As life becomes increasingly stressful, more and more homeowners are opting to include a relaxation area in their home. Traditionally, people went to professional spas to be pampered and wind down, but having a relaxation station at home allows you to come home after a hectic day and find pea
ce and well-being.
To create your home relaxation station you will need to choose soothing colours for your walls and accessories. This area is all about peace and gentleness. Choose soft comfortable furnishings, and add relaxation music and gentle aromatherapy oils. Your décor needs to be calming and everything should contribute to making the area harmonious. Browse online at Super Amart Australia for furnishings, accessories and wall art in soothing greens, beiges or blues. Lavender will work well too.
Colour plays a very important part in setting the ambience of a room. Your relaxation station should be painted and decorated in gentle tones. Avoid bright colours like red, yellow and orange. These colours stimulate rather than soothe and will have the reverse effect of softer tones. You are aiming for a Zen-like simplicity, so be minimalistic with colours. In other rooms of the house you will often add a bright chair or painting to a neutral room. Don’t do this in your relaxation station. Everything needs to be tranquil and anything brightly coloured will negatively impact the calming level of the room. Lighting too should be gentle. Natural light is best but soft lamps or lights with a dimming switch will also work well. Fluorescent lights are completely wrong for a relaxation space.
When deciding on furnishings for your relaxation room, think about the kind of furniture you would find in a professional spa. This is the atmosphere you are trying to create. Go for comfortable chairs or couches, seating that you would be happy to lounge on with a good book. Furnishings should be minimal and are best kept to the perimeters of the room to create a simple, spacious feel that evokes peace.
Smells and sounds can do a lot to increase the relaxation effect of your space. A noisy room will not work well. You need to pick a place that isn’t disturbed by outside traffic noises or the sounds of the television. Add pleasant sounds to the space. A water feature will work well as the sound of running water is very soothing. You will also need a CD player and some carefully chosen music. Relaxation or quiet instrumental music work well. Buy an oil burner and aromatherapy oils. Again go for gentle rather than strong scents. Smell the tester bottles at your local health food or new age store and find something that resonates with you. Some scents are designed to invigorate, things like citrus for instance. These are not suitable for the relaxation station. If you are unsure you should ask the shop assistant which scents are for calming.
Once you have created your relaxation station you should try and take time each day to enjoy it.
Labour can be an uncomfortable, painful experience for many women. Of course the end result is worth it – you have your own beautiful bundle of joy! However, pain relief can be necessary, as some women find it too much to bear. There are many different options out there, from natural methods of relief to more medical forms of relief. Ideally, you should construct a birthing plan to help you, but it’s important to keep an open mind – birthing plans never go fully to plan! Here are the different methods of pain relief available to you during labour, and more information about each:
Image Author: Flickr
Self help is a great way to relax yourself in labour, which can help you cope better with the pain. Self help includes:
- Learning as much as you can about labour to ease your worries. Go to antenatal classes, watch programs, speak to your nurse/midwife/doctor, and read books.
- Learn how to stay calm during the process, breathing deeply.
- Trying different positions that feel right for you.
- Bringing a partner or relative to support you.
- Having a bath.
Hydrotherapy is basically being in water during labour, and this can make the whole process feel less painful for you. Ask if you can have a bath, or use a birthing pool to make things more bearable. The temperature will be comfortable but not above 37 degrees.
Gas and Air
Gas and air is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It won’t remove all of the pain, but it can make things more bearable. Women usually like this method as it’s easy to use and they feel more in control of the situation. You’ll take slow deep breaths through a mouthpiece as a contraction begins.
Pethidine is usually injected into the thigh or buttock and can help you to relax, which will in turn help you to feel less pain. The effects last between 2-4 hours, and it takes about 20 minutes to work. There are some side effects to be aware of with this kind of injection, including:
- Sickness and forgetfulness.
- Can make it difficult to push if it hasn’t worn off by the end of labour.
- Making it difficult for the baby to have it’s first feed.
Some hospitals allow you to use their TENS machines, or you’re free to rent one. They are most effective for pain relief during the early stages of labour, where pads are placed on to your back. Pulses are then sent from the machine, and these are thought to help your brain release more endorphins, lessening the pain. They are also thought to distract you from the pain you’re in and help you to feel more in control.
An epidural is a local anesthetic, and numbs the nerves that carry pain impulses from the birth canal to the brain. An epidural can give complete pain relief for most women. It’s helpful in women who are having a very long labour, or those who are getting stressed. There are side effects, including:
- Loss of feeling in your legs.
- Dropped blood pressure.
- Prolonged second stage of labour.
- Finding it difficult to pass urine.
- A sore back.
There are other methods of pain relief available during labour, but the methods above are the most popular. Discuss other methods with your midwife or doctor and decide what’s best for you!
The Formula One racing seems to be one of those “Marmite” things; you either love it or hate it. Personally, I love every minute of it and can’t wait for the new season to begin, perhaps more so than ever before.
That’s because the required designs for the cars have undergone their most sweeping changes for a generation. Firstly, they need to embrace green technology so the 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 engines are out and 1.6-litre V6 turbos are in. There’s also a fuel limit of 100kg, roughly 130 litres – down from 150kg or so last year when there was no such limit. Also, engines must now consume fuel at nothing above 100kg per hour.
But the new engines will be hybrids, using ‘energy recovery system’ which harnesses kinetic energy from the back axle during braking through an electric motor that harnesses energy from the turbo which would otherwise be wasted as heat.
Such big changes will mean the results for the first few Grand Prixes could be all over the place as constructors and drivers get to grips with the new technology in real race situations. This is fun for those of us who enjoy a bet on Formula 1 now and again as the races could throw up some pretty anomalous results.
Currently with Betfair, for example, Sebastian Vettel remains a firm favourite to win the opening Grand Prix in Melbourne on 16th March. He’s also less than 2-1 with Betfair at the time of writing to retain the driver’s championship.
These look like very short odds given the huge technological changes required – and there are even more that we haven’t mentioned like the lowering of the noses of the cars, making them look like enormous anteaters. Then there are the exhaust changes which require a single, central exhaust pipe exiting over the gearbox, so the previous usage of exhaust gases to boost down-force is no longer possible.
This will, arguably, hurt Vettel-Red Bull more than anyone else – so the cards really are up in the air and a longshot on Betfair – with a few to laying the bet back at shorter odds as the season progresses looks to be the shrewdest bet – and it all adds to the fun if you’re a “love it” kind of person when it comes to F1. .