When we’re feeling frazzled and exhausted, a day by the beach could definitely calm our nerves. However, there isn’t always time to get tanned, let alone sleep. But we don’t always need a whole weekend to relax and unwind, in celebration of Relaxation Day this August 15, here are 15 ways you can relax and relieve stress in just five minutes or less.
Have a cup of green tea
Before you turn red with rage, get green with a cup of herbal tea. Green tea is a good source of L-Theanine, an amino acid known for its calming effects. So make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy every soothing sip.
Breathe in and breathe out
This is probably the simplest way to relax. Slow, deep breaths help lower our blood pressure and heart rate. Go the extra step and try pranayama breathing; it’s a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. This technique is said to work the same way as acupuncture which balances the mind and body.
Slurp Some Honey
Swap your stress with sweetness with a spoonful of honey. Aside from being a natural skin moisturizer and antibiotic, honey is also rich with compounds that reduce the brain’s inflammation – combating depression and anxiety.
Lay Your Head on a Pillow
There are days when all we really need is a nice, long nap. But we can’t always snooze in the middle of the day, especially when we’re at work. However, what you can do is have a pillow handy in your office and do this visualization technique whenever you feel you’re tired and stressed out. Lay your head down on the pillow for a few minutes and imagine it’s a sponge sucking out all your worries.
Close Your Eyes
You can close your eyes, it’s all right, as said by James Taylor. Closing your eyes is an easy way to regain calm and focus, and take a quick break from a busy office or a chaotic household.
Not everyone needs a cabin the woods, but five minutes of time alone can help you collect your thoughts and clear your head.
Give Yourself a Massage
Giving yourself a hand massage is an effective means of instant relaxation. It’s also helpful especially to those who are constant typing on a keyboard. Hands, in general, can carry a lot of tension. Apply lotion and knead the base of the muscle under the thumb to relieve stress in your shoulders, neck, and scalp.
Squeeze a Stress Ball
Squeezing a stress ball is an easy, portable and non-violent way to relieve tension on days that you want to strangle your BFF or your co-worker.
Listen to Your Favorite Song
Whether it’s Beyonce or Justin Bieber, sometimes belting out the lyrics to your favourite song makes everything seem all right. Listening to music that you like can be a quick fix for any bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
Brush Your Hair
Even if you’ve already done your 100 strokes for the day, repetitive motions such as running a brush through your hair, washing dishes, or knitting can help your body relax.
When things get hectic, take a five-minute break to do nothing but stare out the window. Looking at the sky and trees can be a lot more relaxing than staring at a TV screen.
Clutter like a stack of papers, tape dispensers and a bunch of misshapen paper clips could be contributing to your stress. Take a few minutes to reorganize your desk or table and leave out just what you actually need.
Write It Down
“Dear Diary: Today I feel STRESSED.” By simply putting our emotions in writing, we can make them seem less intimidating. Try journaling before a big exam and it just might improve your score.
It takes no time to drop some lavender, peppermint or other essential oil into your palm and inhale. These soothing scents help send stress and anxiety packing by stimulating smell receptors in the nose that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotions.
Stretch it out
Relieve muscle tension in your body by standing up for a quick stretch during a stressful workday. Do some shoulder-roll outs or a chest opening stretch right from your office chair.