Woman smelling essential oils

Chill out on Jan. 23

One of the most stressful days of the year has to be the day when holiday credit card bills are due. All the holiday cheer wears off and you're left vowing to make next year a homemade gifts-only affair. If you're currently mired in a mess of post-holiday anxiety you can look forward to at least one day of relaxation.

Aura Cacia, producer of essential oils and aromatherapy products, is launching an initiative to encourage the entire nation to take a collective moment for themselves at noon on January 23, which they call "The National Moment of Chill."

Why we need to chill out

We all get stressed out, but this time of year seems to be particularly tense. It's for this reason that Aura Cacia is working to create a movement in which millions of Americans make a point to relax and breathe deeply, all at the same moment. The progressive-minded company is encouraging harried, stressed-out Americans to collectively break for 15 minutes at noon on Monday, January 23. Many consider this particular Monday to be the saddest day of the year -- New Year's resolutions are abandoned, holiday bills come due and the fun and excitement of the holidays are over. In other words, it's back to reality for most of us.

"Each year we start off with good intentions: we'll lose weight, exercise and relax more. But it soon slips away into our constant state of fast-forward in which we are ricocheting from one commitment to another and multi-tasking ourselves into a downward spiral of exhaustion," explains Jane Merten, senior brand manager for Aura Cacia in a statement about the initiative. "This lifestyle is not sustainable, so we're asking the nation to take a collective deep breath."

Get involved in the chill

You can learn more about the National Moment of Chill by joining Aura Cacia's Facebook page. There you'll be able to pledge to chill, find friends who have pledged and sign up for a chance to win free essential oils and other personal care products to help you relax. "We're calling on everyone within range of our tweets, Facebook posts, website and emails to join us in our movement," says Merten. "Just chill out for 15 minutes on the 23rd. Inhale neroli oil to provide clarity, inner strength and improved awareness. Take a walk, stretch, practice yoga, massage lavender on your temples, meditate, play with your dog or hug your loved one a minute longer." Do whatever makes you feel good and forget about stress for a while.

Five more of our most stressful days of the year

Aura Cacia also recently formed a blue ribbon panel called the Committee of the Stressed. The panel includes a wide cross section of people, including parents, people with long commutes, workers with micro-managing bosses, college students and more, to share what they feel are the six most stressful days of the year. After input was received and votes tallied, the following days made the top of the list, along with January 23.

  • April 12: The final days before the tax deadline
  • July 24: Typically the hottest day of the year
  • September 4: The day back from Labor Day weekend
  • November 5: The day before Election Day
  • December 22: The last Saturday before Christmas and the shortest day of the year

Tell us

What's your most stressful day of they year? Let us know in the comments below.

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