With everything going on in the world, it’s easy to get stressed. Relaxation can oftentimes feel like a luxury. These 6 simple tips below are all ideas you can implement today, to help you reduce stress, and feel more relaxed. Give them a try!
1. Practice Breathing Techniques
When babies take their first breaths, they’re full deep belly breaths that fill their lungs and bodies with oxygen. As we age and stress takes its toll, chests get tighter and our natural breathing patterns become shallow.
Dive into the art of deep breathing. Sit up straight and place one hand on your belly. Take a big deep breath through your nostrils, filling your lungs with oxygen, and feel your belly rise as you inhale. Pause for a moment, and exhale through your mouth. Repeat. Practice these deep belly breaths for up to 5-10 minutes for deep stress relief or pause at your desk for 10 deep breaths for a quick stress reliever.
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keep a gratitude journal to remember all you have to be thankful for. Gratitude cancels out negative thoughts and worries while helping you to savor the good experiences throughout your day. You may find this shift in viewing your life from a positive perspective helps you to relax.
3. Move Your Body
You don’t have to be killing it in the gym to feel the stress-relieving benefits of exercise. Moving your body in any way you please, such as swimming, yoga, a walk around the block, or some light stretching, can ease anxiety by releasing endorphins - your body’s ‘feel good’ chemicals.
If exercise has become difficult for you throughout quarantine with gyms being closed, investing in your own home gym is a great option that will benefit your life beyond quarantine. Having a home gym is incredibly convenient and takes out many of the excuses that keep people from getting exercise.
4. Quality Time with Loved Ones
Carving out some time in your day to spend with loved ones can help you relax and remember what’s important in life. No matter where life takes you, you’ll always have those relationships with your family and friends. Plan something fun everyone will enjoy like nightly neighborhood walks after dinner, or game nights so you have something positive to look forward to.
5. Self-Care Date
You can’t take care of others without taking care of yourself first. Set a time dedicated just for you, to do something that sounds nice and relaxing. It might be getting a pedicure or massage, reading a book, swinging on the hammock in the backyard, or taking a bubble bath. Take some time for just you and feel the stress slip off your shoulders.
6. Gentle Stretch
When tensions are high, you may feel your muscles begin to tighten up. Relieving tension in sore and tight muscles in just 5-10 minutes can make a world of difference. I’ve linked one of my favorite stretching routines below for a gentle muscle release.