Guest post by Indian Gary-Martin, Work Wellbeing Ambassador

Let's face it, Americans are pretty stressed out. In the U.S. money and work are often cited as the main drivers of stress and the prevalence of illness is increasing like never before. Companies large and small are trying to figure out creative ways to help employees relieve stress which has the added benefit of increased happiness which leads to increased productivity.

According to the American Psychological Association, time, or lack there of, is also often cited as a key source of stress. 4 in 10 U.S. adults say that they don't have enough time to do everything they want. Trying to find the time to have fun and relax is challenging in today's working environment. The bar for performance and differentiation is ever-increasing resulting in employees putting in more time to stand out and get ahead.

It is in the best interest of companies large and small to encourage habits and create environments that reduce stress and increase mindfulness. Though companies are certainly culpable for many of the stress-related ills that employees face as a result of tighter deadlines longer working hours and downsizing, it is also incumbent upon employees to make choices that support them looking after themselves.

It is a common Aromatherapy Associates mantra that self-care is the new health care. Accountability for setting boundaries, deciding to take the walk at lunchtime and making healthy food choices are just a few items on the self-care checklist. Using products that facilitate wellness is an essential part of any workplace wellness toolkit. Essential oils can help boost energy, increase attentiveness, help you to relax and even help you to sleep! They are portable and can provide a lift as quickly as you can roll oils onto your pulse points or inhale their transformational fragrances.

The occurrences of stress create conditions in the body that lead to disease which leads to illness and in some cases, death. Stress is a silent killer and its manifestations; heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes (driven by eating- a common source of stress relief) and others are often managed by treating the symptom with medication as opposed to addressing and managing the source. Environmental stressors, that is the things that are outside of our immediate control and that cause emotional triggers can be incredibly difficult to manage- creating a cycle of stress that can be challenging to break.

The news, however, is not all bad! The good thing is that wellness remedies from meditation, to exercise to herbal supplements and topical products are all around us. Companies are offering programs that support the wellbeing of their employees in an effort to provide address environmental stressors for which it is often responsible. These efforts don't stop the stress from occurring, but can certainly provide a level of relief that makes it bearable. 

So, what does all this mean? It means that we are each responsible for ensuring our health and wellness. We spend many hours of our day at work and managing the stress is paramount to living longer healthier lives. Eat well. Rest well. Plan well. Be well.

The following is a list of my favorite Aromatherapy Associates products that help me to relieve stress:

De-Stress Muscle Gel- Great for my tired aching muscles!
Deep Relax Roller Ball- Instant relaxation that I roll onto my pulse points.
Relax Room Fragrance- Creates a mood in the space that I am in that encourages me to relax.
De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil- Bath heaven!