The world is bonkers. It’s never been more critical to find ways to relax that actually work!

We live in an extremely fast-paced, stressful time where we’re bombarded on all sides by chaos. If you aren’t juggling multiple demands on your attention, it’s safe to say you’re in the minority.

Between family obligations, jobs that overwhelm, attempts to still “have a life” like everyone on social media, and a global pandemic…there doesn’t seem to be a single minute of the day that isn’t stressful.

Where does it stop?

When do you take a minute to relax?

How will you find the time?

What you need are easy ways to relax that you can fit into your hectic daily routine. Quick tricks (because there isn’t much downtime to be had anymore) that will give you a boost of energy and motivation to keep going. [Even if your to-do list consists of nothing more showering, putting on a clean shirt, and making yourself food – that can be a lot some days.]

The more chaotic you feel on the inside, the more important it is to pause and regroup. If you are anxious, stressed, or don’t feel well…your tasks are going to be an even bigger obstacle.

It’s okay to take five for yourself.

3 Quick and Effective Ways to Relax

EAT SOMETHING LOVELY. The use of food to heal is scientifically proven and powerful. There are so many delicious options for a mood booster that also help to settle your mind. With a clear head and a better mood, you’re going to accomplish so much more with less tension.

Dark chocolate is incredible. The higher the cacao content, the better. Enjoy a 70% cacao dark chocolate (with sea salt or almonds) for a quick break. Buy a nice bar and split it into one ounce portions you can take with you. Place a bit on your tongue, close your eyes, and let it melt slowly. Pay attention to the process, enjoy it, savor it from start to finish. It will stimulate your “feel good” hormones like serotonin and lower the levels of cortisol and adrenaline.

Honey with a bit of coconut oil is another favorite. Mix a tablespoon of honey with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Place the blend on your tongue and allow it to melt slowly down your throat. It’s a sweet pick-me-up combined with natural anti-inflammatory compounds and raw brain food. If you have a chance to spread this over an orange or apple slice…you’ll love it.

Green tea is delicious and if you sip it in peace for just a few minutes, you’ll feel the difference. It contains all sorts of fantastic antioxidants for physical health and has been proven to soothe anger and calm mood. Take five minutes and enjoy a cup of tea in sunshine if it’s available or close your eyes and enjoy the warmth. Sweeten with a bit of honey, if desired.

Some of these might not be your speed and I get it. I’m not here to judge because I freely admit that my “calm down” food has often been a pint of Chunky Monkey while crying in front of the television. However, now I know that the sugar in that (oh-so-delicious) treat creates a false high that ends in a nasty crash of energy and mood. These are some alternatives to try but I assure you…there are many.

STILL YOUR MIND COMPLETELY. Nothing is going to function properly if you can’t think clearly. You need your brain in peak condition if you have to communicate with customers, deal with a bill collector, operate heavy machinery, or simply remember which thing you know you’re forgetting to finish.

Your brain is a fascinating example of form and function. It wants to keep all your plates spinning but you can’t run it day in and day out with no down time, no chance to process, and no relief from non-stop stress.

Take five minutes right now (even if you have to hide in the bathroom at your job or away from your significant other) to give your brain a time out. Stop the world for five minutes. Nothing is going to fall apart. Your life will not spin out of control.

You can take those five minutes, practice an easy way to relax, give to yourself, and everything will be right where you left it. Gentle meditation where you slow things down, focus on your breathing, and visualize things that inspire peace and relaxation for you personally will do wonders for the rest of your day.

Find a comfortable spot with privacy (your car, the garage, or the bathroom are all good choices). You can sit or stand, close your eyes or focus on an inanimate object.

Relax your muscles (stretch a bit if you’re in the mood). Take air deep into your lungs until your stomach expands. Create an image or a memory in your mind that makes you happy and settles you. For a handful of minutes, breathe. Just breathe and think calming thoughts.

Repeat twice a day. This is especially helpful to a good night’s sleep.

There are many ways to bring meditation and deep breathing exercises into your daily life. You can stand outside to loosen muscles and visualize a gorgeous beach in total solitude. On sunny mornings, this is really effective. Use the time to boost your levels of vitamin D, which improves mood and focus according to science.

Taking a moment to slow down, to breathe, invigorates you enough to get the rest of the day accomplished.

GET OUT OF THE MOMENT. Sometimes, when stress or emotions get too bad, you have got to find a way to disconnect before you pop. It’s okay to take a minute to figure out what you need. It’s okay not to be okay. There are moments that the only thing you can do is get the hell out of there and let yourself regroup.

There are many physical methods to pausing your day and relieving the buildup.

Pressure points are a helpful and easy way to relax. Massaging lotion into your hands is an outstanding technique to relieve muscle tension you might not even know you have. Using a stress ball to release emotional tension can be helpful as well.

Take off your shoes and roll the bottoms of your feet over a tennis ball. Press down with each pass and release in the opposite motion. This feels great if you spend all day on your feet.

Massage your temples with a drop of lavender essential oil (with a carrier like coconut oil if you have sensitive skin). Breathe deeply, close your eyes, and give yourself a minute. Tension headaches are the most common form of headache in the world. Consider a cold air diffuser for your office or sleep space to keep that beneficial feeling going.

Take a walk. Phone a friend or loved one you haven’t talked to in a while. Enjoy a short conversation about what’s happening with them. Taking the focus off your own stressful day and laughing with someone you care about is a wonderful way to lift both your spirits.

Then there are the old standbys – easy ways to relax that still work as well today as they always have. Listening to music you love, journaling, taking a nap, or enjoying a little extra time in the shower with the water hitting the back of your neck will help to revitalize you on days you feel lost or overwhelmed.

The important thing is to recognize when you need a chance to relax. I know what it’s like to go, go, go until you drop. As hectic as life is, that is no way to live.

Listen to your body, pay attention to your mind, and know when you require a mental or physical break from the insanity.

You won’t regret it.

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