Feeling Stressed Out?

Feeling stressed out? Take a break for a few minutes and ...

Stop and breathe - When you're stressed out and busy, you might find that you are taking shallow breaths. Just stop what you are doing and breathe deeply in and out several times. It is refreshing!

Or do neck and shoulder exercises. First relax your shoulders - if you are stressed out you may discover your shoulders are hunched up and trying to connect with your ears. Once your shoulders are relaxed, gently move your head forward then back up three times, then backward and up three times. Next tilt your head down to the right three times, and then to the left three times. Then drop your head forward and circle around to the right three times, and then circle around to the left three times. Remember to do this gently and slowly. Then rotate your shoulders around and forward three times and then rotate them back three times. A lot of people, me included, have a tendency to tighten up their neck and shoulder muscles when they get stressed out. These exercises help loosen the muscles and make you feel more relaxed.

Or put on some music. Just a song or two will do - put on your favorite classical piece and just listen and relax. Or if you're feeling wound up, put on a pop tune and dance to burn off some of your excess energy. 

Or doodle. Get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and just start drawing. Draw circles or scribbles. Draw yourself on the beach or pulling your hair out - however you are feeling. Express yourself!

If you have a family, it may be hard to grab those few minutes to enjoy a break for yourself; here are a couple of ideas to try -  

Take out the trash - the idea of having to do an unpleasant chore has a tendency to send people running, so you offer to take out the trash and then enjoy being outside for a few minutes. Don't see it as work or just something else that needs to be done - use it as a positive experience.

Or go get the mail. Enjoy the weather as you walk to the mailbox. Listen for birds singing. If it is evening, look at the stars. I remember going out to get the mail one crisp, cold Saturday when I lived in an apartment complex and as I was walking along, the air was filled with the pleasant sound of someone playing a flute! You never know what you might experience along the way!

If you still need to get away for your five minute break - hide in the bathroom with a magazine. I have discovered that if you go to the bathroom to take a long, relaxing shower or bath, you are still fair game for knocks on the door with questions or complaints. But most everyone will respect your privacy if they think you're heading in there for another reason! Sit on the edge of the tub and focus on serenity!

May your day be stress free!

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