If you’re looking for some quick and effective ways to manage stress and promote relaxation in your busy life, know that it’s easier than it seems. And what’s more, incorporating these simple stress management techniques into your daily routine can improve your overall well-being and make you feel more balanced and centred.
Here are five ideas (+1) under five minutes that are worth trying:
1. Stretch your muscles
When you’re stressed, your muscles can become tense and sore. Take a few minutes to stretch your neck, shoulders, and back to release tension. Focus on static and dynamic stretching techniques such as neck stretches, high knees and spinal twists. Studies show that stretching and movement provide proper circulation, increase oxygen, release tension and calm your mind.
Check out some of these exercises.
2. Take a walk
Walking is a great way to clear your head and get some fresh air. Take a short walk around your office or outside your house during your break, and focus on your surroundings. Pay attention to the sights, sounds, and sensations around you to help you feel more present and less in your head.
“Taking a walk during the day can provide multiple benefits for your physical and mental health”, explains psychologist Paul Hessels. “In addition to allowing you to take a much-needed break from work, it can also improve the quality of your sleep. Exposure to sunlight during the day helps your brain to recognise that it’s daytime, which in turn helps to regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. So if possible, take a few minutes to get outside and soak up some sun – your body and mind will thank you for it!”
3. Listen to something
Music can have a powerful effect on your mood and emotions. Create a playlist of your favourite songs or short podcasts that help you feel calm and relaxed, and listen to it when you’re feeling stressed. You can even use headphones to block out distractions and create a more immersive experience.
4. Drink some tea
Tea can have a calming effect on your body and mind. Brew a cup of your favourite tea or herbal infusion and take a few minutes to savour the flavour and aroma. This can help you take a break to pause from your thoughts, realise anxiety and even improve your sleep quality.
5. Visualise a calm scene
Take a few moments to close your eyes and imagine a serene and calming scene, such as a beach or a forest. Focus on the details of your surroundings, like the sights, sounds, and scents, and allow yourself to become fully immersed in the experience.
6. Find your personal favourite
Do you enjoy cooking? Plan your next recipe! Or perhaps you are a keen gardener? Water your plants or buy some fresh flowers. And what about that book you can’t put down? Take a few minutes to read ahead. Whatever makes you feel good can be an incredible tool to help you effectively release your stress. So, choose something that you enjoy and that aligns with your identity – it will stick more!
Why not give stress relief a go?
Stress management doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. Practising these simple techniques can help you reduce your stress and enhance your daily well-being, even when you only have a few minutes to spare.
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to stress management. Experiment with different techniques and discover what works best for you. So, the next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a deep breath, try one of these ideas, and see the difference it can make in your day. Why not give it a try?