Do you ever feel like your day is just one long marathon of stressful situations?
One of the worst things about that feeling — and we all know it well — is that it can seem like you don’t have even an hour to yourself to take a break and find some ways to destress. Meaning that things continue to pile on top of each other, making you less and less able to cope.
But while there are some days when an hour is impossible to find, anyone can take five minutes to destress during a busy day, especially if you know how to make the most of them. Here are five of our favorite ways to relieve stress in five minutes or less.
If you barely have the time to devote to eating a sandwich, how on earth could you have time to meditate?
According to Constantin Bisanz, founder and CEO of Aloha, it’s actually not that difficult. Bisanz meditates for 20 minutes a day twice a day, but you could even do it for less using his techniques.
“I meditate on the way to the airport in the taxi, I meditate in the office; I just put earplugs into my ears,” he says. “I just carve (the time) out — it’s like a meeting with myself. I love to do it in fancy places, but my daily life is not in fancy places.”
Make a playlist with five minutes of peaceful music. Make a daily appointment with yourself — literally, add it to your planner — so that you can close your eyes, plug in, and zone out.
2. Get In a Loving Mood
Sex is one of our favorite ways to destress, but even we have to admit: it’s tough to play hooky for some midday nooky, especially if it’s only going to last five minutes. But you can definitely put love on your brain — and the brain of your partner — by sending a quick, sexy text.
Just putting the effort into composing a message (and thinking about making that message a reality as soon as you get home!) can take your mind off your work and onto something a bit more enjoyable. Plus, you’re far less likely to cop out because you’re too tired if you’ve both been looking forward to it all day.
3. Call Someone You Love
When you’re totally stressed, call someone — your husband, your mom, your best friend, your brother — and have a five-minute chat. But here’s the rule: no talking about work (or whatever the source of your stress).
Talk about a book you just read, a show you can’t wait to watch with them, the next time you’re going to get lunch — anything except what’s currently stressing you out. It will get your thoughts off the problems you may be facing at work and remind you of the more important things.
4. Take a Brisk Walk
Step away from your desk — leave your phone behind! — and walk around the block for five minutes.
Walking briskly will not only help increase your heart rate, which will better your mood thanks to your body’s release of endorphins, but it will also give you a chance to get away from your screen for a while. It’s amazing the good that being outdoors in the sunlight can do, particularly in parts of the world with shorter days.
5. Get a Massage
OK, a five-minute massage isn’t exactly on the menu at most massage parlors, but you can definitely do the deed yourself: take a minute and give yourself a head, knee, or forearm massage to reduce the pent up stress in your muscles and to give yourself a breather.
When the massage is over, we guarantee you’ll be feeling much better — you can even give your masseuse (aka… yourself) a tip to spend on a drink at the end of the week!
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