How to de-stress at home

Life is a whirlwind! Always changing, speeding up, then slowing down….then inevitably speeding right back up again! It’s exhausting! In the midst of this glorious chaos, do you ever feel like you need some time to check out and get pampered? That sounds wonderfully luxurious doesn’t it? Well, I’ve got some good news for you, it’s just within your reach and you don’t even need to leave your home and nor spend a fortune (#winnning ). charcoal

I’m sharing some of my favorite “go-to’s” for when I need to get some spa-laxation at home. I hope you’ll give these a try!

1) Quiet time – I can be quite the energizer bunny when I want to be. Between running errands & chores, parenting, working out, and building my health coaching and Beautycounter businesses, I can get myself worked up into a serious self-induced tizzy. Often times this causes me to unnecessarily stress myself out. It’s not a good look…Can you relate? When I get into this state I know how important it is for me to take a time out and just a few minutes can do the trick to help me hit the reset button. Typically when my son takes his afternoon nap, I jam in as many things as I can off my to-do list at home, tackling laundry, tidying up, answering emails, etc. More recently, after a friend of mine (who is a mother with two young children) reminded me that parenting is a truly 24 hour job, I realized that it was ok to use some of my son’s nap time to have some quiet time for myself even if it means simply sitting down and flipping through a magazine or spending 10 minutes in quiet meditation. Being that I am a stay-at home mom, I have the luxury of this built in time during the day and can use it when I need to. Of course, I fully recognize that not everyone’s day or life is like this. Some other moments where you may be able to take some time to yourself is during your bath/shower time and before you go to bed. Take the time. You need it and you DESERVE it.

2) Yoga– My relationship with my yoga practice is always changing. I find that certain times of my life allow for more dedication, formal classes at a studio, and regular practice. But lately, I’ve found that less is sometimes more (or honestly all I can squeeze in) and a few sun salutations will really bring me back down to earth. If that’s not in the cards for me I’ll do some light stretching on the floor and rest in a few poses for as long as it feels good. Some favorites include “legs up the wall” and “child’s pose.”  Both are truly restorative.

3) Mask & Scrub – Out with old and in with the new. Skin, that is! There’s no reason why you can’t give yourself a great facial or body treatment at home. Sure it’s not EXACTLY the same as having an esthetician perform the service but I can assure you that if you use great products during your “quiet time” you can reap the benefits all on your own. If you are short on time, combine your mask and scrub experience in the tub! Right now, I’m loving the charcoal mask by Beautycounter and use that weekly. It’s awesome at drawing out impurities in your skin and has a cooling peppermint feel. For my scrub, the Beautycounter Lustro Body Scrub is divine. Truly, it smells like heaven in a jar. Nothing feels better than scrubbing off the day with this citrus smelling scrub and the silky smooth feeling you get afterwards!


To shop these items click here.

4) Soothing sippers– I often drink tea several times a day depending on my mood or need for a pick me up. Sometimes a cup of tea is just what you need to satisfy or calm you during an anxious moment. Personally, I don’t discriminate on most of my teas but just like produce, it’s good to look for organic teas when possible. I love the brand Aloha! Also, be aware of caffeine. For those who are easily made anxious, caffeine can hurt you more than help you.

In the evening sometimes a “sleepy” time tea will do. Something with chamomile or valerian root will help me settle into a calm state of mind. But, If I’m feeling particularly stressed I love to mix up a glass of Natural Calm. Natural Calm is magnesium supplement that helps to balance out your magnesium and calcium balance and provides a natural assistance for stress relief. I love the raspberry-lemon flavor and it’s delicious both hot and cold. You can learn more Natural Calm by clicking here!


5) Aromatherapy – Essential oils became a part of my life in the last few months thanks to a fellow health coach, Julie Sanella. Julie introduced me to the many benefits of essential oils and I soon I began diffusing essential oils in my bedroom in the late afternoon and early evening. Certain oils have healing properties but for me a simple lavender scent really does the trick. Then I met “Peace” an oil blend made by Doterra. My first whiff of the scent immediately gave me a feeling of PEACE and so for me, diffusing this oil in my bedroom in the evening is such a treat and really calms me down for a restful night.


* Please remember that herbs, supplements, and oils can sometimes interact with medications and are not always safe depending on a specific health conditions, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Pay particular attention to what is or isn’t safe for children. Always educate yourself first and consult your physician to be on the safe side.

Now that you’ve read some of my favorite spa-laxing tips and tricks, I hope you’ll take sometime for yourself to try some of them! If you want to super stack these for an ultimate R&R session then try these tips one evening as a relaxation routine:

1) First, diffuse some soothing essential oils in your bedroom and set the tone for the evening.

