6 Tips to De-Stress: PNW Girl Version
- Rub dried (or fresh) lavender between your fingers, rub lavender essential oil behind your ears or spritz it in the air.- I find that lavender is very calming for me. I favor applying it behind my ears and sometimes the back of my neck and make sure to take deep breaths after applying. You can find tons of products with lavender but I always use one with a good essential oil and not a artificial scent.
- Do a breathing exercise.- You can find plenty on the web, but the one that I find works best for me is: close your eyes, take a deep breath for 4 counts, hold breath for 7 counts, exhale for 8 counts, repeat 4 times.
- Read something you find genuinely entertaining or calming.- Skip researching something for school or work, a hard read or anything that brings you stress. Instead, pick up a brainless magazine, fictional book or poetry. I love Sunset Magazine, Sarah J. Maas books & mythology. Forgo anything on your phone- the digital world is a wormhole and often presents it's own stresses.
- Get out of the house and head to a coffee shop or favorite bistro solo.- Often times the places that we're stuck at the most are places we feel the most stress or are reminded of all of the tasks we need to accomplish. Leaving the house, your workplace or wherever you are that's stressing you out and grabbing a frothy, rich latte or herbal tea can be so calming when you savor the experience.
- Unplug.- You knew this was coming. SO many stresses nowadays come via our phone. We're either constantly getting beeps from friends, work or family or being reminded or unobtainable social standards such as name brand things we don't own, body standards or living standards.
- Take a solo day trip or long walk/hike to be alone with your thoughts.- THIS is my favorite de-stresser. Taking a long drive and taking a day trip BY YOURSELF allows you to think and to handle your emotions on your own. This is one of the best ways to grow and to know WHO YOU ARE as a person. If you're constantly surrounding yourself with others and never allowing yourself to be alone with your thoughts, personal development can be challenging. It also teaches you how to have confidence in doing small things like going out to eat by yourself. Drive somewhere you find inspiring like a lake or the ocean, treat yourself to an ice cream, bring a camera and capture beautiful moments that you're allowing yourself to really see, grab picnic goodies and journal or doodle while you eat. *Please remember to practice good street smarts when travelling alone. Don't get yourself in situations where you're feeling alone and uncomfortable and if something feels wrong, leave the situation immediately or call someone so you're on the phone and not alone. Pepper spray at minimum as always a good idea.*
It had been a while since I really got out by myself. I have a wanderlust heart and taking a drive used to be my favorite past time. I recently started letting laziness, house, life, money- you name it, get the best of me and hadn't been on a solo day trip in I don't know how long. Finally finding the opportunity and the fire to go, I loaded up Koda with the general inclination to head over the bridge past Gig Harbor. After that, my plan wasn't quite inked in. I knew Port Townsend was a bit far, but settled on it after feeling the craving for the history, small town vibes and beaches.
I've only been to Port Townsend a few times and each time, I've fallen more in love. A road winding through luscious farmland and sprinkled with coastal wildflowers foretells the scenic panoramas waiting in town. When it seems like you've been driving through trees and brambles for quite some time, you're finally greeted with a view of waterfront via a bend in the road on the top of the hill coming into town.
After stocking up on a few picnic provisions: water, crackers, brie, beer & doggie biscuits for Koda, we finally arrived at Fort Worden. I wish Port Townsend was closer, because this park is my happy place. Large rhodies bloom next to what looks like an old theater, historic white barracks line the entry road and wildflowers bob in the sea breeze. Koda was eager to stretch her little puppy dog legs, but I couldn't resist stopping her straightaway for some photos. I brought my camera and enjoyed simply capturing things I found beautiful and not feeling like anyone else was waiting up on me. One of the things I love most about photography is the opportunity to really see beauty in the little, unexpected things and to document others that I find inspiring. I love wildflowers and I was in WILDFLOWER HEAVEN. Koda posed for me and naturally, got a few "ahhhs" from passerby's.
The best thing about this day trip was being able to do what I wanted on my time and doing so slowly and with attention. I didn't have to rush from sight to sight, gulp down my food or brainlessly snap photos. Don't get me wrong, I love doing things with my husband, but it's so relaxing to sight-see on your own and to spend time in just your own head. I'm a firm believer that doing things on your own is healthy and builds your own personal character and confidence like nothing else.
After walking around the beach and trail, Koda and I spent a couple of hours sitting in the sand on the beach, people watching, absorbing the scenery, listening to the waves lap the beach and snacking. She even got a bite of brie. On our way home we stopped by a small farmstand in Chimacum I've been eyeing for years. I purchased some of the most sumptuous handmade citrus ginger bar soap, a homemade peanut butter cookie and small delphinium plant. A local comfortably chatted with me about the delphinium and the clerk was so friendly! (I'll link here if you want to stop!) It's so refreshing to visit a small town, with such charm and reception.
Brittingham Photography is located in Orting, Washington and specializes in natural High School Senior portraits. We also offer Britt Beauty Sessions (individual women's shoots), Lifestyle Newborn, Couples Sessions and Intimate Family Photos. Thank you for stopping by to read my little blog!
Orting, Washington Photographer