Do you ever have one of those days where you wake up feeling off and know it’s going to be a fight to keep your shit together for the next 18 hours? You can feel the emotions brewing inside, a physical sensation that is scratching at the surface wanting to be let out. RAGE. Every little annoyance adds to the feeling, the irritation keeps building and building, forcing you to be stronger and stronger. But a person can only be so strong.
Today was one of those days for me. I’m not exactly sure what causes these feelings in me. It could be PMS or lack of sleep. It could be the moon for all I know, but whatever it was, it was here and making me fight to keep it together.
This day in particular started off like most days, up at 7 rushing around to get the kids up, dressed, fed and out the door by 8. While nothing bad in particular happened, just the business of the morning was enough to give the rage something to hold on to.
Traffic has been absolutely crazy here this week, yesterday it took us twice as long to get home from work. This usually doesn’t bother me but yesterday it did, and those feelings rolled over into today and had me anticipating another brutal ride home.
The rage was brewing.
During morning coffee break my co-worker and I went to the local coffee shop for our Friday coffee and it was super busy. I am not generally an anxious person, but the noise in there made me cringe. I couldn’t take it, the incessant chatter felt like it was eating away at my soul. It made me feel like I was going to snap. Deep breaths Sarah, deep breaths.
At work time seemed to stand still. Time seemed to stand still. The rage settled in leaving me feeling irritable and edgy all day. Soon enough it was time to face the rush hour traffic to make our way home. Thankfully, thankfully, it was a smooth ride and we made it to daycare at our usual time.
Ahh. We made it. The rage subsided a little bit, until I saw the daycare supervisor waiting in the hallway. She motioned to me to come over.
Not today, please, not today.
It turns out there was an incident at daycare today involving my son and another child, and he was thisclose to being written up in an incident report. School has been in session for just over a month and he’s already on strike 2. I won’t go into details on what happened but it was not good.
RAGE. discipline. tears. RAGE.
At this point I was at my limit. I knew I had few options to get this under control. I could go for a nap, which is my usual coping method, but I really didn’t want to do that today. A stiff drink will help me relax, but lately alcohol also likes to wake me up at 4am. I lay there wanting to sleep but unable.
I decided to experiment with something new to help me release those pent up feelings.
My first step was to find out which essential oils I could use to help me deal with these feelings. I opened up the Daily Drop App and plugged in the emotions I was feeling.
Tense. Angry. Anxious. Rage is not an option.
The app suggested Passion, Forgive, Peace, Balance and Serenity.
I don’t have Forgive or Peace so those weren’t an option, and Serenity is great for bedtime but not my choice for what I was planning to do next, so I chose to use Passion and Balance. Both of these oils are favourites of mine as they’ve often helped me in the past to change my mood. I rubbed a drop of Passion over my heart and took a few deep breaths from my cupped hands. It’s spicy and sweet. Next was a drop of Balance rubbed into my shoulders to help me relax and feel grounded.
The next step in battling the rage was to go for a run. Running often helps me release the negative feelings of the day, so off I went with our dog. While out on the path I remembered about something that I had heard of recently. I couldn’t quite remember the particulars but I knew the gist of it.
I was about to partake in my first intentional “Forest Bath”.
Now this may sound a little woo-woo for some, but please hear me out. Shinrin-yoku – the Japanese concept of ‘forest bath’ lets nature wash off stress. Studies have been done to prove that taking a walk in the woods can help lower stress, reduce high blood pressure, improve mood, increased energy level and more. Google it, you’ll see.
Wikipedia explains it as –
A forest bathing trip involves visiting a forest for relaxation and recreation while breathing in volatile substances, called phytoncides (wood essential oils), which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from trees, such as a-pinene and limonene. Incorporating forest bathing trips into a good lifestyle was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan. It has now become a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity in Japan.
Now I already know that being in nature is good for my soul. One of my favourite things to do is to go for a walk in the woods and just breathe, and listen to the silence. Tonight I did it on purpose, with the intention of relaxing and releasing the rage.
Living in the city, I don’t have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a forest so I ended my run in a small wooded area that is not too far from my house.
Using nature to release the rage.
Slowly I walked the path, taking deep intentional breaths. Breathing in the smell of the leaves and the trees. Calming my mind and my body. I found a sturdy tree, leaned up against it and settled in ensuring my back was fulling touching the tree. I tend to carry my emotions in my upper back and I wanted to make sure my back had contact with the tree. Closing my eyes, I visualized myself releasing my negative energy into the tree. Breathing into the rage, into the feeling in my body and exhaling it. I visualized the anger and frustration leaving my body with every out breathe, into the tree and into the ground. Leaving my body and being released back into the earth.
I know this may be “out-there” for some but it really helped me tonight. Leaving the forest I felt a lot better.
I made my way home and drew myself a hot bath with Epsom salt and lavender oil. While I felt better after my walk in the forest I still needed to relax. Lavender essential oil is great for helping to relieve anxiety and stress and is one of my favourite oils to add to a bath.
25 minutes later I emerged from the bath feeling much better. Relaxed and grounded, I was able to enjoy my kids while they played with their homemade slime and I can feel the joy returning to my heart.
If you suffer from feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, rage, etc. please know you are not alone. Life is not easy, and each day brings different challenges for us to overcome. Choosing how we deal with these emotions is up to us.
If you would like to learn more natural ways to deal with stress, anxiety and the like, please join me on My Facebook group.
Peace & Love my friends. xoxo