When you’re stressed out and don’t have an hour or even 30 minutes to spare to de-stress, there are five simple things you can do get the crick out, things you can do in ten minutes or less!
Our usual routes in de-stressing would either involve aromatic candles and hands pressing our strained muscles, a quiet nook, a glass of wine and a good book to curl up with and get lost for an hour or more or an hour of exercise.
But what if we’re in between tasks and felt the pressure stretching us out? Should we just let it be, be grateful for the existence of weekends and look forward to our customary pampering by then? Well, why wait for the workdays to end when we can get away from in-between stressful situations (and people!) with these five simple things? And take note, they don’t need that much time to kick the cricks away.
- Walk Away
Yes, walking away from tension-filled situations and stress-carrying personalities will do your well-being great. Walking away isn’t the cowardly way out; it’s you allowing space and a little time to diffuse what could have been an explosive circumstance.
Walking away also means learning to say no. Don’t let FOMO or the fear of missing out rule your life. It’s okay to miss a few outings with your friends or a night out with co-workers so you can have a stress-free night with yourself. “Prioritizing daily self-care and making efforts to take action. Accepting that daily self-care is hard work and challenging.” Edna M. Esnil, PsyD says. And that’s all that matters.
- Go And Get Yourself Surrounded By Nature
“Exposure to nature enhances the ability to cope with and heal from stress and recover from injury or illness more quickly.” Dr. Carlene Taylor, LMHC, LPC, CPCS, NCC, emphasizes. When you’ve strained out like a rubber band stretched out past its breaking point, go the nearest most natural area – a park or a garden perhaps – and let yourself be surrounded with greens even for a few minutes. Doing so would:
- Increase our oxygen supply, which, according to studies, also increases our energy levels, concentration, and cognitive abilities
- Decrease carbon dioxide, which, some studies point out as significant stressors
Besides, there’s just something calming about plants.
- Listen To Music Or An Audiobook
“To quell overwhelm, engage in an activity that you enjoy, such as listening to music.” Marla W. Deibler, PsyD said. One study found out that listening to relaxing music is better at busting stress than resting alone or even tuning in to acoustic stimulation brought about by rippling water. It’s an accepted fact that songs have the power to make us feel various kinds of emotions – from happiness to sadness and even anger. Some songs can also make us cry which, for some, brings about catharsis or the cleansing from heavy emotional baggage.
On the other hand, listening to a podcast or an audiobook are good distractions from stressful thinking. Personally, when I start to think anxious thoughts, I would pop in an audiobook, and it successfully distracts my mind from its worry-laden route.
- Cuddle, Hug, Or Even Sex
According to bestselling author Elizabeth Lombardo, who also happens to be a psychologist, cuddling increases the production of oxytocin, which is our body’s natural feel-good hormones, thereby, increasing our overall feeling of happiness.
Dr. Renee Horowitz, a Michigan OB-gynecologist, also added that aside from oxytocin, cuddles, hugs and even love plays with your spouse or partner brings about an increase in endorphins, the natural chemicals released after an excellent workout or when you satisfy your chocolate cravings, and dopamine, your excitement hormones. All these contribute to that feeling of happiness and wellness you feel when you’re hugged, cuddled or loved by someone you also love.
Medical experts recommend playing sports for stress relief and mental concentration. But it’s not just calculated or conscious playing that brings about stress-busting benefits.
Spontaneous playtime with your kids doesn’t just relieve stress on your part; it also does the same for them. Yes, studies show that kids from 8-17 years old feel stresses and worries already and playing with them causes relief as it brings about the release of feel-good hormones. So, play with your kids and spend time with them as much as you can. The activity just doesn’t bond you closer; it will also serve as sweet memories they can take with them when they grow up.