Everyone knows stress is bad for you. Your doctor tells you, your spouse tells you. Stress can cause all kinds of physical problems and can ultimately affect your ability to accomplish the many things you need to accomplish each day. However, you don’t have time to relax, right? Wrong! Here are some things you can do between meetings, appointments and errands to relieve your stress.
Warm up. Brew a nice cup of fragrant tea. While it brews, run your hands under warm water and pat them dry, and then wrap them around your mug. Put your face right over the mug and inhale the aroma, letting the steam open your pores and soothe the tension out of your face. Concentrate on feeling the warmth travel through your body and relax your muscles.
Breathe. Find a quiet place to sit and close your eyes. Breathe deeply, focusing only on the breath as it enters your lungs, carries oxygen throughout your body, then leaves again. Be sure to keep your breaths slow so you don’t hyperventilate! If you start to feel light-headed, breathe normally for a few minutes.
Tense and relax. Sitting down, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Starting with your feet and working your way up to your face, concentrate on first tensing, then relaxing, each muscle in your body, one at a time. Keep doing this until your whole body feels relaxed.
Escape. Close your eyes and picture yourself doing something you love-hiking through a fragrant pine wood while birds sing overhead, canoeing down a rushing river with the roar of the rapids in your ears, or cuddling with your favorite person or pet. If you can really go, all the better!
Stretch. Stand up and walk around a little, then take a few minutes to stretch your tight muscles and shake them out.
Take a break. It can be tempting to stay at your desk and work through that pesky project, but it’s important to take care of yourself and take a break. Even if it’s just for two or three minutes, walk away from your desk. Get a drink, go outside and walk around the building or in a tranquil setting–anything that will get your circulation moving and clear your head a little. You will be refreshed and more able to concentrate when you get back to your desk.
Following a few quick relaxation techniques can help clear your mind so you can be a better wife, mom, employee or friend. Before you can do anything for anyone else, you have to take care of you!