Life is stressful. Stress comes from an endless list of sources, including health issues, money worries, relationship problems, and a ton more. Of course, it can also come from some of the good stuff. Loving wedding planning but overwhelmed by the amount you have to do? That’s stress. Enjoy being a mum to three small kids but still need a break now and then? That’s stress too.
Whatever the source (or, let’s be real, sources!) of your stress might be, spending a little time releasing it can only ever be a good thing. But if you’re under stress, the chances are that regular spa days and massages simply aren’t in your vocabulary. You need something to calm you down in the here and now. By using one or more of these quick and simple relaxation techniques, you can learn to calm yourself down even in the midst of all the chaos.
1. Two Minute Meditation
It’s okay, there’s no need to get your yoga mat out (unless you want to!). For a quick yet calming few minutes, simply stop what you’re doing and sit down (or even stand!). Close your eyes and empty your mind. Focus on your breathing and bodily sensations. If you have trouble ‘not thinking’, try counting backwards from 100.
When you’re feeling anxious or het up, the pressure and body warmth of your own touch can be a calming influence. Place your hand on your chest for a few moments and just concentrate on your heartbeat and your breathing. This moment of mindfulness and comfort can really help in times of stress.
3. Deep Breathing
An oldie but a goodie. Breathing deeply allows more oxygen into your system, helping to clear your mind and relax your body. Breathe in through your nose, slowly and deeply, allowing your diaphragm to contract. Hold for a few seconds then exhale slowly through your mouth, pulling in your stomach at the same time.
4. Herbal Tea
Herbal teas have many beneficial properties, all of them different. Chamomile is the most well-known for its calming effects, but if that’s not your cup of tea (sorry), other teas, such as Linden, can be great too. If you can, try to stop what you’re doing while you drink it and focus only on the tea for a bonus mindfulness session.
5. Epsom Salts
Having a bath will probably take more than five minutes, but if you’re having one anyway, try adding some Epsom salts to the water. This magnesium sulfate has been found to relax the muscles and promote detoxification. Which is a pretty sound combination if you ask us!
Sometimes, something as simple as a walk can do wonders for clearing the mind. You don’t have to go far; if five minutes is all you have, then it will do just fine. Wander up the street and back or round the garden. A little exercise and the change of scenery will do you good!