Don’t forget to breathe
In your stressful daily routine, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush. Even your breathing can be affected. Shorter, shallower breaths can lead to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and feelings of tiredness and lightheadedness. Teach yourself to breathe slowly and purposefully by taking a 5 minute break, a few times a day, to practice breathing exercises. Find a seat, get in a comfortable position, straighten your posture, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose to the count of 5, then exhale through your mouth to the count of 5. Repeat for a few minutes. Feel the relaxing sensation as the increased oxygen flows through your body.
Relax on a tea break
For a quick relaxation fix, take 15 minutes to enjoy a hot cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile has naturally inflammatory properties, and is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Plus, the soothing warmth of a hot cup of tea does wonders to calm the senses.
Give yourself a quick massage
There’s nothing better than a luxurious massage…but it’s not the kind of treat you have time for on an average day. You can still enjoy the benefits of a quick self-massage to calm the nerves and relax stiff muscles. Apply your favorite hand lotion and spend a few minutes massaging your hands. If you have the opportunity, why not take off your shoes and give yourself a quick foot massage too?
Rest your head & your mind
If you’re dreaming of a leisurely afternoon nap, and you have the opportunity – take it! There’s nothing like a short nap to rejuvenate your mind and body for the rest of the day. If you’re too busy to rest, even a few minutes of visualization can help. Make yourself comfortable at your desk, or wherever you are, and visualize your head resting on a soft, fluffy pillow. Even a few minutes of mind relaxation can be enough to get you through the day.
Release the pressure
You know that feeling where you just can’t take the stress anymore, so you naturally rub your temples, without even noticing? There’s a good reason for that. Tension tends to gather at certain stress points in your body. Common areas are the temple and jaw. Don’t wait till the stress builds up. Take a few moments every now and then to massage your temples, or focus on the pressure point on the brow bone between your eyes to release your tension fast.
Stretch it out
If you’ve been sitting cramped at your work desk, or behind the wheel of the car, the best thing you can do to relax tense, wired muscles is to give them some room to stretch. Stand next to your desk, lift both arms above your head, link them together, and stretch your torso up as much as you can. Feel the muscles elongate, your back straighten and your chest unlock. It just takes a few seconds but makes a world of difference.
Refresh your mood with a splash
If you need to calm down and reduce stress, use the simplest thing at your disposal – cold water. Retreat to the bathroom and splash some cold water on your wrists, and the back of your neck. If you have a small washcloth, soak it in cold water and rest it around the back of your neck. This will cool the major arteries and soothe your circulation for a fast relaxation effect.
Repeat, repeat, repeat
There is something comforting about repetitive action. It gets your mind and body working in rhythm, and distracts you from a jumble of stressful thoughts. If you need to unwind, choose a rote activity and do it until you feel the relaxation being to flow. It could be anything – like brushing your hair, washing the dishes, knitting or walking laps around the garden. It’s your choice.
Put in on paper
When the stress mounts up, you might feel overwhelmed or even a tad confused. The best way to make order of your life and your feelings is to write it down. Keeping a journal gives an outlet for your emotions, so they don’t get the better of you. And keeping “to do” lists makes all the daily tasks easier to handle. Don’t underestimate the power of a pen and paper.
Dance the day (or night) away
Dancing is well known to lift your heart and brighten your mood. It’s the combination of physical movement, great music and rhythmic sensations that leave you feeling fantastic. If you need an excuse to dance, here it is – dancing is shown by research to reduce tension and anxiety, and increase the flow of feel-good endorphins in your body. So go for it!
If you’re dreaming of a leisurely afternoon nap, and you have the opportunity – take it! There’s nothing like a short nap to rejuvenate your mind and body for the rest of the day. If you’re too busy to rest, even a few minutes of visualization can help.