2) Next, draw a warm bath.

3) While you prepare your tub, in the privacy of your bedroom/ bathroom, stretch or practice an easy yoga flow.

4) Apply a mask then enjoy a nice loooooong soak.

5) Try a body scrub using circular motions and moving upwards towards your heart.

6) Dry off and moisturize.

7) Get ready for bed, sip on something soothing and snuggle up


5 Ways Yoga Retreats Change Your Life

Paradise in Paradise…or 5 Ways Yoga Retreats Change Your Life by Melinda Abbott

Since 2012, I have traveled to study, teach and lead Yoga retreats in some of the most stunning natural beauty the world has to offer.


While practicing and teaching yoga, I have rediscovered what is wonderful, beautiful and awe-inspiring about life.  I cannot express how transformative this has been. Make sure you read all five. 

  1. We need eye candy! Nature is beautiful.  We as city dwellers need nature.  We need oceans, dirt, trees, flowers, plants, birds and all manner of living things to remind us of how perfect the natural world is, and how blessed we are to be able to enjoy it. Nicaragua is a great place to go to see abundant, vibrant nature. My next retreat, April 22-28th 2016, is in Nicaragua. J What are you waiting for?
  1. Retreats chill you out! Actions that are selfless generally produce better outcomes than actions that are selfish.  This is because with every action we are creating and projecting our world.  If we create and project a world where we are kind, compassionate, selfless and thoughtful, we suffer less.   We are rewarded with experiences of peace, feelings of love and a bountiful stream of blessings, prosperity and feelings of unity rather than feelings of division, manipulation or guarded self protection.  This takes practice, patience and the right atmosphere.  We are often up against social norms that tell us how great it is to succeed at the expense of others, and how being nasty, spiteful, vengeful and selfish is empowering, and being kind and of service to others is weak and leaves us open to pain and hurt.  This shift poses a question only you can answer:  Do you feel good around people who are mean, nasty, self-serving and seeking only power, revenge and control?  Or do you feel good around people who are kind, thoughtful and generous?
  1. Yoga is awesome! Teaching and practicing yoga is a noble, humble and honorable pursuit.  Sometimes in the competitive, high stress world of winner-take-all and survival-of-the-fittest, we forget that there is more to life than being “the best” or “the only” or “elite”…What about the space to enable peace and tranquility?  How about providing relief from tension, pain, chronic agitation and worry?  What about engaging not only the physical body, but the emotional, spiritual and energy body as well?
  1. We let our imagined limitations control us! What we seek, I believe, is control over the mind.  We often take a circuitous route to control the mind by first attempting to control the body.  We may live in a state of subtle or very obvious chaos, where whirlwinds, discomfort, dis-ease and often irrational thoughts of likes/dislikes/preferences only serve to limit us. Imagine for a moment if there were no concept such as “I am just not a morning person”  or “I could never do that pose, it’s too hard for me”  or “Yoga and I just don’t mix, I don’t have the time, and it’s too far away, too expensive, too scary” etc, etc…Think of all you could accomplish if you didn’t buy into that!
  1. We need support! We can’t do it alone, usually.  I was fortunate to meet a new lifelong friend, runner, yogi, professor and just beautiful person.  We met almost every day for a 5:30am run in the spectacular hills and countryside of Costa Rica prior to our schedule of asana practice and lectures. Imagine if I confined myself to my perceived limitations!  I didn’t even bring “running sneakers”…I made it work because I wanted it to happen.  A tranquil run through the countryside alongside an inspiring and amazing person is just too incredible of an opportunity to miss!  And guess what? My mind said “don’t run, sleep in today…sleep, so nice…” I learned to discern what mental messages nudged me further towards who I want to become, and what messages kept me grounded in limitations.  And I harnessed the power to choose.  You can do the same.


Below is a link to an excellent article about the science of addiction.  You don’t have to abuse drugs or alcohol to relate to having habits which we cannot seem to break, or tendencies that we wish we could overcome. It is a short read, with a wonderfully concise summary of how the breath can stimulate the relaxation response via the practice of yoga.  I recommend it.

So when are you signing up for your next retreat? Because you CAN change, all you have to do is move towards it. Join us April 22-28th at Buena Vista Surf Club, in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua for a week of amazing transformation. $195 is all you need for a deposit. Click to get started. See you there!


melinda2Melinda Abbott is a Yoga teacher, health educator and all around nice person living and smiling in NYC. She is excited to lead her fifth Yoga retreat to Nicaragua April 2016. She is an Adjunct at Hostos Community College, CUNY and a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University. She loves any and all cute animals and making people feel good and excited about transformation. Find her on instagram @melindababbott, and her website,