, so yes you can say that this has always been the goal. Our approach was the same even though we were now looking to attract a new target market.
We are creating a cohesion in the wellness industry with wellness practitioners to provide a complete experience. Our relaxation event offers aromatherapy workshops, talks with nutritional experts/ nutritionist, yoga classes, pilates classes, meditation classes and massage services.
In what way have you diversified your products to suit your market?
We have created DIY relaxation kits, such as our aromatherapy box, containing essential oils in 3 notes, a personal oil burner and tea light candles which are the perfect starter pack for introducing aromatherapy.
This introductory guided experience for our customers is increasing their awareness and resulting in the use of essential oils for wellness and relaxation.
Aromatherapy provides a natural, holistic and non-toxic way to promote wellbeing and relaxation.
Tell us 5 DIY daily relaxation advice you always recommend to your clients.
Try self-massages: the acupressure points in the hands and feet are just waiting to be touched to give immediate relief from the stress and anxiety and promote relaxation.
Use aromatherapy on the go: especially peppermint essential oil, essential oils have an immediate effect on the mood, use your essential oil in a roll-on bottle blended and apply to your pulses, inhale deeply and feel relaxed immediately.
Take a tea break: you should actively take a break from work every 4 hours, especially if you have a very stressful and sedentary job. Use your break time to have a mug hug, try a decaffeinated herbal tea, like lemongrass tea, and if you must have caffeine try a green tea.
Take a power nap: yes close your eyes from all the stimulation, keep your phone on silent and take a 10-15 minutes nap. Wake up refreshed ready for the other half of your day.
Breath: simply breathe to promote relaxation, take slow deep breaths and keep your awareness to your breath and relax.
How can people interested in your service contact you?
With just one phone call to initiate our seamless booking process, you can choose the time and venue for your relaxation experience. Visit our website, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.