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Stress in small doses can be invigorating and challenging, pushing us to do our best. But how many people do you know lately that have only a small dose of stress? Not many I’ll bet.
So how do you find ways to combat the effects of stress? Those tense, tight shoulders, stiff neck, and jaw-clenching reactions to being worried, angry or just generally overwhelmed.
Here are a few quick tips to help you feel better right now. Do them one at a time, or put a few together, just be sure to try them all so you know what works best for you.
- Breathe. Take a few deep relaxing breaths, inhaling deeply, expanding your belly outward like a balloon, and deflating again as you push the air out through your mouth. Do this 5 – 10 times for an instant lift.
- Stretch. Have a sore back or achy muscles? Try a quick stretch break. Stand up and reach high above your head. Bend down and slowly touch your toes letting your spine realign into a more natural position. Here are some simple stretches you can do right at your desk.
- Use aromatherapy. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Keep a pine-scented car air freshener hanging near your desk. Put in a Glade scented oil plug-in if there’s an outlet nearby. Lemon and citrus scents energize tired minds and especially useful at work. Or use scented lotion and gently massage tired muscles.
- Quiet time. This is an easy one to overlook. Taking as few as 5- 10 minutes alone in a silent, peaceful location can revive an overworked mind. Take a few minutes of calm to retreat from the pressure and come back more focused and relaxed.
- Prioritize. When we need fast relief, nothing is quicker and easier than a good to-do list. Often tasks get added to our day and we feel overwhelmed and frustrated. When things are piling up, take a step back and list what you have to do. Organization will make your day easier and you’ll get more done.
- Happy List. Take a few minutes and list things that make you happy – even if they’re not happening right now. Reliving joyful memories – thoughts of kids, your spouse, a favorite fishing hole or even hitting a great sale can give you a positive boost. See an example here.
- Get outside. If you can manage it, go outside for a few minutes. Listen to the birds, smell the flowers, watch the clouds roll by. Nature’s slower pace is soothing and the change of scenery helps take your mind off your worries.
- Funny pages. Most everyone has a newspaper handy and can read their favorite comic strip. You can also find the on the Internet at Go comics.com. Keep a list of jokes in your desk drawer or a use a 365 day calendar.
- Music. Music calms the savage beast. Remember that old Bugs Bunny cartoon with Bugs soothing Taz with music and song? It works on the rest of us just as well. Whether calm and restful smooth jazz or loud and fast rock n’ roll, music affects our mood. So put on your favorite CD and enjoy!
The best stress relief tip is simply to begin. Relaxation can be as simple as taking a hot bubble bath or as complex as planning a week-long spa retreat. Make a list of the ideas that sound good or work best for you and start rejuvenating your mind and body today.
Here are a few other web sites to help you get started: