We’ve all heard the warnings from our doctors, our friends, and the various experts who wag their fingers at us from the newspaper and TV every day:
- It’s important to relax!
- Relaxing will help you deal with your anxiety!
- Relaxing is good for your health and your peace of mind!
- Learning how to relax will help you to decrease your blood pressure!
- You will lose weight and feel better if you can just relax!
Sure, no problem! But if you’re already wound up, frustrated, upset, tired, or anxious, how can you relax?
The Mayo Clinic has a good article about how relaxation helps your body. The article includes several excellent relaxation techniques for you to practice as well.
However, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of the little things which can also help us relax. Doing something kind, just for yourself, is essential to your stress levels. The ability to cope with the demands on your time improves when you come from a calm, centered place.
There are lots of quick and easy ideas for how to de-stress and relax, and they don’t need a lot of time or attention. For example, I’ve done a lot of little things this week which have really helped me to de-stress. Give some of them, or all of them, a try! You may find that some of these work for you as well:
- Stand up and do a big, full-body stretch.
- Go for a short walk (five minutes works).
- Go to bed early, when the kids do, and read for a while.
- Sit back on the couch or chair, close your eyes, and be silent for just two minutes. Set a timer if you’re afraid you will fall asleep.
- Go to gocomics.com and read your favorite comic (my favorite is Rose is Rose)
- Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and instead of drinking it while multitasking, spend a few minutes and simply enjoy it mindfully.
- Email a friend–you get bonus points if you set up a get-together, like going to breakfast or meeting for coffee.
- Put on your favorite music while you work–wherever you work.
- Go outside for a few minutes and just breathe.
- Take a moment to watch the trees swaying in the wind.
- Drink a glass of water.
A photographer and author that I enjoy, Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks, also happened to write about reducing stress this week. I thought that it was serendipitous, and invite you to read her article, Top ten ways to reduce stress right this very minute.
Then go do something nice for yourself. You’ll feel better, and calmer, for having done it. And don’t you deserve it?
What quick and easy things do you do to relax? As always, please consider sharing those in the comments section below.