I’m running late. I’ve spilled coffee on my white blouse. My phone is buzzing with emails and ringing off the hook. I’m too late to grab a bite of breakfast because, of course, I’ve left mine on the counter at home.
Finally, I get to work, but I’m already frazzled after my crazy morning. And…it’s only Monday!
Ever have one of those days?
It seems like they’re all too common, which is why I choose to practice relaxation techniques—to ensure the stress of my day doesn’t eat me alive from the inside out!
So if you find yourself never having enough time, never enough hands, too much stress, and too many roadblocks, I think you should try my tips. Feel like you’ve heard it all before? I dare you to try these easy relaxation techniques for one week and report your outcomes (leave me a note in the comments!).
Stretching is very important—especially for those of us who sit all day. Take a few minutes to stretch in your workspace. It will help increase blood flow and also relax your muscles. You can even practice “desk yoga” with this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAUf7aajBWE
One of my favorite things: HUMOR! When you’re on your break, look at some cute YouTube videos, listen to stand-up comedy, or think of something funny that happened. Laughter and humor reduce cortisol levels—a major factor in stress.
3. Check Your Attitude
Being negative adds to stress. Our attitude can be broken down like this:50% Genetics
40% What we create!
When you look for the good in situations, you’ll find it.
The more you practice this, the more natural it will become.
Even if you smile just for yourself, you’ll feel great! It’s also been suggested that smiling lowers cortisol levels. Interestingly enough, fake smiling and real smiling have the same effect on your mood, so even if you need to fake it, do it!
5. Reflect On Your Strengths
If you’re frustrated or in a negative situation, remember what you do well. Reflect on your strengths or a recent job well done. Take a minute to make a list of all the things you’re good at.
Remember: you’re valuable.
6. Make Time for Loved Ones
Friends and family can be a source of joy in our lives. Take a few moments when you feel overwhelmed or stressed to connect with someone you love. Send them a quick text or Facebook message telling them you love them or are thinking of them. If you have the time, give them a call or schedule a time to see them. Devote time with friends and loved ones, and make sure to nurture and cultivate relationships that bring you joy.
7. Get Moving!
Raising your heart rate can help you feel invigorated and refreshed. Even low-intensity exercise can affect cortisol levels. Feeling a wave of anxiety come on? Take five minutes to do a set of jumping jacks or walk around the block. You’ll feel an immediate change.
8. Eat a Healthy Snack
When blood sugar drops, we’re more susceptible to being cranky and stressed. If you know you’re in for a stressful day (or even if you’re not!), be sure to pack a few healthy snacks like nuts or fruit slices to keep your blood sugar at a functional level.
Kale chips are an ideal healthy snack, especially if you’re growing it yourself. Check out the recipe on our blog here.
9. Make an Aromatherapy Spray
Being creative in any capacity allows us to relax. One DIY project that is naturally relaxing for me is blending essential oils. I like using oils that are soothing and uplifting: sandalwood Santalum album (L.), bergamot Citrus aurantium (L.), clary sage Salvia sclarea (L.), neroli Citrus aurantium (L.) var. amara, and ylang ylang Cananga odorata (Lam.) var. genuina.
Have fun, be creative, and try blending your own “relaxation spray” that will put you at ease and cheer you up. Win, win!
Need help getting started? ACHS President Dorene Petersen has an excellent blog post on blending for beginners.
10. EMBRACE THE RUSH!
Life is wild. If it’s calm and placid the entire time, you’re missing the ride! The next time you feel like things are a whirlwind, take a breath and relish the intensity of being alive. Be present in your moment, and embrace the rush!
What are your tips for quick stress relief? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the Shipping Manager of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.
 Berk LS, Tan SA, Fry WF, Napier BJ, Lee JW, Hubbard RW, Lewis JE, Eby WC. (1989). Neuroendocrine and stress hormone changes during mirthful laughter. Am J Med Sci, 6(298), 360-369. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2556917
 Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects. Is Happiness Genetic? Share.com. Retrieved from https://www.sharecare.com/health/genetics-genetic-disorders/are-we-genetically-wired-happy
 Stromberg, S. (2012). Simply Smiling Can Actually Reduce Stress. Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/simply-smiling-can-actually-reduce-stress
 Hill EE, Zack E, Battaglini C, Viru M, Viru A, Hackney AC. (2008).Exercise and circulating cortisol levels: the intensity threshold effect. J Endocrinol Invest, 7(31), 587-591. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18787373